The U.K.'s consumer rights group Which? (sort of like Consumer Reports in the U.S.) came out with a press release this week that puts some serious doubts on proposed plans to fight P2P piracy with Three Strikes. More than 150 consumers contacted the group in recent months because they have been wrongfully accused of P2P piracy by London-based law firm ACS Law. From the press release:

"One wrote: 'My 78 year old father yesterday received a letter from ACS law demanding £500 for a porn file he is alleged to have downloaded. He doesn’t even know what file sharing or bittorrent is so has certainly not done this himself or given anyone else permission to use his computer to do such a thing.'"

ACS Law is working with companies like Logistep to hunt down alleged file sharers and then send them letters that threaten with a lawsuit unless they pay steep fines. The practice has been frequently criticized. In fact, Torrentfreak just reported that UK Lords just called this type of copyright enforcement a scam and legal blackmail.

However, Which's findings have implications beyond the questionable tactics used by companies like ACS Law. U.K. politicians are currently debating a law that would force ISPs to disconnect alleged file sharers after a series of warnings - something that's also commonly known as Three Strikes.

However, if a single law firm representing just a small number of clients gets it wrong in so many cases - how many false positives would a concerted enforcement effort initiated by Three Strikes generate. How many people would get booted off the Internet even though they have never downloaded a single file?

(via PC Pro)

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