O2/BE There Send More Pre-Warning Letters In Anticipation Of Further Golden Eye International Claims
In a repeat of last Decembers warning letters in anticipation of Golden Eye International Limited (“GEIL”) Letter Of Claim (“LoC”) of copyright infringement on behalf of Ben Dover Productions (“BDP”), O2/BE There have started to send out the same warning letter to their customers in what can only be in anticipation of further LoCs from GEIL on behalf of the other 12 producers.
GEIL successfully gained disclosure of O2/BE There subscriber details (Which was un-opposed by O2) from their Norwich Pharmacal Order (“NPO”) application in March 2012 for BDP, but were unsuccessful with the other 12 producers. They subsequently won their appeal for the 12 producers in December 2012.
The 12 producers (Listed in the NPO Court case) in question are: Celtic Broadcasting Ltd, Easy On The Eye, DMS Telecoms Limited, Gary Baker, Harmony Films Limited, Justin Ribeiro Dos Santos t/a Joybear Pictures, Orchid MG Limited, Kudetta bvba, RP Films Limited, Sweetmeats Productions t/a S.M.P, SLL Films Limited & Terence Stephens t/a One Eyed Jack Productions.
For the new recipients of these imminent LoCs, many will be completely unaware of what is effectively a “phishing” campaign by GEIL. This is because GEIL have only the evidence of a “monitored” IP address and with this they “bought” the subscriber details from O2/BE There. The letter under “Infringing acts” starts:
This letter assumes that you, as the internet account holder at your address, were the user of the relevant computer on the day and time in question
After making such a statement, the letter goes on to say:
In the event that you were not responsible for the infringing acts outlined above because, for example, another member of your household was the user of the computer, you should make full disclosure to us of the other parties at your residence using your internet connection to make the Work available for download
So they assume the subscriber is the infringer then say they may not be responsible, to which they say:
A failure to make such disclosure may lead to a claim being made against you with the court being asked to conclude, on the balance of probabilities, that you were the user of the computer
A completely innocent subscriber who has not committed the infringement, and not authorised anyone else to commit the infringement may receive a follow up letter demanding a disproportionate settlement simply because they respond with details of who also lives at their address.
The subscribers who will receive the latest letters GEIL are sending out can see from the NPO judgement that Judge Arnold said:
Furthermore, it will expose them to receiving letters of claim and may expose them to proceedings for infringement in circumstances where they may not be guilty of infringement, where the subject matter of the claim may cause them embarrassment, where a proper defence to the claim would require specialised legal advice that they may not be able to afford and where they may not consider it cost-effective for them to defend the claim even if they are innocent
This is the Judge who presided over GEILs NPO application, and this Judge knows innocent people will be targeted.
The Judge goes on to say:
What the Claimants ought to do is to proceed in the conventional manner, that is to say, to require the Intended Defendants who do not dispute liability to disclose such information as they are able to provide as to the extent to which they have engaged in P2P filesharing of the relevant Claimants’ copyright works
So from the words of the Judge, those “who do not dispute liability” are “to disclose such information as they are able to provide”. The Judge does not say that those who do dispute liability should disclose such information.
The man who has perpetrated this phishing campaign is Mr Julian Becker who is a director of GEIL along with Ben Dover (a.k.a. Mr Simon Lindsay James Honey). Mr Becker has been known to make rather odd quotes to the Adult Media Press, such as:
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.
Now the words there are totally misleading and could lead a subscriber who is innocent or guilty in to a false sense of assurance. “pursuing those that are uploading not downloading” is completely irrelevant because the nature of BitTorrent software IS downloading and uploading. And as I have found out, GEILs response to those who admitted one infringement is a demand of £350.00 which contradicts his statement of “we are not pursuing those who have simply downloaded one film”.
For those who have received the warning letter from O2/BE There and may receive an LoC from GEIL, what can you do?
As is always the advice:
BE CALM, DO NOT PANIC and DO NOT IGNORE.
The Citizens Advice Bureau (“CAB”) would be one of the first ports of call, they can be contacted on 08454 04 05 06, their website at adviceguide.org.uk or you can attend your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
The Open Rights Group (“ORG”) are there to give guidance and advice also.
The Speculative Invoicing Handbook Second Edition provides valuable information and a recommended read.
Read here for testimonies of those who received letters similar in the past, and realise YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Letters from Copyright Troll collective, Golden Eye International (GEIL) have started to land on the nations doormats, throwing those unaware into a fit of panic. Many bewildered recipients have woken to find a letter stating that they are deemed by GEIL to be responsible for infringing the copyright on some obscure pornography title.
GEIL are operating a Speculative Invoicing/Copyright Troll scheme almost identical to that run by notorious Law Firm ACS:LAW, and recently gained an appeal to add a further twelve, also obscure companies to their “Legal” action.
One of the firms RP Films has already folded, although that didn’t seem to affect their seeming victory in Court.
The man responsible for these letters, Julian Becker, has said a few contrasting things when he has made statements to the press, (Not faceless keyboard warriors, you understand as he has described those who oppose him)
“While personally I dislike this nanny state intervention” a ban wouldn’t have any effect on our revenues as those that pay for our product have already registered their details as well as undertaking an age-verification process. It may even assist combating online piracy, therefore increasing our profits,” – Julian Becker (May 2012)
I have tried to contact him but had nothing in return, (One of his clients informed me he would be prepared to have a face to face on film in front of an audience picked by him and the filming would be produced by one of his fellow pornographers, I of course declined, not least as I have had issues with Golden Eyes previous Lawfirm) I have taken to posting open letters 2 counteracting his “economy with the truth”
I contacted the Adult Industry Trade Association (AITA) who are now headed by one of the Golden Eye clients, Jason Maskell of “Orchid MG”, I sent him an email detailing my concerns with regard to these letters, and he dismissed it out of hand. I have tried to contact a number of the people behind these companies but none seem to care with regard to what I feel are the dangers with pursuing these claims and the sheer lack of evidence that should never be sent to an innocent person.
