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March 18, 2011

ACS:Law case closed, judge mulls costs

by Darren Allan

The case involving ACS:Law and multiple defendants who were accused of illegal file-sharing by the law firm has finally been put to bed this week.

ACS:Law had previously tried to get the proceedings discontinued, although presiding Judge Birss had none of it, and accused the firm of trying to avoid judicial scrutiny.

At any rate, ACS:Law closed down last month, and the case has now been officially closed, too. According to a report on PC Advisor, the solicitors for the defendants stated: “There’s simply no point in keeping these proceedings artificially alive any more.”

However, there is one small bit of legal housekeeping still to be dealt with – the matter of exactly how the costs should be apportioned.

The judge is considering billing ACS:Law and its piracy client Media CAT for the defendants’ costs to the tune of £90,000, in what’s known as wasted-costs. Normally this wouldn’t happen, but as Birss noted, “If ever there was a case of conduct out of the norm, it is this one.”

Which suggests ACS:Law might be getting a fiscal demand of their own in the post. Whether the ICO can also weigh in with a fine, this one for the law firm’s security leak last September, isn’t clear now the company has been wound up.

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