Home > Golden Eye International > Golden Eye Respond To Those Who Admit Infringement

Golden Eye Respond To Those Who Admit Infringement

Without doubt the whole “Speculative Invoicing” operation employed by various participants with various roles has proven to be flawed and has targeted innocent people.  That is proof alone that there has been no justification in operating such a scheme, even if infringers are caught.

Sadly, I know of certain people involved in the GEIL operation who have stated that “Collateral Damage” is acceptable if it catches the infringers.  I take this to mean that no matter how many innocent people are targeted and pay up through fear, this “Justifies” their actions if they catch infringers.

As regards GEILs Letter Of Claim (“LoC”), the one small problem in what happened to be an excellent outcome of their original LoC being neutered is there is no initial settlement figure, and thus the real threat of the LoC is dumbed down.  That could be a problem because an infringer (Or an infringer who seeks legal guidance) may see a figure of compensation far differently than GEIL.

It now transpires that unsuspecting subscribers who admitted the infringement have immediately received another letter from GEIL demanding a settlement figure which is more close to their original LoC and completely ignores everything that was decided by the Judge in GEILs original Norwich Pharmacal Order (“NPO”) back in March 2012.  I suppose GEIL are not going to let a decision from an “unimportant” High Court Judge dissuade them from carrying on their absurd claims!

So what can a subscriber who has been led in to admission of guilt take from it?  And what can they do when they receive the unjustified claim of compensation from GEIL?

If the alleged infringer admits GEILs claim then I believe clarification must be given to what extent.  Admission could be:

1. An actual download took place by accident and cancelled quickly.

2. An actual download took place by accident and cancelled eventually.

3. An actual download took place in completion in anything from X hours to X days and removed by the infringer from the p2p software.

4. An actual download took place in completion in anything from X hours to X days and not removed by the infringer from the p2p software.

What about the infringement?  It may be accepted that “Two acts” of infringements occurred:

1. The alleged infringer has admitted to downloading the copyright material.

2. The alleged infringer has made the copyright material available for GEIL to download a small part.

What is in dispute is GEILs value of compensation of a demand for £350.00 per infringement or £700.00 for four infringements.

Let us start by looking at GEILs letter of claim under the section “Our claim for damages”:

The act of file sharing the Work without the consent of GEIL or BDP has caused damage to our business. We contend that every copy of the Work that is downloaded represents a potential lost sale. Whenever the Work is made available for download to other parties there is the opportunity for multiple downloads to take place resulting in lost revenue. In addition to GEIL selling direct, we also enter into licensing agreements for third party organisations to distribute our content. File sharing also results in lost royalty revenue and weakening of the Ben Dover brand. The court has power in such circumstances to award GEIL and BDP damages for our loss and, in appropriate circumstances, additional damages where the unlawful file sharing has been flagrant

The level of damages we claim will depend on the extent to which you have downloaded the Work and/or made it available for the download by others.

Now the decision from the Judge Mr Justice Arnold in the Court case:

134. Secondly, in the case of those Intended Defendants who are infringers, the Claimants have no idea about the scale of the infringements committed by each infringer. Some might have infringed on a very substantial scale indeed, while others might only have infringed to a minor extent.

Now I will look at particular aspects of GEILs evidence, claim, proposed settlement and their claim of legal consequences.

Evidence

The single most important fact is GEILs evidence has a small part of an upload from an IP address.  This is very evident from GEILs claim of “Whenever the Work is made available for download to other parties there is the opportunity for multiple downloads to take place resulting in lost revenue”.  This is backed up by the Judge when he states “the Claimants have no idea about the scale of the infringements committed by each infringer”.

So making a claim of “the opportunity for multiple downloads” when the Judge quite rightly says that they have no idea how much, is where GEIL have the major problem of lack of evidence.  GEIL have the evidence of one upload.

Lost Revenue

What about GEILs claim of lost revenue?  Surely lost revenue must be taken in to account after all relevant costs are taken out for sending a DVD to a consumer.  Compiling a DVD and packaging costs need to be considered, then the sale value to a distributor and finally the postage costs to post it to a distributor.