This Blog has also been the subject of a DMCA Takedown by GEIL “Forensic Expert” Clem Vogler which resulted in WordPress having to remove a photo (but not the content) of Mr Vogler from one of the posts. I did not oppose this takedown as on reflection I believe it improves the appearance of the page immensely.
The letters look the part but they have no substance, they are in effect “phishing” letters. They rely on the recipient to incriminate themselves. They are of course a diluted compromise that was forced on them by the Courts, but the letters still have the potential to scare people into paying up.
So what are those in receipt of one of these letters to do?
Well first thing is
DO NOT PANIC.
DO NOT IGNORE
Consumer Focus have done a great job in educating the Citizens Advice Bureau, and the CAB would be one of the first ports of call, they can be contacted on 08454 04 05 06 or you can attend your local Citizens Advice Bureau
For more on Consumer Focus see here for some invaluable information
Read here, for testimonies of those who received letters similar in the past, realise YOU ARE NOT ALONE
UPDATE 2: A letter received by us seems to show GEIL including the filename of the media they allege has been infringed listed on the ISP Report they have received from O2, this seems a VERY dodgy method of making out that O2 are in agreement with GEIL about the file being copied. This is not true, and unless this is a mistake on GEILs part, seems a very desperate attempt to use O2′s name to lend credibility to what is in essence VERY patchy evidence.
Thanks to Bpaw!
On the 21st of December the Appeals Court found in favour of Golden Eye International (GEIL) and sanctioned what the original Judge had refused saying it “would be tantamount to the court sanctioning the sale of the intended defendants’ privacy and data protection rights to the highest bidder”.
GEIL intend to keep 75% of all monies collected, their Director Julian Becker has now responded to the successful appeal. We think we should respond too!
“I am delighted that the Court of Appeal ruled in favor of Golden Eye, albeit that I am still confused that the initial ruling allowed us to act for Ben Dover but fell short in permitting the right to protect the other producers that I represent”
“The other producers that I represent”? Maybe you should be aware that other Pornography Producers tried this method of “monetizing alternative revenue streams” before, Darker Enterprises, Pure Platinum/Liquid Gold, Mebray, Phoenix, Relish and Load XXX amongst others, and they all fell flat on their faces, when Media C.A.T and ACS:LAW screwed up by taking a case to actual Court where their lack of evidence was exposed , and their methods were derided, and it resulted in their collapse.
“Having now studied the case, I’d like to say that there was more chance of the end of the world occurring on Dec. 21 than Golden Eye losing this appeal.”
So you won an appeal. An appeal that was given by default to other applicants in the past.
Such as the following
01 Feb 2007 – Davenport Lyons – Judge Behrens – Topware Interactive
22 Nov 2007 – Davenport Lyons – Chief Master Winegarten – Reality Pump
30 May 2008 – Davenport Lyons – Chief Master Winegarten – Atari
30 Jun 2008 – Davenport Lyons – Chief Master Winegarten – Digiprotect
12 Nov 2008 – Davenport Lyons – Chief Master Winegarten – Digiprotect?
19 Nov 2009 – ACS:Law – Chief Master Winegarten – MediaCAT
19 Nov 2009 – ACS:Law – Chief Master Winegarten – Digiprotect
27 Jan 2010 – Tilly Bailey Irvine – Justice Warren – Media & More GMBH
17 Feb 2010 – ACS:Law – Chief Master Winegarten – MediaCAT
07 Jul 2010 – ACS:Law – Chief Master Winegarten – MediaCAT
“I believe there is always going to be a bias against this genre of film production”
Well no, that is a “non sequitur”, whatever problems that this “genre of film production” has had in the past, has absolutely nothing to do with the material you produce, but the actions you take. When other industries, (games 2 , music 2 etc) took the same actions, they too were derided in the same manner. They had the sense to bail out. It is actions like what you are doing, resurrecting a hated and hurtful legal action that is known to target to many innocent people in its dragnet is what is likely to drag your industry through the mud again.
“So although in legal terms we are actually no further forward than in 2010”
Erm, NO. You are further back than you were in 2010. You have been neutered in Court.
You called the account owner an infringer, the Court said NO!
You wanted a default £700 per letter, the Court said NO!
You wanted the account owners internet to be slowed down, The Court said NO.
You wanted to confuse with reference to the Code of Practice, The court said NO
You wanted to give the recipient only 14 days, the Court made it 28 days
The previous Law firm that represented you, halted their action in 2010, and you then attempted to pursue alleged infringers through the “Money Claim Online system” , when it seems you come up against Judge Birss, the Judge who presided over the ACS:LAW/Media C.A,T cases. You deemed your actions inappropriate and that is what has led us to this ruling.
“Golden Eye has now been successful after the most severe of legal scrutiny, combined with bias and manipulation from some areas of the press and mistruths and lies from faceless keyboard warriors in several Internet forums.”
I would question in light of the restrictions placed on you by the Court how successful you have been, but yes you have been successful in obtaining an NPO in light of what I believed the agreement the ISPs had after the ACS:LAW debacle, in at least challenging these orders. You were greatly helped by O2 NOT challenging you. If they had I don’t think you would have been granted the order.
Your only defence of criticism is to say your critics, be it the press or “faceless keyboard warriors”, are biased or spread “mistruths and lies”. My comment on this is simple. You would say that, wouldn’t you? Is it a shame you use “sound bites” rather than provide actual evidence. This Blog has detailed the number of contradictions you have spoken to different organisations. What are the “lies and Mistruths” that I have spread?
