Anti-piracy lawyers pirate each other’s work

Buried in amongst the emails of the ACS: Law hack is a somewhat amusing revelation about what the anti-piracy lawyers really think about copying another’s work.

While the outfit appears to claim that file-sharing is evil and stealing another’s creative work the worst of the worst, it does not seem to apply to them.

Tilly, Bailey and Irvine approached ACS: Law to ask for help in setting up file sharing settlement letters and follow-up response templates. 

ACS:Law boss Andrew Crossly claims that the firm contacted him for help, which he provided, by giving them some outlines to act as guide. However Tilly, Bailey and Irvine  just used them without changing a word.

He wrote the outfit a stiffly worded letter which has turned up among the pile of emails. The letter said that his cooperation did not extend to allowing, “without my prior knowledge, license or permission, to use my firm’s range of precedent letters, paragraphs and responses”.

Crossly wrote that his letters had been developed over a long period of time and are not available for use by others.

The miffed Crossly said that he had worked tirelessly and at great personal financial cost over the past year to perfect his firm’s business model – and it would appear that Tilly, Bailey and Irvine chose a lazy short cut to ape it.

But it appears from the emails that the work that Crossly claims was stolen from him was actually copied from yet another firm, Davenport Lyons, who helped Crossly set up his own business.

Crossly claims that since he took over business from Davenport Lyons and had “acquired all necessary precedents prepared by them”.

Sheesh – all this over a couple of hundred words of text. No wonder they get all moist when they see a novel or movie being copyrighted. Still, it does mean that these lawyers really have a pot calling the kettle black attitude to copyright.