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LEAKED EMAILS: Reveal Profits of Anti-Piracy Cash Scheme

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posted on Sep, 26 2010 @ 09:27 AM
If you haven't been paying attention as to what has been happening with the battle for/against online piracy in the last couple of months, you've missed out on a lot. Before we get to the new revelations, here's a rundown of what's happened recently.


Over the last 36 hours or so, the ‘Anonymous’ masses and many unaffiliated sympathizers joined forces to attack the MPAA’s website. Continuing with ‘Operation Payback’, today an attack will be launched on the RIAA.
4chan to DDoS RIAA Next – Is This the Protest of the Future?


United States lawmakers have proposed new legislation today that would allow the Department of Justice to take over domain names of websites that promote copyright infringement. The proposed bill would allow for court orders against domestic as well as foreign sites, which could potentially shutter many torrent sites including The Pirate Bay.
US Lawmakers Want to Quash Pirate Websites


Tomorrow, the European Parliament will vote on the Gallo report that deals with the enforcement of intellectual property. Drafted by a partner of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the report paves the way for draconian anti-piracy measures to be introduced across Europe, potentially affecting the lives of millions of Internet users.
European Parliament Votes on Controversial Anti-Piracy Report


This week the controversial French three-strikes anti-piracy law Hadopi went live. Copyright holders are currently in the process of sending out tens of thousands of IP-addresses of alleged infringers to Internet service providers, and this will increase to over a million in a few weeks. The ISPs have to hand over the identities of the associated accounts to the authorities within a week, or face a fine of 1500 euros per unidentified IP-address.
France Starts Reporting ‘Millions’ of File-Sharers


After all-out assaults on the web presences of the MPAA, RIAA and later the BPI, last night a new company was targeted in a new 4chan DDoS attack. Anti-piracy lawyers ACS:Law, one of the most despised and complained about law firms in Britain, had their website taken offline last night and it remains down “Account Suspended” this morning. TorrentFreak has spoken to one of the key figures in Operation Payback for the lowdown.
New 4chan DDoS Targets Hated Anti-Piracy Law Firm


Yesterday the European Parliament adopted a report that paves the way for the introduction of draconian anti-piracy measures. A final push for accepting the report came from entertainment industry lobbyists who presented petitions signed by hundreds of artists. Among other suspicious circumstances, the signatories of the petitions include a 7-year old singer from Romania and a movie producer who died three years ago.
Anti-Pirates List Dead and Pre-Teen Artists as Petition Signatories


Now check this out, check out what these scumbags are actually doing.


Earlier this week, anti-piracy lawyers ACS:Law had their website taken down by a 4chan DDoS attack. Adding insult to injury, owner Andrew Crossley was harassed at home in the middle of the night by prank phone calls. Now, through a fault with his website, hundreds of megabytes of private emails have been exposed to the public and uploaded to The Pirate Bay. To those hoping that this is a MediaDefender-type fiasco all over again, trust us – it is.
ACS:Law Anti-Piracy Law Firm Torn Apart By Leaked Emails

Remember ACS:Law? The guy's that 4chan launched an attack on a week ago? Turns out that some information got out and a large amount of their emails have been compressed into a torrent which was leaked out. There is tonnes of information about dealings with clients and detailed information about how they actually go about conducting their 'business'. They are cashing in on something under the guise of pretending to be preventing it.



Friday night the anti-piracy law firm ACS:Law accidentally published its entire email archive online, effectively revealing how the company managed to extract over a million dollars (£636,758.22) from alleged file-sharers since its operation started. On average, 30% of the victims who were targeted paid up, and this money was divided between the law firm, the copyright holder and the monitoring company.

Here's one sample from solicitor Andrew Crossley of ACS: Law, who overviews his 'business model'.

- Crossley writes to monitoring company NG3Sys and says the following:

You are going to receive on average about £1,000.00 per 150 letters sent. This can be seen from the first tiny batch. Because we have good quality product being monitored and captures are high on the data we have, when the letters get sent out the figures therefore equate as follows:-

Phase 1: 2,500 letters, estimated revenue to you: £16,666.00
Phase 2: est. 4,000 letters, estimated revenue to: £26,666.00
Phase 3: est. 18,000 letters, estimated revenue to you: £120,000.00
That is data collated to date! I have more titles to give you, more data will be captured.

