Speculative invoicing or “Copyright Trolling” really is the “Turd that will not flush”
Just as Davenport Lyons, ACS:LAW, Tilly Baily Irvine, and Gallant Macmillan, have been roundly ridiculed in the House of Lords, the Media and the High Court, and apart from Gallant Macmillan all been financially punished by the SRA/SDT most of us thought this tawdry practice of sending out letters in the hope of receiving money from people to scared to frightened or not able to afford to defend themselves was well and truly over.
For those who are not aware of this sad saga, please see these links for background.
However, their will always be one arrogant or greedy or indeed both Lawyer and Troll who will chance their arm, and indeed reputation. Step forward Golden Eye International (GEIL), better know as Pornographer Ben Dover, (AKA Simon Lindsay Honey) alongside Barrister extrodianaire (well if his own hype is to be believed) Jonathon Cohen of Littleton Chambers
They were in Court on Friday applying for an order known as an NPO for 9000 names, yep NINE THOUSAND, they want to send demands of £700, to each of these people which will net them a cool £6.3 MILLION
The interesting thing about all this, is that it IS the same sad old scheme “Pay us or else”
Even more amusing, Golden Eye International are using the same “Expert Witness” that ACS:LAW used but considered troublesome in the emails they leaked, Clem Vogler, and if that was not bizarre enough they are using Alireza Torabi of NG3Systems
Alireza Torabi was shown in the leaked emails to have a somewhat troublesome relationship with Andrew Crossley to the point that Crossleys cohort Terence Tsang, consulted and arranged for the monitioring to be done by Guardaley. One would have thought Torabi at least would have learnt his lesson!
Computer Focus are the group who have employed Ralli Barrister Guy Tritton who tore the ACS:LAW/Media C.A.T case to shreds before High Court Justice Birss.
Jonathan Cohen acting for the Pornographer (GEIL) stated that it was not “economically viable for Golden Eye International) to bring a test case”, in other words to show they have a valid case. This should be no surprise as Judge Birss at the ACS:LAW/Media C.A.T hearing stated, that (See her for link)
Whether it was intended to or not, I cannot imagine a system better designed to create disincentives to test the issues in court. Why take cases to court and test the assertions when one can just write more letters and collect payments from a proportion of the recipients?
Media CAT and ACS:Law have a very real interest in avoiding public scrutiny of the cause of action because in parallel to the 26 court cases, a wholesale letter writing campaign is being conducted from which revenues are being generated. This letter writing exercise is founded on the threat of legal proceedings such as the claims before this court.
Judge Birss also made the point In summing up of the ACS:LAW?Media C.A.T case in regard to the Norwich Pharmacal Orders
Wider issues – this kind of Norwich Pharmacal order
111 I cannot 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. In my judgment when a Norwich Pharmacal order is sought of the kind made in this case, it may well be worth considering how to manage the subsequent use of the identities disclosed. Perhaps consideration should be given to making a Group Litigation Order under CPR Part 19 from the outset and providing a mechanism for identifying tests cases at an early stage before a letter writing campaign begins. When Anton Piller (search and seizure) orders are made the practice is for a supervising solicitor who does not act for the claimant to be closely involved in order to ensure that the orders are not abused. The supervising solicitors are experienced practitioners. Perhaps a court asked for a Norwich Pharmacal order of the kind made here should consider requiring some similar form of supervision from a experienced neutral solicitor.
112 A party seeking a Norwich Pharmacal order in a case like this should also give serious consideration to s102 of the 1988 Act. Although s102(3) clearly provides that s102(1) does not affect the granting of interlocutory relief a Norwich Pharmacal order has some elements of final relief about it. After all the Norwich Pharmacal action comes to an end once the order is made. In any case just because the court has power to grant the relief without joining the copyright owner does not mean it must do so.
UPDATE 1: The ISPs involved in this case are o2 and Bethere, essentialy the same company Telefonica. In the past these Lawfirms have only targetted ISPs who have said they will not challenge the order. In other words, if you are a customer of O2 or Bethere, think, wether you want to remain a customer of a company that thinks so little of you that they put the needs of a Pornographer above yours! The could have challenged the order, but DIDN’T
Maybe you should consider Plusnet as your new ISP.