It is regrettable for me to begin this post with news of a new wave of speculative invoicing from another load of copyright trolls, or in this case an established copyright troll masquerading as someone else.
The evolution of speculative invoicing has proven time and time again (And very much what has been posted on this blog) that those who make such “claims” of “copyright infringement” are only in the game to scare people out of money.
This new threat comes from copyright trolls well versed in speculative invoicing from other countries, and with the help from fellow friends here in the United Kingdom, they are bringing their threat to these shores.
So who are these copyright trolls?
MICM vs Virgin Media
MICM are Mircom International Content Management & Consulting Limited whose given address is based in Cryprus, who have a pedigree in speculative invoicing in other countries.
MICM are another so called “Copyright Protection Services” outfit who claim to represent Sunlust Pictures (USA), Combat Zone Corporation (USA) and Pink Bonnet – Consultores de Imagem LDA (Portugal).
Whereas MICM are as much like Goldeneye International Limited (GEIL) in their setup, they have hired the services of Lawyer outfit Wagner & Co who have been used by GEIL previously. This could be that MICM being based in Cyprus.
MICM have previously endeavoured to use Lawyers in Germany in the past to conduct their speculative invoicing campaign, which coincidentally have GEIL! In fact, both GEIL & MICM are listed as being represented by Negele Zimmel Greuter Beller (“NZGB”) in this German translated link. Fruther proof of GEIL using NZGB can be seen here and here.
It seems that MICM are well versed, or being associated with operating scams in Germany. Whether this was a genuine attempt by MICM to gain money by deceptive means or an attempt by somebody using the MICM name, one thing is for sure and that is MICM is associated with scams. To simply put it, a scam can only be convincing if there is such evidence available for those targeted to be convinced that the “claim” is genuine.
As we have seen, there is a well-established historical link between GEIL & MICM. Well, the latest incarnation of the speculative invoicing saga has taken a surreal twist!
Thanks to the intrepid and wonderful TorrentFreak who reported this MICM threat back in October 2014, TorrentFreak realised the domain was registered in a way the registrant could opt out of their details being published by saying that they are not a trading Company.
The most fundamental question here is why?
From my perspective, quite simply GEIL as Julian Becker and Lyndsay Honey haven’t the stomach to continue their reign of terror on the British public by sending more of their begging letters. They certainly have no intention to bring an alleged infringer to Court from their last campaign as predicted on this blog.
Back in December 2012, Julian Becker gloated of his intention to travel to the USA and basically (as I see it) hoodwink USA producers to sign up to their scam so they can gain more 75% commissions. Remember Julian Becker’s quote from the BBC article?
“I look forward to travelling to adult conferences in Los Angeles and Vegas in early January to offer Golden Eye’s services to other producers,” he told the BBC.
I will put this to everyone who reads this (And I know Copyright Trolls read this). A UK adult promotor travels to the USA and mentions to US producers that they can sign up to a reign of speculative invoicing in the UK. The US producers pay no money, and will receive 25% of the revenue collected (Whilst giving up 75% of the revenue to GEIL). All they have to do is basically “give away” their Licence to GEIL. Those US producers are in the USA, and therefor don’t have anything to do with the pain and suffering caused by GEIL on their behalf.
So GEIL recruit a few producers (Not that many as far as I see) in the USA and what happens? They can’t conduct this new scam in their own name because they conducted their own recent scam without doing what they claimed in their letters and interviews and take an alleged infringer to Court.
With all the criticisms from action groups and this blog, GEIL are cowards and don’t come through with their promises. GEIL have ZERO credibility, and bring the whole legitimate argument of copyright infringement into question. This new batch of speculative invoicing, in the way it has been gathered and conducted is the actions from cowards.
And to be absolutely right in this assertion, the new wave of this scam is being conducted by some “organisation” whose address is in Cyprus. Imagine if the magnificent work from TorrentFreak and the TorrentFreak readers hadn’t happened? GEIL would not have been associated with this scam and remained anonymous, and it would have seemed to be a new bunch of scam artists. No, THIS IS GEIL.
This new scam is perverse, dishonest, deceitful, underhand, and false, with the hallmarks of it being operated in a corrupt nature. From Davenport Lyons to Tilley Bailey Irvine to ACS:Law right through to GEIL, it is a scam that has evolved each time an obstacle has been encountered. MICM is the next step. Maybe the next scam will be operated from the Antarctic!