Please stay with this.

A total of just over 11,000 letters have been sent out. About 30% of the accused file sharers decided to settle by immediately paying between 350-700 pounds. This money is divided between the law firm, the IP monitoring company and the copyright holders. But data from the leaked emails shows that the law firm (ACS LAW) gets the majority, from between 37.5% and 52.5%.

Using figures now available though the email leak, we can see that by 28 April 2010 around $1m (£636,758.22) had been paid by the victims.

In everything that we’ve seen thus far it is clear that the sole motivation of the legal action has been to generate as much money as possible. Documents in the leak show ACS:Law admitting that they asked for a settlement of £495 in order to break the ‘psychological’ £500 barrier to maximize revenues.

I just want to warn all ATS'ers in Europe. There have been cases where many who were targeted were clearly innocent. There is a bunch of thugs on the loose and you may be next, don't be fooled into paying for settlement if you are not guilty!

+13 more 
posted on Sep, 26 2010 @ 09:45 AM
Deeply disturbing. Something I've noticed about us humans-- often when we claim to be doing something for good cause, there is frequently an underlying less-good reason beneath our noble surface. No wonder people root for the hackers/underdogs. Many times it seems that they are the only allies we've got.

posted on Sep, 26 2010 @ 09:57 AM
Great thread, i'd applaud you if i could - but S+F anyway...

Great catch, great info and anything like this brings a smile to my face, especially with that bastard lawyer more or less being caught with his pants around his ankles.

Power to the people.

posted on Sep, 26 2010 @ 10:17 AM
reply to post by mr-lizard

Correct, the more informed we are the more chance there is that a large amount of people will know what to do if a situation were to arise where they became involved. This is not to say that pirating movies/music isn't wrong, but that businesses are clearly taking advantage and using scare tactics on people in order make financial gains.

ACS:Law has sent thousands of letters to people claiming they have illegally downloaded material and offers them a chance to settle by paying around £500.

Which? says it has been approached by some - including a 78 year-old accused of downloading pornography - who have no knowledge of the alleged offence.

ACS:Law said its methods were accurate.

edit on 26/9/2010 by serbsta because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 26 2010 @ 10:20 AM
score another point for "we"!

we dont likes curruption on our nets.

posted on Sep, 26 2010 @ 11:06 AM
This is hilarious! Turns out Andrew Crossley, ACS's head guy likes David Icke:

There are abusive emails to his ex-wife, personal contact details, passwords to Paypal and other sites, and it also appears that Crossley is a fan of loopy conspiracy theorist David Icke. Perhaps those inter-dimensional lizards are also guilty of file sharing?

posted on Sep, 26 2010 @ 08:23 PM
reply to post by mossme89

Scam artists sticking together?

Even more news about this scam:

In 2008, lawyers Davenport Lyons courted the mainstream media with the news that a court had found a woman guilty of sharing the game Dream Pinball 3D, an action which cost her around £16,000. Anyone with an understanding of these cases knew that something was wrong and now, thanks to yet more information from the leaked ACS:Law emails, we learn that this ‘conviction’ was built on foundations of sand.

High Profile, High Damages File Sharing 'Conviction' Was a Farce

posted on Sep, 26 2010 @ 09:24 PM
Missed this part.

I guess we can expect more attacks from 4chan to follow, especially after Crossley mocked their first one.

Andrew Crossley, the head of ACS:Law, told The Register the attack was "typical rubbish from pirates".

"Big whoop," he added.

"It was only down for a few hours. I have far more concern over the fact of my train turning up 10 minutes late or having to queue for a coffee than them wasting my time with this sort of rubbish."

Piracy threats lawyer mocks 4chan DDoS attack

posted on Sep, 26 2010 @ 09:36 PM
Man that is some scary stuff... The tight rope of property rights. Definetly a sunject that doesn't get enough coverage. Thanks for putting together the info!