“In some respects Golden Eye finds itself back where it was two years ago, having correctly followed legal procedure after submitting technical evidence that has been accepted by the courts that there is an arguable case that Ben Dover and other rights holders content that we represent has been infringed by Internet users on file sharing networks and obtaining the names and addresses of these alleged infringers,” said Becker, calling Friday’s ruling a “positive judgment [that] is very much a bitter sweet, moment.”
May I provide a quote from your statement in the original Court case (15):
“Originally, the only evidence filed in support of the claim was Mr Becker’s first witness statement. In paragraphs 1-3, headed “Introduction”, he explained that the Claimants sought disclosure by O2 of the names and addresses of the subscribers associated with the IP addresses shown in the CD-ROM attached as Exhibit 1, that the Claimants believed that those IP addresses had been used by the subscribers to make available copyright material for P2P copying and that O2 did not oppose the making of an order in the terms set out in Exhibit 2.”
Hmmm…..“the Claimants believed that those IP addresses had been used by the subscribers to make available copyright material for P2P copying”. Now you say alleged infringer. This is plainly wrong, the subscriber as the Court has said is not necessarily the Infringer, alleged or not.
”Two years ago these cases were merely procedural and heard on paper without any formal hearings. This judgment has been debated by leading barristers, funded by government organizations and presided over by some of the most eminent judges in the U.K.”
Two years ago, we didn’t have a case that actually went to Court. ACS LAW tried to take people to Court for a default, but screwed up when those people said they would contest. This had a clued up Judge who completely tore apart the “evidence”. Your latest attempt at obtaining an NPO has been scrutinised because of this. This statement from you is showing that what you took for granted two years ago is now not so straight forward. And remember , the only reason this was debated at all was that O2 acquiesced rather than saying “No”.
This was an NPO hearing, that is all, yes you have gained the rights to exploit other Producers work, however as Rt Hon Judge Birss stated in his Court case with ACS:LAW/Media C.A.T who represented many Porn Producers)
“Media CAT don’t know who did it and know that they don’t know who did it,” said Birss.
Birss said Winegarten granted the (NPO) order based on the facts put before him, adding that the chief master did not have to decide whether Media CAT would succeed in its claims.
“I can’t imagine that the court making the Norwich Pharmacal orders in this case did so with a view to setting in train an exercise that was to be conducted in the manner that has subsequently emerged,” Birss said at the time.
Nothing has changed, it is the same. I will believe you are different when you actively take a contested claim to Court, I for one do not believe you ever will.
With news reaching us that the “Golden Eye International” launch of their Speculative Invoicing(Copyright Trolling) action is due to start in the New Year, we wanted to bring this latest tome to your attention. This quality guide was written by those fine folks at Being Threatened, in response to the number of innocent people targeted by previous companies, involved with these actions.
Download the PDF file here
Comments are always welcome.
We at ACS:BORE are not affiliated with the production of this book, although we endorse it as the best information to read with regard to receiving a letter from one of these companies. For further reading on this please see the excellent Torrent Freak post
My apologies, as pointed out I wrongfully referred to “Golden Eye International” as “Golden Eye Interactive”, my apologies, it was an inadvertent mistake made in a moment of acute clarity of mind that a shell company based on an industrial estate in the UK with only two employees, and who operate only within the UK is NOT really an international company, my apologies again:-)
Lindsay Honey – Ben Dover Productions
Lindsay Honey is the self serving, self styled, “Biggest Porn star in the UK”, served jail time for “publishing obscene material for gain” and “being in possession of obscene material”. Wants to be considered a “Serious actor”, but comes across as a desperate almost “Big Brother” style attention seeking Z-Lister. Released a Football song for the 2010 World Cup Finals, (yes really), tried his hand at Stand up as well!! and has stated in interviews that he needs to get money from people who will not buy his Pornography.
Of course most people who have grown too old for their profession would gain employment in another field, or retire. Honey has obviously tried and failed as an actor, and a singer, oh and a Stand-up Comic, so must rely on a “Speculative Invoicing” scheme to gain extra money.
Maybe we can use Honeys own words in this April 2011 interview http://www.cherwell.org/lifestyle/interviews/2011/03/09/how-about-you-ben-dover- where he actually tells the real story why there is no money in his profession.
“The internet is the main poison that’s now rapidly killing off the industry. Back in 1986 you could sell a 3-hour VHS porn tape for about £65.00, which would be about £150.00 in today’s money. Now you can get anything you want at the click of a mouse. For free.”
This interview was after Golden Eye Internationals first round of “Speculative Invoicing” letters, and there is no mention of his new career of being a “Copyright Troll”. In fact, another statement he makes in the interview is more close to the truth.
“It’s strange but you could make a great movie with the best looking porn stars in the world, and you’ll probably make a very small profit over several years.”
And yet he goes on to say,
“‘My critics do affect me badly. Sometimes so badly that I have to leave my 6 bedroom mansion in a gated executive park in Surrey, get in my Ferrari and drive to the airport to fly out to my luxury villa in Spain and take a long leisurely swim in my beautiful blue sparkling pool overlooking the Jalon valley!’”
One wonders why, given that he is always bragging about how wealthy he is in interviews,
maybe his recent split from his Wife has something to do with it.
In the interview, it can be seen his sheer opportunism in relation to using other peoples success, “But because of his(teenage Sons acting) career, I’m now in touch with people like Ricky Gervais, Andy Hamilton, people like that….You know, Armstrong & Miller, Rob Brydon, people like that. I’m trying to think of anything that I can do…I’m trying to build up an audience on YouTube then sell it to Channel 5 or let Ricky Gervais..”Hmm good luck with that!
