MORE THAN 15,000 BRITS who the music and film industries claim are 'pirates' may soon get legal letters accusing them of illegally sharing tunes, movies and games.
The letters are going to be sent out by ACS:Law next year and will tell the alleged filesharers to settle out of court for between £300 to £500 apiece or it will drag them before the beak in an embarrassing court case.
V3 said that 13,000 of those who will get a letter from ACS:Law have the misfortune of being BT customers.
ACS: Law recently obtained two High Court orders that require ISPs to hand over the names and addresses of the account holders for 30,000 IP addresses, a number which can identify a computer on the internet
ACS:Law said it was "unaware" of anyone who had been wrongly sent a letter. But consumer group Which? said that it had heard from around 150 consumers who had been "wrongly accused" by ACS:Law in similar cases.
In some cases people have been accused of downloading **** and they will pay up rather than face a public court case.
Jaclyn Clarabut of Which? told BBC News that others "don't want the threat of court action" hanging over them or cannot afford to pay for a lawyer and settle the claim for the lower figure.
Michael Coyle of the firm Lawdit said so far he has represented several hundred clients who have received letters from ACS: Law and other firms. None of his clients has ever been forced by a court to pay a fine.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) are currently investigating ACS: Law and the Law Society is also investigating the outfit.
The law firm is acting on behalf of DigiProtect and MediaCat, which represent copyright holders, including various pornography studios, to pursue alleged copyright infringements. µ