Posted Via ATS Mobile:

posted on Sep, 26 2010 @ 10:44 PM
reply to post by freedomintruth

That's exactly the problem, it's not getting enough coverage, not enough people are aware that there is actually a war being fought right now. It has already started in France, with tens of thousands of IP addresses being reported daily. At this rate, a large majority of the nation will have suspended internet access. The scale of these operations which are being conducted is mind boggling, no wonder many people who are clearly innocent are being caught up in this farce.

Screw you ACS.

edit on 26/9/2010 by serbsta because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 26 2010 @ 10:53 PM
I can see the problem ... but surely if you're part of legal action you need paid as well.

This is a tough one, because on one hand I agree what he is doing is motivated by the financial aspect, but lets face it how many law firms aren't motivated by money? They need money since they're private businesses. It doesn't surprise me that they're not enforcing the law out of the goodness of their own heart.

posted on Sep, 26 2010 @ 11:19 PM
reply to post by Pinke

I see what you're saying, but the motive is very important. They are not doing anything to help rid the system of piracy, in fact, the way they're secretly conducting this business, they WANT more piracy because its profitable.

From the leaks:

- Crossley brags about his financial status:

Spent much of the weekend looking for a new car. Finances are much better so can put £20-30k down. May go for a Lambo or Ferrari. I am so predictable!

(later emails reveal he bought a Jeep Compass 2.4CVT)

Like I said, motive is important.

Earlier this year, in the House of Lords, ACS Law was labeled as a sham.

posted on Sep, 27 2010 @ 01:23 AM
Thx for highlighting this Serba.

Anti-piracy groups such as this need their tables overturned as much as banks.

posted on Sep, 27 2010 @ 02:53 AM

Originally posted by serbsta
I see what you're saying, but the motive is very important. They are not doing anything to help rid the system of piracy, in fact, the way they're secretly conducting this business, they WANT more piracy because its profitable.

I'm almost to the point where I want to say "anybody with half a brain knows this," but then I remember that some aren't as Internet-savvy as others. If it were possible, you could literally shut down every single torrent website on the Internet, and it would be the equivalent of throwing a rock at a car. It'll create a noticeable dent, but other than a cosmetic effect, it will hardly deter those who wish to download files, both legally and otherwise. Besides, going after torrent sites is like going after the person providing a venue for services. When police are investigating, do they stop at the link, or do they go right to the source? The fact that they are only going halfway shows their motive.

It's one thing to admit you're a pirate; it's another to call pirates bad while earning money off of them.

posted on Sep, 27 2010 @ 02:56 AM
This is why i love this site. I am an IT technician, i work on networks and this is something that is near and dear to me. s&f for the thread. knowledge is power. it doesnt matter if you agree or not with piracy, its the free flow of information that is at stake. the internet is a creature that has brought us all closer together, allowed the "little" people to arm themselves with the knowledge of what tptb are doing and how they are profiting from us. time and time again people do things and say "oh its for the greater good"........ when in reality they just want to line their own pockets. i maynot agree with the mass pirating of movies or whatever.. but it is the industries fault for crushing the people. if they cannot change with the times as everything else.. they will go the way of the dinosaur.. but not with out a fight. i commend 4chan and the hackers and all the lil techies out their fighting for the free flow of information, art, and technology. we live in exciting times. in my line of work i have seen enough to realize that nothing goes unnoticed.. nothing is sacred or safe. we are all out there, personally, financially, professionally.... they have the technology.. they can do what they want when they want and believe me they know and monitor everything. but for those brave enough to risk their freedom in this new technological revolution we would all already be under the heavy hand of tptb.
power to the people.

posted on Sep, 27 2010 @ 03:17 AM
reply to post by SonicInfinity

If you think about it, the fact that these torrent sites are staying up is actually doing them a favor. People will continue to use them, especially if the possible consequences of using them is under stressed and not mentioned at all by the news sources. France is bombed with thousands of IP address copyright charges everyday, just think for a second if these torrent sites were to go out of business, there won't be a revenue source in the 'fight against piracy'.