For a view of what other people think of Mr Dover see below
Julian Becker Optime Strategies/Golden eye International
Address of Optime Strategies – Suite 10 Halton Close, Barnet, N11 3HQ
Becker is Director of both Optime Strategies AND Golden Eye International.
Head of Sales at Andromeda Telecoms Ltd
Becker has been Director of THREE other companies all of which are now dissolved
Julian seems to be the perfect statesman. The media savvy guy who is always able to provide the right quote.
One such quote from him in this link from computer active dated May 2012 regarding the Governments proposal for automatic porn filters, he states.
“While personally I dislike this nanny state intervention, a ban wouldn’t have any effect on our revenues as those that pay for our product have already registered their details as well as undertaking an age-verification process. It may even assist combating online piracy, therefore increasing our profits,”
Whilst in September 2012 in this link he says.
More from Becker can be seen here….
Alireza Torabi – NG3 Systems
Torabi is the person behind the controversial tracking software used by ACS:LAW, it is now being used by Golden Eye International, despite it never being scrutinised in a court of law. According to ACS:LAW email leaks there were about 30% of the so called “Alleged infringers” IP addresses that simply did not exist according to the ISPs
In the ACS:Law leaked emails, Torabi was going to be replaced by Guardaley GmbH. You can understand why with just one example of a comment from Adam Glen to Andrew Crossley dated August 2010.
“The recent indication by Ali that he is willing to change his position regarding what protocol/client was used by an infringer causes me alarm.”
Bear in mind that Torabi was described by both ACS:LAW and now Golden Eye Inernational as their “Forensic Expert” How forensic can you be if you are willing to change the very evidence required to fit the accusation?
Torabi runs a number of different “Businesses” online, one of which is XYPY, and rather strangely for someone who seems to make money by selling IP addresses to Copyright Trolls, it is a VPN service, even stranger than that, after a few enquiries from some intrepid Slyckers, the English page was removed and replaced with a Persian language one… Hmmm
VPNs are commonly used to hide the true identity of an internet user, there does seem to be somewhat of a conflict, between a person who on one hand sells Peoples IPs and on the other hand seemingly helps hide them.
The IP addresses of his businesses are all the same
http://www.xypy.net – 18.104.22.168
http://www.aleriza.me – 22.214.171.124
http://www.cyberdealer.co.uk – 126.96.36.199
http://www.ng3systems.com – 188.8.131.52
For how the old XYPY looked see here. http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=fa&u=http://www.xypy.net/&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dxypy.net%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26biw%3D1201%26bih%3D919%26prmd%3Dimvns&sa=X&ei=vPkmUOu8N4rD0QXiv4CoCg&ved=0CEkQ7gEwAA
Torabi was Director of one other company that has been dissolved.
Big thanks to Bpaw
This page will be update, as and when! Please comment
O2 send Pre Warning letters to customers (whose data they have “sold” to Golden Eye International) UPDATE 3
It has emerged today that O2 and BeThere, have sent out letters of warning to their Customers in light of the Norwich Pharmacal (NPO) they failed to defend against Pornographers Golden Eye International/Ben Dover Productions (GEIL/BDP).
The letter is quite generic, but interestingly does point the recipient to the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). This is actually significant, as Consumer Focus (who intervened on behalf of O2 customers at the Court Case when O2 acquiesced to GEIL/BDP) won a good victory in ensuring that the CAB would be informed and would have all the relevant information ready for anyone who contacted them when they received a letter.
The fact that O2 and BeThere have included this in their warning letters, must come as a blow to GEIL/BDP as this will give an effective “heads up” for those receiving the letters that they will send. In the past campaigns of Davenport Lyons and ACS:LAW and also Tilly Baily Irvine and Gallant Macmillan, the ISP was forbidden to contact their customers in advance, this seems like a real oversight by GEIL/BDP and could cost them dear.
The Speculative Invoicing model that GEIL/BDP are pursuing relies on people being uninformed and paying up out of fear of Court action, that fear in the past has been fuelled by the previous law firms involved insinuating that an alleged infringer had a choice of paying between £500 and £700, OR face Court action that they could not possibly win, with the threat of thousands of pounds in court costs being awarded against them. One can easily see the stark choice and why so many even innocent people paid up. The evidence against them however was nothing like what they had been told.
Davenport Lyons, ACS:LAW, Tilly Baily Irvine and Gallant Macmillan, were all punished to a lesser or greater extent by their regulatory body the Solicitors Regulation Authority. GEIL/BDP are not bound by this although their solicitor Mark Wagner of Wagner and Co is.
Around December the 10th GEIL/BDP will be back in court to try to appeal against the ruling that they can only claim copyright for their own films, another ten producers are waiting to join the action. As things stand around just under 3000 letters will be sent out soon by GEIL/BDP, however if they win their appeal a further 6000 could be sent. As can be seen in the NPO O2 are charging £2.20 per ip address.
Open Rights Group (ORG) is taking over the appeal role from Consumer Focus, they are seeking support from those outraged by this continuing practice. Contact them here. (I am NOT affiliated with the Open Rights Group in any way, but do agree with the support they give and the reasons they are doing it)
The NPO is here.
UPDATE 2: It is being reported that out of the 2800 IPs that Golden Eye applied for from O2, O2 are saying they have been able to match less than 1000, this is a VERY POOR return by any measure and really undermines the confidence in their Monitoring System.
Open Rights Group (ORG) have stepped into the fracas of the Golden Eye International Court Case, that is threatening to bring more misery to innocent people in the UK. They have taken over from Consumer Focus and need some funding to continue to oppose the case, that the Pornographers have brought against thousands of O2 Customers.
