The judge presiding over a notorious file-sharing case has said the case must continue, despite the lawyers acting for the plaintiffs wanting to pull out.
Last month, ACS Law – which along with its partner company MediaCAT had sent hundreds of letters demanding money from people it accused of illegally sharing pornographic movies – said it no longer wanted to proceed with the court case it had initiated.
The case was being heard by Judge Colin Birss at the Patents County Court in London after 26 people that received the demands refuted the claims and refused to pay up.
But solicitor Andrew Crossley, the head of ACS Law told Judge Birss that he wanted to withdraw all of the cases and claimed to have received death threats.
Now Judge Birss has given MediaCAT and the copyright owners involved 14 days to join the action before it faces being struck out.
Judge Birss had been concerned that if the case was simply allowed to drop when ACS Law pulled out, the defendants could have had the action resurrected by another firm representing the copyright holders.
ACS Law is currently the subject of an investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and a separate one by the Information Commissioner's Office, which resulted from leaked ACS Law emails being published online.