After the Copyright Trolls, Davenport Lyons, ACS:LAW, Gallant Macmillan, Tilly Baily Irvine were either slain or withdrew due to adverse publicity and returned to their core practices, the people of Great Britain breathed a sigh of relief that they might not again be wrongfully targetted by unscrupulous Law Firms or “Copyright Holding Companies”. They were wrong.
Arising from the ashes of Tilly Baily Irvines failed attempts to emulate ACS:LAW, comes a company called “Golden Eye International”, indeed they were represented by Tilly Baily Irvine. Golden eye International claim to be the “..holder of numerous film copyrights” and have sent out letters themselves demanding money from people they claim to have “infringed their copyrights”.
This is quite interesting in the fact that “Golden Eye International” are NOT a law firm. They seem to represent the “Copyright Holdings” of a Pornographic Franchise called “Ben Dover”
What is VERY interesting is that the Director of Golden Eye International, is a man called “Simon Lindsay Honey“, a cursory search online, leads one to his AKA which turns out amazingly to “Ben Dover”
Yep, Ben Dover or rather Simon Lindsay Honey, is a Director of the Company that owns the Copyright of his OWN films and is sending out letters of claim to people he accuses of “Infringing his copyright”.
How does he do this?
Well according to Golden Eye Internationals website they use “bespoke technology which captures the irrefutable evidence of the perpetrators.”
Hmmm anyone who knows the background to the Davenport/Acs/Gallant Macmillan/Tilly Baily Irvine “monitors”, know this to be, how should I put this….BULLSHIT. In addition Golden Eye International even use the “Expert Witness” Report of a Mr Clem Vogler, as did Davenport Lyons, as Did , ACS:LAW, as can be seen here on Mr Voglers own Website.
One further note of interest is that back in August 2010 thanks to ACS:LAW leaking their emails, it is shown that at least one of the ACS:LAW Crew, Adam Glen had serious issues with the Vogler report.
You know my view on the quality of Clem Vogeler’s expert witness statement and what I perceive as the opportunity it provides to serious challenge.
The ACS:LAW debacle ended in a Court Case where ACS:LAW and Media C.A.T (The Copyright Holding Company) both went bust rather than pay damages, when it became clear they were “Trying it on” To paraphrase the Judge. by a strange Co-incidence, the Golden Eye International cases have now also landed in Court before the SAME Judge, such was his actionas regarding ACS:LAW Judge Colin Birss was awarded the Internet Hero Award for 2011.
It remains to be seen what will happen with Goden Eye International, the ACS:LAW/Media C.A.T fell apart after the actual true copyright holders, refuse to be “Joined” in the Court Action. They had benefited from people paying up but were not going to put their neck on the line.
For Golden Eye International to be succesful, they will (I presume) have to be Joined by the Copyright Holders, in this case Ben Dover, as they are one and the same Person, ie SIMON LINDSAY JAMES HONEY, it conjures an image that may well befit one of his Pornographic titles.
UPDATE 1: ”BDP (Ben Dover Productions” means Optime Strategies Ltd trading as www.ben-dover.biz
Again it seems like smoke and mirrors.
UPDATE 2 (Fixed Link): It has been pointed out that Clem Voglers company Ad Litem Ltd has been dissolved as of 13/09/2011 see here http://companycheck.co.uk/company/04354109
Thanks to Mullard!
It has been said the ACS:LAW “Speculative Invoicing” debacle wont be over till the Fat Lady sings, well, the date has now been set for the 16th January 2012.
In an email from the SDT, it says
I confirm that the substantive hearing in relation to Mr Crossley and ACS:Law has been listed for the week commencing January 16 2012.
This will be the THIRD time that Andrew Crossley has been hauled before the Tribunal, since he became a lawyer in 1991… Some record.
Whilst the US Copyright Group (Dunlap Grubb and Weaver) whom Crossley tried and failed to work with are now facing their own potential Waterloo, the previous Law Firm whom Crossley took the Shilling from (Davenport Lyons) has also just been found guilty at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, although they are of course appealing.
This news marks a remarkable fightback against these Law firms who seek to “….make up with the lost revenue by creating a revenue stream and monetizing the equivalent of an alternative distribution channel” or in plain English “Rip off innocent people”.
It is not know yet wether the SRA are still investigating the other two Law Firms that tried to emulate ACS:LAWs model, Tilly Baily Irvine, and Gallant Macmillan, however they seem to have been “Collaborating” with each other in the emails that ACS:LAW leaked.
I will update as soon as I have the answer.
As things stand, I would say to ALL those wrongly accused by these Law Firms to have a thoroughly wonderful Christmas and New Year
Life is sometimes strange, would I ever write a Blog Post actually agreeing with Copyright Troll Andrew Crossley? Well read the rest of the Blog and decide that one.