For all those caught up in the Davenport Lyons/Acs:Law/Tilly Baily Irvine/Gallant Macmillan cases will now, there was NO talking to these people, it was a case of PAY UP OR ELSE.
Although Golden Eye International have been somewhat neutered by the High Court, they still use the SAME Software Monitor, that was shown to be corrupt and also the same “Expert Witness” that even ACS:LAW said was “Problematic”
To read what Open Rights want to do and to donate to their cause, please see here. http://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2012/org-goldeneye-intervene
In an amazing example of what can only be described as “Shameless Audacity” Golden Eye International are attempting the same thing.
GEILs Head Julian Becker who trades under the Optime Strategies moniker and whose business interests seem to cover a Security role at a London Synagogue and it is also the Parent company of Ben Dover Productions, has taken the Open Rights Group appeal for money as an insult.
“It would appear once again we have a difference of opinion on what constitutes a consumer — mine being someone who purchases goods or services theirs being someone who just takes them,” Becker told XBIZ. “I’d like to think I have a decent grasp of the English language and my term to describe such a person would be thief rather than consumer.”
Once again as is shown Becker is saying that anyone caught by his Software Monitor, is guilty of theft, now we already know that file sharing copyrighted material is “Copyright Infringement” NOT THEFT, however, Becker goes on
“They are appealing for funding for their court costs, which having checked our bank balance recently has given me the idea to do the same,” he said. “The perception of pornographers outside the industry may well be filthy rich; however as anyone with an ability for rational thinking will appreciate any business who’s core product has been decimated by piracy is experiencing a massive downturn in turnover and profitability.”
Considering the material that Ben Dover Productions produce I would imagine the fanbase is dying off due to lack of quality material rather than “Copyright Infringement”, it is very easy to say that it is because it is being copied and not brought, but I see it rather that even if it WAS being copied, those who copied it would never have bought it in the first place. I am NOT defending the downloading of copyright material here either, I just wonder if Golden Eye actually pay a license fee for ripping off other peoples titles, (XXX Factor complete with similar logo)
Regarding the “Outside perception of pornographers being “Filthy Rich””, I wonder if they might get that impression from Mr Beckers partner Mr Honey, AKA “Ben Dover” seen here in a BBC Interview. And here in a magazine article “I still have a very nice lifestyle. When I say I’m skint, people say, “No, you’re not skint mate, it’s just now you’ve only got three cars instead of five.” So I wonder where these perceptions from people “outside the industry” come from? Note in the BBC interview there was NO talk about file sharing stealing business.
“Therefore any financial support, however small, that can be given will help the cause massively. If you can’t give then supportive messages also are appreciated if not lost in the deluge of personal abuse and threats from the faceless keyboard warriors.”
I wonder what he means? A man whose partner is a multi-millionaire is asking people of lesser means to contribute to a case of his own making, and that is RIGHT?
Whereby a Consumer group that KNOWS what happened with previous Legal actions, that were declared as “Legal Blackmail” in the “House of Lords”, wants to raise money from those people affected BY those legal practices, and that is WRONG?
I think I have a pretty good grasp of the English language to, and I wouldn’t like to say what I think about people like this, Pornographers attempting to squeeze the last pennies out of a dying beast, oh I better stop, I may being giving them a new film idea!
Golden Eye Interactive are due back in Court in December, to attempt to get 7000+names that they were declined at an earlier hearing.
I would urge anyone who feels the need to defend innocent people to contribute to the Open Rights appeal, at least that way there can be justice, Golden Eye are not interested in the justice, merely money to fill their coffers. £5000, is nothing to these people it is EVERYTHING to Open Rights Group (ORG)
Source for the quotes: http://newswire.xbiz.com/view.php?id=156690
In a damning briefing Consumer Focus the Consumer Watchdog who represented O2 Customers accused of copyright infringement by Pornographers Golden Eye International/Ben Dover Productions(GEIL/BDP), have lashed the ISP as irresponsible towards those very customers.
The briefing is advice to ISPs who are targeted by “Copyright Trolls”, and how to balance the need for redress to those who believe their work has truly been infringed and the privacy of those they accuse. It is well worth reading, and can be found here.
After the past debacles involving the law firms, Davenport Lyons, ACS:LAW, Tilly Bailey Irvine ended in fines, suspensions and regulatory settlement agreements, most people thought the “Speculative Invoicing” schemes, or the “Pay up or else” letters were a thing of the past. With GEIL/BDP launching their attempt at an “Alternate revenue scheme” for their failing business, O2 should have stood in their way. They didn’t.
Not only did O2 show complete disdain by capitulating to the pornographers at the expense of their customers, Consumer Focus highlights even more disgraceful behaviour on O2s part.
The High Court found the draft order and the draft letters to O2 customers which Golden Eye submitted as part of its application, and which O2 chose not to challenge, objectionable in a number of ways.
It is not feasible for a consumer watchdog to intervene in every single NorwichPharmacal order application, however we expect ISPs and online hosts to take responsibility for protecting their customers‟ rights. The draft order and draft letter before action proposed by Golden Eye were plainly problematic, yet O2 essentially only intervened to ensure that Golden Eye pays for the cost to O2 of matching the IP addresses with its customers‟ personal data.
O2‟s refusal to ensure that its customers‟ rights are respected appears particularly odd in the light of the fact that Telefónica de España acted to defend its customers‟ data protection rights in Productores de Musica v Telefonica, which related to an application for a disclosure order.
Particularly odd indeed, one wonders why O2 capitulated to Pornographers when they didn’t to the Music Producers. So why didn’t O2 protect it’s customers against predatory businesses like GEIL/BDP?
Why did they ignore the obvious problems with GEIL/BDPs approach?
