A ‘bullying’ lawyer that started legal action against Brits accused of illegal downloading but subsequently abandoned the case has been named as one of the contenders for this year’s Internet Villain of the Year award.

Andrew Crossley, who headed up now defunct legal firm ACS:Law, is one of four finalists in the category. This year marks the first time that the Internet Service Provider’s Association (ISPA)  has asked the public to nominate contenders for the award, along with people they think should be named Internet Hero of the Year, via email and Twitter.

Crossley is joined by Simon Power, New Zealand’s Commerce Minister, who recently agreed to a three-strikes legislation that would see some web users thought to have illegal file-shared prosecuted, as well Commissioner Barnier, who the ISPA says showed lack of transparency and co-operation with industry and other commissioners on the IPR enforcement and IPR strategy as a whole. These three are also joined by chairman of the Turkish Information and Communications Technologies Authority, Tayfun Acarer, for looking to impose mandatory filtering on all ISP connections in Turkey against “international norms”.

Professor Ian Hargreaves, who recently proposed changes to intellectual property law that would see ‘ripping’ CDs legalised, is one of the figures nominated for Internet Hero of the Year, along with Judge Colin Birss QC, who presided over the illegal downloading case brought by Crossley and slammed the lawyer for his "amateurish and slipshod" efforts.

They’re joined by Rory Stewart MP for campaigning for broadband in his rural constituency of Penrith and the Borders, micro-blogging service for Twitter for its role in helping people communicate during the Arab spring  and the Australian Internet Industry Association, which launched a voluntary industry code on infected machines in Australia.

The winners will be announced at the annual ISPA awards, which takes place in London on July 7.