Adult Industry Trade Association (AITA) to close – Emails to the Chair RE “Golden Eye International” involvement
It has been announced that the Adult Industry Trade Association (AITA) is to be closed down. The committee it seems feels that it is untenable and has been running at a loss since 2010.
After conducting research and feedback from the “Adult” Industry, that is Porn Industry to you and me, 64% of respondents felt that an adult trade association was needed but only 32% believed that AITA was an effective voice for the industry. These figures seem rather damning. Two Thirds believe their should be an association but that the AITA is rather useless actually acting as that association.
The Official AITA statement reads:
“With the limited resources available to AITA, it did not come as a surprise to learn that the majority of current members felt that AITA is underperforming in its provision of key services when considering their relative importance. It is clear that this cannot be addressed without a significant injection of cash. AITA has significantly reduced its running costs over the last three years, however with corresponding decreasing subscriptions it has been running at a significant loss since at least 2010. Due to the lack of ongoing support for AITA from the general UK adult industry, and after much deliberation, the committee believes that it is no longer tenable for AITA to continue after the end of the membership year (March 31st) and all committee members will resign on that date and the company closed down. The committee would like to thank all members for their support over the years. As individuals they will continue to work to support the UK adult industry where they can, offering ongoing advice in their particular area of expertise and continuing to network at adult industry events.”
This is rather interesting as a statement made by the AITA December 12th reads
Trade body AITA has announced that it has appointed Jason Maskell of JCaz as its interim chairman following the resignation of Jerry Barnett. Maskell’s tenure is scheduled to run until the end of March 2013.
A statement on the AITA website, posted 11th December, read: “The AITA committee would like to thank Jerry for all his time and work he has put in to AITA during his time as a committee member and chairman and wish him well for the future and all his does.”
Now those following the Golden Eye International Legal action may not realise that Jason Maskell is also the head of Orchid MG, one of the litigants in the “Speculative Invoicing” action. Orchid MG were one of the Producers added to the action in Golden Eyes Appeal.
On the suggestion of one of the other Producers, I had written to the AITA before Maskell had taken over, and had received an email from the then head (Barnett), that whilst he did not agree with the action, he could understand why it happened, and that they should make the most of what they could do while they could do it. I thought an interesting response.
After Maskell took over in December 2012, and on realising he was one of the Producers added to the action, I thought, “Hmmm, this sounds like a conflict of interest”, I was however misled into thinking that the AITA was a kind of self regulation group who might actually care for innocent people being targetted by Porn Barons and NOT a pressure group for the Porn Industry, my mistake.
I sent an email to the AITA detailing my concerns with the Golden Eye action and received, what to me was no more than a Golden Eye Press release from the AITA, I then sent a second email and got no response at all.
On Twitter this week Maskell attempted to engage me and offered me an interview on camera, using almost word for word, what Terence Stephens of “One Eyed Jack” had offered, I again politely declined, explaining again why I might not want to break rank, namely the fact I have already been threatened with legal action by Golden Eyes previous legal team. After failing to get me to do the interview, I pointed out to Maskell that he had not replied to my last email, and I would rather he did that, He responded by saying he wouldn’t respond as I was “moaning about a court approved action” in my email, by Maskel of the AITA, I thought how odd (and unprofessional), far from moaning I thought I had laid out my concerns in a fairly cogent manner.
Anyhow, I include our email exchange here, just for the record, and would like to just add, that if the AITA are looking for a big cash injection, why on earth have they not asked Mr Ben Dover? Surely he is interested in the Industry that has made him a multi millionaire? No? Oh….
Was I really merely “moaning”, about a legal action I didn’t like?
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.
On Friday a Judgement was made by the Appeals Court with regard to Golden Eye International(GEIL)
GEIL the Copyright Trolls, who are resurrecting the ACS:LAW “Speculative Invoicing” had originally been denied their chance of using 12 other Porn Companies in their Legal Action. They appealed and now the Court has awarded them what they had wanted.
This was not unexpected however it is VERY disappointing, O2 Subscribers were represented by Open Rights Group (ORG), and they put up a good show according to the Court record.
Although ORG could not stop the appeal, there are some positive points to be had however, GEIL had depended on a high volume of letters being sent out, that is after all the only way this “Alternative revenue scheme” can work.
After being rejected by the initial Court hearing and only having just under 3000 Ip addresses captured by their Software Monitor, they duly sent them off to O2 to have them matched to actual subscribers who would then receive a letter from them asking them to explain why they had infringed their Copyright. GEIL must have been disturbed to see just under a 1000 actual matches. This is a woeful amount, considering the “Software Monitor” is a “Forensic Expert”.
With the disparity in captured IP addresses and the actual matching of them to subscribers one can apply some logic to see that now GEIL have won their appeal, and have the other Producers on board, they can now send the remaining 6000 IP addresses to O2, but based on the low quality of the Monitoring, one can see that it could lead to less than 2000 retuning as being matched. This of course will leave GEIL with around 3000 actual details they can send their letters to.
GEIL had originally planned to charge £700 per letter, that will not happen as the original Court hearing said no, GEIL also wanted to state that the Subscriber was responsible for the Infringement, regardless of whether they knew or not. The Court has also said no to that reasoning.
Also unlike when ACS:LAW were practising a similar Legal action, no one really knew much about it, now they do, and this will be the greatest threat to GEILs plan.
For further reading
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 – 126.96.36.199
http://www.aleriza.me – 188.8.131.52
http://www.cyberdealer.co.uk – 184.108.40.206
http://www.ng3systems.com – 220.127.116.11
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.