Why did they not even turn up for the hearing?
Why did they only insist on their OWN protection and not of that of their customers?
Why indeed have they hung so many of their customers out to dry and left them vulnerable to a failing Pornography business desperate for cash?
Maybe because it is easy to take their customers for granted, maybe they feel they are so stupid they will stay with them rather than move ISP, one thing is for sure, when their customers start receiving GEIL/BDP letters maybe they will realise to late when their reputation suffers as it surely will.
O2 CANNOT simply use the tired excuse of “We have to abide by the rulings of a UK Court”, THAT is NOT what happened here, O2 simply looked out for their OWN interests and betrayed their duty of care to their customers.
This is a response to an interview given by Ben Dover Commercial Director Julian Becker in regard to the O2 sellout of it’s customers. We felt it warranted a response, to correct some of the “mistruths” that occurred in the interview.. (See Bottom of post for original source)
The author, Julian Becker, is Ben Dover Productions’ commercial director. A London jurist decided this week on a key porn BitTorrent ruling in favour of the studio and affiliated company Golden Eye International. The companies can proceed in obtaining IP addresses involving more than 9,000 O2 customers who are alleged to have downloaded Ben Dover movies.
Well actually the Judge ruled that only Ben Dover Productions can pursue this action the other claimants were struck out and told they had to apply themselves. Indeed although you say this is NOT about the money, you were quite willing to take up to 75% of the revenues raised from the other claimants, (The Judges Words not mine) But hey lets not let the truth get in the way.. (2)
My parents, always encouraged me to become a solicitor or an accountant, so I found it most bizarre and ironic that one of the many false accusations that has been directed towards us is that we are a reinvention of ACS Law. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to raise a smile in court when our barrister produced a pair of Ben Dover boxer shorts as evidence.
It is neither bizarre or ironic for those of us who realize you ARE a reinvention of the “Speculative Invoicing” scheme that was licensed from Davenport Lyons by ACS:LAW, and who collaborated with Tilly Bailey & Irvine, who represented, now who was it? Ahh yes your Company Mr Becker, Golden Eye International. (2) And no, when your barrister produced the underwear most of us saw through this cheap pathetic stunt.
The Hon. Justice Arnold accepted that “there is nothing particularly unusual, let alone objectionable, about the Ben Dover agreement. The mere fact that the copyright works are pornographic films is no reason to refuse the grant of relief, since there is no suggestion that they are obscene or otherwise unlawful. Golden Eye and Ben Dover Productions have a good arguable case that many of the relevant intended defendants have infringed their copyrights. I am satisfied that they do intend to seek redress for those wrongs and that disclosure is necessary to enable them to do so. In these circumstances, I conclude that the claimants’ interests in enforcing their copyrights outweigh the Intended defendants’ interest in protecting their privacy and data protection rights, and thus it is proportionate to order disclosure.”
Well there isn’t anything wrong with it, not all, unless you don’t realize the history of “Speculative Invoicing”, then there is everything wrong with it, but nothing a Judge can do with an organization who presents one argument with the idea of using the information for something else. If you are persuing people who have infringed your copyright, no one would argue, however you are using a flawed system, a system that has already been shown in court as flawed.
I hope this will finally disprove those rumors that associate us with Andrew Crossley, although my mother was disappointed it has been proved that I am indeed a pornographer not a solicitor.
LMAO, well not really, we KNOW you and Andrew Crossley were friends, and I am sure that your Mother is very proud of you, as I am sure the Rabbi of the Synagogue that you provided security to, will be as well.
Its positive that the court acknowledges that we have the right to take this action and protect our content. This action has been inspired by our core business being decimated by piracy and we are pursuing several projects in combating both the Internet sites that facilitate online piracy as well as the end violators and the physical DVD pirates. Our clothing, merchandise and events business was initiated very much in response to our core film business being so negatively impacted by different forms of piracy. Due to the nature of the way most consumers view adult content, the adult business has been affected far worse than mainstream film due to the fact that the pirates cannot replicate the cinematic experience of mainstream movies.
It may be the fact that your films are not watched as from what I understand they feature a disturbing and ageing man, who seduces younger woman in some bizarre amateurish nonsense. Who the hell wants to see a poor Keith Harris lookalike doing porn films… I mean seriously.
The court also accepts that this form of piracy does result in a commercial loss for our business and that we have the right to pursue compensation, I understand it is difficult to quantify how much this loss is due to the nature of how file sharing networks operate. I may not have in depth technical knowledge of the workings of these websites, however my limited knowledge appears somewhat more in depth than Guy Tritton, the Consumer Focus barrister, who calculated that if every violator shared content with every other violator then Golden Eye’s loss would be 9,000 x £10, totaling £90,000.
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.
I am amazed your films sell for more than £10, maybe that is down to you and your poor business model. ACS:LAW who of course you know showed in their leaked emails that it might be hard to prove damages beyond a SINGLE copy. The uploading argument is a misnomer, as you know torrent clients HAVE to upload as well as download, that is straight from Crossleys business model.
I’m still at a loss to understand why consumer groups are so opposed to a company that is merely seeking to protect its core business from individuals who are stealing and distributing its products. The definition of consumers are those that purchase goods or services, the individuals who are infringing our copyright are not paying for our product but are stealing it, I do not understand how they can be described as consumers. My belief is that our actions are actually in the interests of the true consumers as if piracy carries on at the level we are witnessing today, many creative organizations will cease to be commercially able to fund new content, limiting future consumer choice.
Once again straight from Crossleys mantra. Blah blah blah. Crossley had issues with Which? And other less well know consumer groups, who realized he was targeting innocent people. When Davenport Lyons and ACS:LAW were investigated by the SDT they were shown to be knowingly targeting innocent people. You are using the same system, why do you think we will trust you to get different results? The definition of insanity in fact!
