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?
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:-)
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.
Golden Eye International/Ben Dover the latest group to try their hand at the Speculative Invoicing Scam, have been given permission to send their Court Approved letters out to O2 Customers.
The Letter, it would seem has been very much scrutinised and has been ordered by the Court to be toned down, after GEIL attempted to overstep their mark by using a letter that made some wild claims, regarding the amount they wanted and also what the ISP would do on their say so.
It remains to be seen the actual content of the letter, however early indications point to the fact that it is NOT allowed to contain a cash demand as GEIL’s forerunners, Davenport Lyons, ACS:LAW, Tilly Baily Irvine, or Gallant Macmillan had done.
GEIL initially wanted to demand £700 per letter, this was quashed by the Judge overseeing the case.
What I wanted to highlight here, is some observations
Golden Eye International/Ben Dover may claim to have no connection with ACS:LAW but there is one, and one Julian Becker has already admitted to, the data gatherer, the person who will harvest the IP addresses of those suspected of uploading/downloading, is a man called Alireza Torabi of ng3 systems, Mr Torabi is the guy who got things spectacularly wrong with the IP addresses that led to ACS:LAW targeting innocent people. He is using the same software, so one can presume the same results.
Golden Eye International are also using the same “Expert Witness” Clem Vogler. 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 monitoring to be done by Guardaley. One would have thought Torabi at least would have learnt his lesson!
Ben Dover aka Lindsay Honey, was interviewed in January 2009, with regard to the same action taken in the USA by Larry Flynt, The interview can be viewed here. as can be seen, Honey claims he KNEW that his sales were already going down the pan and that he had “Seen it coming” and had diversified into other areas, even attempting to become a serious actor…
The problem with this kind of “Legal Blackmail”, as it was decribed in the House of Lords, is that it is VERY difficult to defend against. A person may have strong evidence that he has NOT downloaded one of their films, however to go to Court and have his name cleared costs a LOT of money. A person would more than likely pay up even if they are innocent through fear of not having the money to go to court to clear their name, and that is EXACTLY what people like GEIL are banking on. Of course being pornographers they have no shame, no understanding and no concern of what their actions have on the average person.
They want you to be frightened, they want you to fear going to Court, the reason being of course is that they have NO evidence whatsoever, against ANYONE. Don’t believe me? See this quote from the ruling of Media C.A.T (ACS:LAW) by Judge Colin Birss
All the IP address identifies is an internet connection, which is likely today to be a wireless home broadband router. All Media CAT’s monitoring can identify is the person who has the contract with their ISP to have internet access. Assuming a case in Media CAT’s favour that the IP address is indeed linked to wholesale infringements of the copyright in question… Media CAT do not know who did it and know that they do not know who did it.
Julian Becker claims that GEIL are different, they all did, every Law Firm that has tried this, claimed to be different from the others, but they were not.
Becker says “In our first letter we seek to find out more information regarding evidence of an infringement of our copyright”
Andrew Crossley of ACS:LAW said “I make an enquiry of the recipient of my initial letter following receipt of evidence that their internet connection was utilized for the purposes of infringing copyright of our clients”
GEIL are not of course Lawyers, so it will be interesting to see what they will do when a letter comes through the door of some innocent subscriber of O2 and they say “Screw you, con merchants”
We will see.
One final point is that I wonder what O2 meant when they talk about their “Unique” position in this case?, the only unique position as I see it, is that they are the only ISP to have acquiesced to this form of racket since ACS:LAWs spectacular disintegration.
I am angry, pornography accusations can wreck lives and marriages, that is why I will fight for those wrongly accused.
I will leave the last word to Mr Honey…
“Fuck! Aren’t I just the luckiest bastard in the World?
Not only do I get to film all of these fantasic looking girls stripping off for my camera, but I also get to slide my fingers knuckle-deep into their hot, wet snatches, then get my knob sucked into the bargain!! Have I got some awesome little jizz-junkies for you!”
And the comment:
“At the end of the day, if I can’t make money out of porn, the only way I can make money is to get to the people who are not buying it”
This link is the only fragment left of a thread that was started on The O2 Forums. I joined the thread and posted a total of 5 posts (31/03_2012), engaging with the board users “Perksie” “Brownie” and “O2MACH”
I don’t believe I was rude in any way. I pointed out that I believed that O2 did NOT fight for their customers and I used the published Judgement to prove the points that I made.
In a covering letter dated 20 September 2011 Golden Eye stated:
“We are the First Applicant and act for the Second – Fourteenth Applicants in this application.
It may be somewhat unusual for the Applicants to apply on their account. However, there has recently been a certain amount of publicity associated with this type of claim (ACS Law; Davenport Lyons). We therefore believe that we will be best served acting for ourselves.”
The letter went on to request that the claim be considered on paper, and enclosed a copy of the skeleton argument which had prepared by counsel instructed on its behalf on the application against BT.
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.
I pointed out that it was strange that O2 were the only ISPs targeted by “Golden eye International” and further pointed out that PlusNet have been very robust since their experience with ACS:LAW and have come out on their own forums and said, they will resist a Norwich Pharmacal Hearing that would allow a company to have access to their Customers private information.
It seems O2 did not like this dose of truth. I have tried to contact O2 but have had NO REPLY
Their seems to be a media output on their behalf of “O2 had no choice” and “O2 FORCED to hand over customer details. Both of these IMHO are false.
O2 DID have a choice, they could have said NO.
This was blown out of the water at a previous hearing by Judge Birss who presiding over the ACS:LAW/Media C.A.T debacle (That used the same software to monitor) he stated.
“Assuming a case in MediaCATs favour that the IP Address is indeed limited to wholesale infringements of the copyright in question… MediaCAT do not know who did it, and know that they do not know who did it”
Further to my point of O2 HAVING a choice to say NO, I include the communication between O2 and ACS:LAW that quite clearly shows, they could have said no then, but merely asked ACS:LAW to change some of the legal arguments to suit them better.
If “Perksie”, “Browni” or “O2MACH2” would like to continue our discussion, they are more than welcome to do so here..
UPDATE 1: From O2 ..
@acs_law_illegal Hi there, we’ve just moved to a new forum and only moved over the busiest topics
Hmmmm oh Reeeeaaaalllly