Good point about them not going after the source, makes you think about motives and intentions.

posted on Sep, 27 2010 @ 03:38 AM
I have a next step prediction in this game of chess taking place...

Legislation will get introduced and passed where the information 'stolen' from sites like ACS, or in the case of wikileaks, government databases, that will make it piracy to possess the data being exposed, such as those emails, or other things like documents and videos... Then they'll send out more letters to unsuspecting users who clicked on a New York Times article that - let's say - supplied the official document outlining the U.N. agenda of Euthenisation of 50 percent of the world's population, or clicked on a youtube video of American Soldiers murdering journalists in Iraq, then recieve an email from a 'monitoring' site threatening litigation if they don't immediately contact them to negotiate a settlement for piracy of the government or business I.P. revealed in the news article.

The actual entity that provided that material however - the New York Timews - won't be scrutinized because... the 'leak' was set up to allow for a maximum effect and address logging so that these 'lawyers' could then issue out the piracy exploit and begin the campaigne of extortion against more innocent victims!

That is my prediction. Let's see how audacious these criminals get!

posted on Sep, 27 2010 @ 05:03 AM
I'm surprised at the lack of replies in this thread so far.

This is, well beyond a shadow of a doubt, an attack on our overall basic liberties.

Who are they attacking and which methods are they using to provide such 'monitoring'?

They are attacking the majority of the population of the developed world and they are assuming guilt before innocence and doing so without a court of law to act as mediators for justice. They are using the very systems they are condemning in order to enact this oppressive regime.

If even half of the nutjobs here who, like our friend at the evil law firm, profess to believe in an NWO/ lizard people/ Alien abductions or ghosts were to throw in their 2 cents worth of collective action we'd have a decent group of people who could work together to affect change which will actually have a positive impact on our futures.

Of course fantasy is a safer environment than reality and so hat's off to those who are fighting the good fight, to the OP for presenting this so concisely and for those who have shared their thoughts already.

Let's win this thing to that our ancestors who founded libraries and provided basic education and cultural centres for us to learn from can rest easy knowing future generations will continue to reap the benefits of a well evolved society.


posted on Sep, 27 2010 @ 06:02 AM

Originally posted by serbsta
reply to post by mr-lizard

ACS:Law has sent thousands of letters to people claiming they have illegally downloaded material and offers them a chance to settle by paying around £500.

Which? says it has been approached by some - including a 78 year-old accused of downloading pornography - who have no knowledge of the alleged offence.

ACS:Law said its methods were accurate.

My neighbor had her Internet shut down by the service provider for illegal downloading after the service provider was told she was downloading copyrighted movies by MPAA . problem is she was not.
I repair her computer and i know she did not do the illegal downloads as there was NO traces of illegal downloading on her computer.
I inspected her computer looking for any trace of the download or a virus, malware, bot or any other way that someone could have used to download through her computer. since she had no Internet for a month she had me do a scan and maintenance to make sure it would work right when she got reconnected. she does not use wireless connections so that could not be how they did it, i now believe there are programs out there that spoof IP addresses and illegal down-loaders are using them to fool the people at MPAA and get people that are not downloading in trouble. I want a copy of that program if it out there for my own use
I found nothing. no evidence that she had downloaded any illegal movies or music.
and without formatting the hard drive and overwriting it i would have found if she had.
I get computers for ten dollars at a thrift stores for parts and they have hard-drives in them, most just formatted and a few just password protected. you would not believe the data and programs i have been able to copy from these hard drives.
the real joke is if i want to download a movie i just use netflix and rip a copy to a DVD. i could pass them out with no problem. i could even download and rip satellite TV like HBO and burn a DVD.

posted on Sep, 27 2010 @ 06:11 AM
They look like they're using fear to get money. They must prove you're guilty before going in court. But out of fear, many settle this too rapidly.

They can know the I.P. and the content, but can never pinpoint the downloader, especially when multiple computers use the same I.P..

How would you prove who was behind the computer at the time of infraction ?

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