After all this is taken in to consideration, even a 30% gross profit on the £30.00 sale of a DVD to a distributor is £9.00 profit.

This is also on the basis that you can actually buy the film if it is at all available through Distribution.  It cannot be deemed lost revenue if the film is not available to purchase.

Disproportionate

Although it is the case the Judge declared GEIL have the right to protect their copyright, it is certainly not right for GEIL to claim disproportionate compensation.  If GEILs claim to an alleged infringer is lost revenue through sharing and uploading, making the same claim against other alleged infringers is double-counting.

If 10 alleged infringers were asked to pay compensation, each alleged infringer would be asked to pay for the infringement of the others.  This would in the case of the 10 alleged infringers make them pay for a total of 90 infringements.

Legal Consequences

From the Judgment, Mr Becker makes reference to “the reasonable royalty should be assessed on the basis of a ‘time limited license [sic] to exploit a work by providing copies of it on an unlimited worldwide basis’ “, whilst the LoC claims “In addition to GEIL selling direct, we also enter into licensing agreements for third party organisations to distribute our content. File sharing also results in lost royalty revenue and weakening of the Ben Dover brand”.

It now transpires that GEIL are making the claim that the Court will grant their claim for a “One year” standard licence agreement for one film which they would typically grant for Distributors.  This could be as much (If not more) as £1,500.00.  Exactly how they can equate sharing one film to a one year licence is baffling!  It can only be considered the basis of a licence for as long as the download took place.  If it took two days to download the film by the infringer, it can only be a licence for that amount of time, which would be no more than £10.00.

It may be argued by GEIL that they would only ever negotiate the minimum term of a licence to be one year, but negotiation is precisely the point when it comes to an agreement for a licence.  It cannot be one way.  A Distributor can make the decision if they wish to agree to those terms or not.

It also has to be taken in to consideration that you have the disproportionate situation (Above) of infringers having to pay for all other infringements resulting in double-counting again.

Flagrancy

The particular claim of flagrancy in GEILs LoC relates to their claim that an infringement has damaged the Ben Dover Productions (“BDP”) brand.  I will set aside the notion that this is a possibility as it could be argued that is what GEIL are doing.  This claim fails again through the evidence situation (Above).  To what level can GEIL claim an infringer has damaged the BDP brand?  Again no evidence to back up such claim.

Summary

My summary of GEIL and their latest claim against those who admitted the infringement are:

1. To what level of infringement has GEIL established from the infringer?

2. What evidence does GEIL have to prove an infringers level of infringement?

3. Why do GEIL quite directly ignore the Judges opinion?

4. Do GEIL consider the profit only aspect of lost revenue?

5. How can GEIL consider the idea of multiple uploads, licencing and flagrancy when it results in double-counting?

6. How can GEIL impose the one year licence on an infringer without negotiation when a download may take up to two days?

Special thanks to Hickster

ADDITION

Mr Becker was quoted here:

Disregarding the fact that our films when purchased sell for far in excess of £10, he totally missed the fact that file sharing occurs not in a closed user group of those circa 9,000 Telefonica customers, but in a far larger community of millions of users. Fundamentally we are pursuing those that are uploading not downloading, they are potentially uploading to millions of others who are also using these networks. How many they upload to is impossible to calculate, but in effect these violations are unauthorized distribution, we are not pursuing those who have simply downloaded one film.

“millions of users”………Oh dear God.

“potentially uploading to millions of others”……..Oh dear God, please!!!

“How many they upload to is impossible to calculate”………..No evidence?

“we are not pursuing those who have simply downloaded one film.”………Untrue!!!

Demanding £350.00 for one infringement makes what Mr Julian Fraser Becker says as untrue.

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  1. Anonymous
    April 13, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    “What is in dispute is GEILs value of compensation of a demand for £350.00 per infringement or £700.00 for four infringements.”

    Is this what GEIL are claiming now in their second letters?

