SO FAR AT LEAST 150 innocent people have been wrongly targeted in a crackdown on illegal file-sharing that's being conducted by the rogue law firm run amok, ACS:Law.
The outfit has sent out letters to thousands of Brits accusing them of 'piracy' - that's copyright infringement to anyone not trying to whip up public sentiment for their own monetary gain - and offering them a chance to settle by paying about £500.
However Which? says that loads of people are being accused with what must be inaccurate information. One was a 78 year-old accused of downloading pornography and others are unaware of having done any downloading at all.
One told Which?: "My 78 year-old father yesterday received a letter from ACS Law demanding £500 for a porn file he is alleged to have downloaded. Apparently the poor bloke does not know what file sharing is and has never even heard of BitTorrent. Nor has he given anyone else permission to use his computer."
Which? Computing estimates that up to 50,000 letters have been sent out and is outraged that too many innocent people are being wrongly accused. Matt Bath, technology editor of Which? told the BBC that innocent consumers are being threatened with legal action for copyright infringements they not only haven't committed, but wouldn't know how to commit. But many "will be frightened into paying up rather than facing the stress of a court battle."
He advised people who believe they have been wrongly targeted to "rigorously deny it and, if possible, provide physical evidence of where they were when the infringement took place".
He also advised them to contact Which with the details of their case.
Andrew Crossley of ACS:Law admitted that some cases had been dropped although he declined to give numbers. He told the Beeb that the method used to detect the IP address used for illegal downloads was foolproof, although that really does not explain why some cases needed to be dropped.
None of the 10,000 letters that Crossley and his firm have sent out have come to court yet. Meanwhile, ACS:Law is currently under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score