As regards Richard Clayton’s evidence that the software we use is capable of identifying the correct IP Address but this is not the case every time, I have to listen to my technical advisors who assure me that in the vast majority of the time, the software will identify the correct IP address that has infringed our copyright. The fact that the order was granted implies to me that the judge shared our opinion on this.
It does not imply anything, Alireza Torabis system was not tested and Mr Vogler merely supplied a report that it could work. Hardly scientific, and this is what will be your undoing as it was for the previous exploiters of the scheme. It was certainly one of the undermining factors in the ACS:LAW case.
It is true that we license the same software that ACS used. I was one of the biggest critics of their operation and spoke several times at adult forums and privately to several other companies in our industry of my concerns. The reservations I had were nothing to do with the software that they licensed but everything to do with the references and information I obtained from those that had previously conducted business with both ACS and MediaCat. As well as operating in the adult industry I also work in telecommunications so was able to speak directly to several people who were able to divulge information regarding Lee Bowden and Andrew Crossley.
There is NO EVIDENCE that you criticized ACS:LAW at all, although there is evidence you had a friendly working relationship with him AND encouraged him, (as shown above, even warning him of a letter leaked online, this showed you had support for him), If you had information regarding Andrew Crossley and Lee Bowden, why did you not put it into words and contact the SRA/SDT? No this is a lie until proven otherwise.
The fact you have NO reservations regarding a piece of software which is quite obviously flawed as shown in the leaked ACS:LAW emails, shows again a breathtaking level of either ignorance or arrogance.
I’ve lived in Holland and travelled extensively and I’ve found that attitudes towards pornography in the U.K. can best be summarized by calling them hypocritical. I was told a stat recently that 80 percent of U.K. computers contained porn history, my biggest surprise was that 20 percent didn’t. So often I speak to people about Ben Dover who appear vague as if they have never heard of the company and minutes later are divulging their in depth knowledge of our brand. This very English attitude towards pornography could potentially be used to shame people into paying compensation; however I believe people should be far more embarrassed by the fact they have committed a theft rather than what has been stolen.
I for one had NEVER heard of “Ben Dover” until you started trawling for copyright Infringement through “Tilly Bailey & Irvine”, you might THINK you are big and well known, but deep down you know that is simply not true. You repeat the often repeated lie as well that “Copyright Infringement is theft” this is NOT true, it is just “Copyright Infringment”, to say it is theft is like saying a “Taking a photo of someone is the same as kidnapping them”.
Oh and one more thing, you lived in Holland AND worked in the telecommunications industry… Hmmm would that be http://www.hilftelecom.nl/ (Donation by Ofer Hilf and team at Hilf Telecom on 27/04/11)) who donated money to you on your http://www.justgiving.com/Julian-Becker page?
Our initial letters in summary gave details of the infringements the software had detected, giving specific dates and times in addition to film titles. The letters then gave the recipient our legal position and encouraged them to contact us so that we could make an informed judgement on whether we would be pursuing the case through the courts or ceasing action. It also gave the recipient the option to admit the offence, financially settle the matter as well as committing to not re commit the offence.
The letters were designed to encourage communication with the recipient and then we could take an informed decision on next action if any. There were several cases after speaking or email correspondence where it was decided that no further action would be taken. In fact we had several instances where the recipient of the letters was grateful for the information we provided them with.
Yes mmmm uh huh, sure you did, and you have evidence of this? Or do we just rely on the word of someone who at best is rather “Charitable with the truth”
I don’t understand how our letter could be described as “objectionable” as it merely highlighted and asked for more information regarding evidence of an infringement of our copyright that there is no dispute that our company owns. You can argue that our content is objectionable however there is no dispute that it is legal, it belongs to us, our revenues have been decimated because of its theft and that it has been accepted by one of the most senior Judges in the country that we have every right to protect our product.
Not theft, “Copyright Infringement”, again big difference, however I think it more likely your sales have been affected as like Lee Bowden realized, OLD PEOPLE DOING SEX DOES NOT SALE, especially when they look like poor Keith Harris.
The comments attributed that included the term “objectionable” were referring to HHJ Birss QC and his description of the ACS letters. It did state however that our letters “included some (though not all)” of these features. As we stated to the court we are prepared to listen to instruction on amendments to these letters.
Yes well you have to don’t you. Your letters will be toned down, scare some people into paying you, but it will all ultimately fail and you will have destroyed what little reputation you had to begin with.
On the subject that our content is objectionable I would argue that far more people in this country would recognise my partner Lindsay Honey (aka Ben Dover) than Calvin Klein, it’s always surprised me Mr Klein sells more boxer shorts than us. The point I’m making is that regardless of peoples perceived outrage of our content, a large percentage of the population are aware and view pornography on a regular basis, giving the outward appearance of shock and revoltion. Golden Eye is not a company in pornography that has targeted consumers in order to shame them into paying silence money, it operates and always has done in an industry that is hugely popular and is targeted by violators of copyright, in effect thieves, who believe that paying for our product is somehow morally wrong and/or do not perceive stealing it is a crime.
Once again, (you are rather good at perpetuating the idea of telling a lie long enough people will believe you), you state that this is about people stealing, it is COPYRIGHT INFINGEMENT, did Tilly Bailey & Irvine teach you NOTHING?
It is simple to realize why your Boss is not so well know as you think, the ONLY people who would recognise Ben Dover (Lindsay Honey aka Steve Perry) is those who mistook him for someone else and wondered where Orville was. Of course I suppose they do both make money putting their hands up a birds bottom (oh ok sorry, that was poor)
One gentlemen I spoke to apologized for stealing our films and explained to me that he had no issues in paying for our films on the Internet, but had used a file sharing site in order to avoid his wife catching him buying porn with his credit card. This attitude of better to steal porn than get caught buying it is depressingly common in the U.K.