    • April 13, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      Hi anon

      As my understanding, it is only what GEIL have asked of those who have admitted the infringement from the first letter. It seems that they were quick on the reply to these people. I do not know of any reply GEIL have made to anyone who denies their claim.

  2. John
    April 18, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Why would anyone have admitted to infringing copyright/ and also be aware of this site?

    • April 20, 2013 at 12:27 am

      Hi John, and thanks for your comment.

      IMHO, anyone admitting to infringing copyright should be entitled to a fair negation of settlement, and not be subjected to disproportionate demands. That is the way I see it with GEILs response.

      I also know that ACS:Law received the money they demanded from ISP subscribers who were too afraid to challenge their claim. An admission of guilt isn’t necessary a case of proof, but maybe a situation of somebody who has acted through fear.

  3. john@johnny.com
    April 24, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Yes, of course anyone admitting to infringing copyright should be entitled to a fair negation of settlement – but why has anyone been stupid enough to admit to anything in the first place and also apparently be aware of the fact that Ben Dover Productions/Golden Eye don’t have a leg to stand on (which anyone reading a site like this would be aware of)?

    • April 26, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      From my perspective, the nature of these letters are designed to intimidate. Even though GEILs letter was dumbed down, it can instil an impression of shame, fear and dire consequences (Hence my mention of ACS:Law). The final part of the letter mentions “If you are in any doubt about the contents of this letter and its seriousness” and recommends seeking legal advice along with contacting the Citizens Advice. If an accused subscriber admits the infringement for whatever reason, the CAB on their website will give advice on “how to respond to the letter, whether you admit or deny the claim”. The CAB advice on admission of guilt may be sound advice, but GEILs claim of settlement is the problem and is clearly opposing the opinion of Judge Arnold when he says “I agree with counsel for Consumer Focus that the figure of £700 is unsupportable”.

  4. Anonymous
    April 27, 2013 at 11:46 am

    A little confused. Are GEIL claiming £700 per infringement or £350 per infringement? in their second letters? Has there been any confirmation of this?….Would like to know where this figure of £350 has come from

    • April 27, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      Sorry for the confusion anon.

      The £700.00 which Judge Arnold commented on is from the original letter GEIL wanted to send out and was on a per infringement basis. Quite rightly he says it is “unsupportable”.

      I have the understanding that GEIL have sent out letters to certain people who have admitted the infringement and are demanding £350.00 per infringement or £700.00 for four infringements.

      I think it is rather cowardly that they replied to those who admit the infringement so quickly with such demands.

      Even the “cut price” infringement demand is unsupportable.

      For any organisation who wishes to tackle piracy in a more legitimate way, GEIL are certainly making their aim more difficult.

  5. Anonymous
    May 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Does anyone know if a Patent County Court would, or has, made a much smaller settlement for infringement? Also. Didn’t the Judge say back in march 2012 that they had to destroy the IP addresses on their CD evidence after 12 months?

  6. Anonymous
    October 25, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I have emailed goldeneye denying any knowledge of this supposed download and would report them for harassment if they continued to hassle me! They re:message was either prove it was not me by giving details of the suspected infringer, or I would be the infringer being the subscriber and they’re sure the court would would find there digital evidence proof in they’re favour so if you admit to being the infringer the settlement will be £700.00 otherwise £350.00 for you to deny the claim. In they’re first letter ive been accused of downloading ‘young harlots private lessons’ 2nd letter they changed it to ‘slam it in hard’ so which on is it they said I was quite welcome to report them as they do not believe they are lol but to cause mental physical emotional harm with intent to extort money from people the last I knew that was harassment with intent to extort correct me if im wrong please!

  7. Anonymous
    November 30, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Everyone these scumbags digging for $$ is a complete joke. Make sure if you RESPOND you get a SIGNED for POST as “GOLDENEYE” have sent me a letter “without stamp” saying they never received my response letter. I can only think it was posted 2nd class. And in return they have sent a letter back without a stamp threatening me that I have not responded…

    is this how these people work. I also like how the letter is not signed by any individual.

    It would be a shame if something happen to the director.

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