What convinces me more so that this is a scam is the involvement of Wagner & Co law firm. We have seen previously what can happen to a law firm involved in these scams. Imagine the call from Julian Becker to Mr Wagner to ask if they could represent them in Court against an alleged infringer! NO CHANCE! You don’t need a Lawyer degree to tell someone to go and kiss somewhere where the Sun doesn’t shine!
So as far as I am concerned, I will continue from now on to say that this latest scam is not from MICM and is definitely from Goldeneye International Limited. This is not from unknowns from Cyprus but from well-established speculative invoice legends Mr Julian Becker & Mr Lyndsay Honey.
On to the Letter of Claim (“LoC”)
VAT. No: CY10284970
Spyrou Kypianou, 32
2nd Floor, Flat/Office 3
1075, Nicosia, Cyprus
MIRCOM INTERNATIONAL CONTENT
MANAGEMENT & CONSULTING LIMITED
(“MICM”) AND (“”)
It is with regret that we are writing this letter to you. However, the Claimaints are very concerned at the illicit distribution of films over the internet.
Blah, blah blah……….lie after lie after lie……….claim after claim after claim…….rubbish after rubbish after rubbish
Quite frankly, this is the same LoC that GEIL were forced to use by the Courts, so not really anything new.
Although I am not quite sure why they call themselves “M I M C LIMITED” in their Cyprus address whilst calling themselves “MIRCOM INTERNATIONAL CONTENT MANAGEMENT & CONSULTING LIMITED (“MICM”) as the claimants in the same letter. I can only put this down to a complete and utter amateur blunder. How can any organisation who has intent to send out an “official” LoC be taken seriously when they make such an amateurish oversight?
My advice to those accused by MICM (Or GEIL) is as always. Stand strong and do not worry. Respond with a denial and don’t pay their inevitable demands. Seek advice and above all take the claim serious even though those who conduct this are amateurs.
Help in providing a Letter Of Denial: Link
Some useful links:
Citizens Advice: Link
Find your MP: Link
Consumer Complaint – Citizens advice:Link
Open Rights Group: Email
Join the debate at Slyck.com: Link
Knowing that GEIL registered the domain of mircom.co.uk, it is very much a question of who was the interested party involved in MIRCOMs NPO in the High Court. This is a serious question, and raises the issue of “ex parte application to the court” where it is “the duty of full and frank disclosure” to all applicants made without notice. In this well-known and often quoted Court case from 1916, Viscount Reading C.J. stated:
Before I proceed to deal with the facts I desire to say this: Where an ex parte application has been made to this Court for a rule nisi or other process, if the Court comes to the conclusion that the affidavit in support of the application was not candid and did not fairly state the facts, but stated them in such a way as to mislead the Court as to the true facts, the Court ought, for its own protection and to prevent an abuse of its process, to refuse to proceed any further with the examination of the merits. This is a power inherent in the Court, but one which should only be used in cases which bring conviction to the mind of the Court that it has been deceived.
Presiding Warrington L.J also said
It is perfectly well settled that a person who makes an ex parte application to the Court – that is to say, in the absence of the person who will be affected by that which the Court is asked to do – is under an obligation to the Court to make the fullest possible disclosure of all material facts within his knowledge, and if he does not make that fullest possible disclosure, then he cannot obtain any advantage from the proceedings, and he will be deprived of any advantage he may have already obtained by means of the order which has thus wrongly been obtained by him. That is perfectly plain and requires no authority to justify it.
This is an income tax case dating back to 1916, but as what is always the case it establishes a case law where the Court protects themselves from being taken advantage of those who wish to deceive the Court.
Quotes from this case of “the application was not candid and did not fairly state the facts, but stated them in such a way as to mislead the Court as to the true facts” and “the Court ought, for its own protection and to prevent an abuse of its process, to refuse to proceed any further with the examination of the merits” and also “should only be used in cases which bring conviction to the mind of the Court that it has been deceived” resonate explicitly with NPO applications historically and now.
What is very much relevant in this latest NPO from MICM are the applicant to the Court and GEIL are the interested party. A quote from the 1916 Court case states that “the application was not candid and did not fairly state the facts, but stated them in such a way as to mislead the Court”. A further relevant quote from the 1916 Court case also states “if he does not make that fullest possible disclosure, then he cannot obtain any advantage from the proceedings, and he will be deprived of any advantage he may have already obtained by means of the order which has thus wrongly been obtained by him. That is perfectly plain and requires no authority to justify it.”
In a nutshell, if you do not disclose the full details and declare all interested parties involved in any application to the Courts then you have deceived the Court. This deception negates any advantage you may have gained in your favour previously.
The NPO gained by MIRCOM should be declared void.