Lawyers target thousands of illegal file-sharers

ACS:Law said it will be sending thousands of letters to alleged file-sharers of copyright infringement. The lawsuits will go out in the New Year to thousands of suspected file-sharers, asking them for a compromise to avoid dealing with it in court, averaging for several thousand pounds as a settlement.

ACS:Law said each case will be different, based on the amount of illegal copyright material downloaded, ranging between several thousand pounds, but said the compromise will typically be between £300-500.

Jaclyn Clarabut, from Which?, told BBC News that, "A lot are accused of downloading pornography," while other cases will be based on illegally distributing movies, games, and music.

"Many have never heard of peer-to-peer file sharing," said Jaclyn Clarabut, in reference to the 15,000 suspected file-sharers.

ACS:Law recently acquired two high court orders to obtain 30,000 IP Addresses with account details, including their name and address of the account owner, and is in the process of preparing three more court orders.

However, the technology to hide or spoof an IP Address, disguising the users true IP Address, is available on the Internet, which could cause for many consumers to be false accused of file-sharing. Andrew Crossley from ACS:Law said that this does not apply for file sharing purposes.

There are also cases where consumers do not password protect their router, and makes it easy for near-by users to simply connect to their Internet connection and illegally download copyright material.

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