*Sigh* really, steal? Again, come on this is getting silly now, who was this person? Where is the evidence? Of course it DOES expose your business plan for what it is, if as you say, and lets go with that for a moment, is so embarrassed he has to COPY your film, rather than pay for it, then sending letters out to people demanding hundreds of pounds or the chance of going to court to defend themselves, ahh I see how embarrassed would they be then? Why they would far more likely pay up wouldn’t they? I mean even an innocent person would pay up for fear of being accused of watching some of the porn you produce.
As explained previously we are only pursuing those that upload, not just download, so we would never be interested in an individual that was merely just downloading. The letter asks for more information, including whether anyone other than the account holder has been given access to password protected routers. In several cases after liaising with the account holder we were able to identify the violator and cease any action against the original recipient.
Another Andrew Crossley gem, only the uploaders, not the ones who download… Well as you are well aware, you accuse people using Ali Torabis, software of using ONLY clients that can download while uploading. If I am right in thinking Torabi actually accused some people of using a Torrent client that hadn’t even been released at that time, see that is when we realized it was all a scam.
The question of if the violator was a minor would we pursue is an interesting one, not being a solicitor I am unsure of the legal position, however from a moral perspective I believe that the responsible adult has a duty of care to control the usage of a minor when using the Internet. We had more than one case where parents discovered that their children had been infringing our copyright on file sharing networks and were grateful that we had brought this to their attention.
Another Andrew Crossley gem, wow you are really racking these up, and you say you wanted to distance yourself from your friend? There may well be an argument for parents watching their kids online, however that shouldn’t come as a false accusation which is far more likely considering the software monitor you are using. And I am sure the parents were really grateful you had bought it to their attention. Hmmm
Our letters had stated a settlement fee of £700, that for reasons I explained previously I strongly believe can be justified and were decided upon by legal counsel to our previous solicitors Tilley Bailey & Irvine. I need to have the ruling explained to me by a solicitor in the first instance before deciding on what figure we will now be seeking from those who do not wish for the matter to be pursued and are willing to commit to not re offend.
In summary I am very happy with The Hon. Justice Arnold findings and look forward to the day when we once again sell more copies of “Strictly Cum Drinking than Boxer Shorts.”
Ahh now that is not theft of part of a name of a popular BBC programme is it? How non hypocritical of you.
The interview was taken from the http://newswire.xbiz.com/view.php?id=146471 website, it is replicated here with a response from us.
Telefonica Spanish owner of O2, were approached by Golden Eye International with a request to disclose 9124 (NINE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FOUR) of its customers details. “Golden Eye International” (GEIL) is a trading name for “Ben Dover”, the Pornographers.
It is astonishing to think that this request came on the 20th September 2011, a FULL year after the ACS:LAW debacle unravelled. At a time when all other ISPs have stated they would not work with the “Speculative Invoicing” scheme, O2 alone has bucked the trend.
They did NOT fight for their customers, rather they SOLD them out
5: On 7 October 2011 Baker & McKenzie filed an acknowledgement of service on behalf of O2 stating that O2 did not intend to contest the claim.
6: On 18 November 2011 the parties were given notice of a disposal hearing before Chief Master Winegarten on 6 December 2011. On 28 November 2011 Baker & McKenzie wrote to the Chief Master to confirm that O2 did not oppose the making of an order in the terms submitted by Golden Eye, and therefore did not intend to attend the hearing. At the hearing on 6 December 2011 Mr Becker attended on behalf of the Claimants. The Chief Master raised a number of questions about the proposed order, which he asked Mr Becker to relay to Baker & McKenzie. Mr Becker duly did so, and on 14 December 2011 Baker & McKenzie wrote to the Chief Master answering his questions. In the letter Baker & McKenzie stated that, prior to issuing the Claim Form, Golden Eye had provided O2 with a draft of the proposed order and that Baker & McKenzie had made amendments to the draft. A number of amendments were identified and explained. The letter reiterated that O2 did not oppose the making of an order in that form. Having considered the letter, the Chief Master decided to refer the claim to a judge.
120: In consider the proportionality of the order sought, it seems to me that it is important to have regard to the precise terms of that order. The terms of the draft order having been negotiated between Golden Eye and Baker & McKenzie, it is in a form that O2 is content with. Thus it may be regarded as proportionate as between the Claimants and O2
32:1: 4(b) Within 7 days of the date of this Order, the First Applicant, on behalf of all the Applicants, shall pay into an escrow account to be held by the Respondent’s solicitors, Baker & McKenzie LLP, (the ‘Escrow Account’) a sum equal to £2.20 per IP address requested within the initial Batch together with £2500 costs to be held as security for the costs specified in paragraph 5 below.
They COULD have contested it, but CHOSE not to.
If YOU are a subscriber of O2, I think maybe you should consider moving to an ISP who values you as a customer more than the needs of a Pornographer who after all is merely following the example of ACS:LAW. Golden Eye International after all were first represented by Tilly Baily Irvine. It was only when TBI reacted to the negative publicity including being named in the House of Lords that they withdrew and GEIL continued.
Their will be another hearing after Easter regarding the GEIL hearing and how the letters will be composed, one thing is for sure GEIL did NOT get what they wanted.
This is not a new direction more an attempted refinement of the scheme that Davenport Lyons, ACS:LAW, Tilly Baily Irvine and Gallant Macmillan/Ministry of Sound have attempted and failed. It should be treated with the same contempt.
The contempt indeed that O2 have shown it’s customers.
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