On this post though I have to say I have been dealt a raw deal. I DO agree with him, sort of. After a rather enigmatic email from the BBC this week seemingly asking me for my opinion on a story they had regarding ACS:LAW setting up abroad, I responded by asking the sender to send me more details, they didn’t, the next I heard was today when the forums and media seemed to blow a rather damp squib well out of proportion.
Ralli it seems after doing a rather wonderful job of settling the cases that ACS:LAW had brought against 27 filesharers stated that they had been contacted by someone in Greece, telling them that they had received an email from ACS:LAW demanding payment for copyright infringement.
My Bullshit detector exploded as did the news, for me Computeractives Dinah Greek and PC Pros Nicole Kobie are two who have come out of this fiasco smelling of roses, the rest with the exception of Josh Halliday of the Guardian have come out smelling of what you fertilise the roses with especially the BBC. The email can be seen here
Now A cursory look at this would tell you, not even CROSSLEY could have screwed up like this. Firstly 18 Hanover Square does not even exist anymore, Josh Halliday of the Guardian popped down to “Doorstep” ACS:LAW and found a big hole where No 18 once stood. So I am guessing that IF this email is true, then their must be some kind of re-direction for anyone who sends the money. I have to say I smell bullshit on this issue.
Ralli went on to issue statements to various friendly people, (Not me though), stating It was “advising clients” on the letters, but then Ralli solicitor Michael Forrester said “we may be dealing with an imposter”. No Shit, seems pretty obvious from the start.
Andrew Crossley responded to PC PRO
”This is obviously a scam. I am reporting the matter to the police…it is not a demand made by me and it is quite clear from the way it was written that it was not.”
Well see Ralli and the BBC have put me in a situation of actually agreeing with the portly one. Crossley went on to say, he was
“shocked and surprised” that Ralli Solicitors “would be so gullible as to be taken in by such an obviously fake communication as to suggest I was in any way connected with it”.
Well dammit Crossley I agree with you again! According to PC PRO, Crossley questioned why the firm would contact the BBC with the story “rather than pick up the phone to ask me directly” Well I have to say I half agree with him on that, I would never expect Crossley to be straight with me, indeed I wouldn’t discuss the colour of an orange with him, HOWEVER he makes a good point, of WHY did the BBC not follow it up with emails to either this Blog or the Slyck Forums, or BeingThreatened you know the ones who have generally led the charge against ACS:LAW, we have after all helped them out in the past.
Indeed I have asked Ralli to supply the actual email headers for authenticity, I am expecting the response that I am so used to now after sending Lawyers information, “we are bound by confidentiality and have to be careful what is said”
Something I think I need to bear in mind next time someone wants information from ME. I consider the BBC and the various Law firms as “Black holes”, when they want information they ask and out of kindness we give it, free of charge, and using our time, when we want information from them ….nothing. I will have to remember the mantra that is spoken AFTER they have received the information…..”we are bound by confidentiality and have to be careful what is said”
It has come to this, I actually agree with Andrew Crossley, I find it VERY hard to believe that the BBC and Ralli could be duped so easily as this.
UPDATE 1: Seems like the BBC has had a change of heart….Hmmmm Multi Million pound corporation screws up, penniless Bloggers get it right!
How it was:
Pirate chasing firm moves abroad
ACS:Law, the controversial law firm that tried to get money from people by accusing … Ralli Solicitors, which represented some of those accused by ACS:Law …
And how it is now:
BBC News – Lawyer denies Greek piracy ‘scam‘
21 Jul 2011 – A lawyer whose firm demanded money from alleged illegal downloaders in the United Kingdom has denied re-starting the scheme in Greece.
The last Court Hearing involving ACS:LAW was postponed(17/06/11), we now know why, in what seems an almost endless wait, Ralli Solicitors have released a statement that the case has been settled, confidentially.
I am pleased for those involved in the actual proceedings that the cases have all been struck off, but bitterly disappointed for all the other recipients of letters who looked forward to hearing what costs the recently bankrupted Solicitor Andrew Crossley would have to pay.
We will never now know, we have the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal hearing in October 2011 to look forward to, Andrew Crossleys THIRD hearing, many hope that the SDT will follow the “Three Strikes and out” mentality of Crossley.
The hearing will take place on
August 18th 2011 (The date of the hearing is yet to be set thanks to those eagle eyed readers who spotted the mistake.)
The allegations are or contain the following
1) Allowed his independence to be compromised
2) Acted contrary to the best interests of his clients
3) Acted in a way that was likely to diminish the trust the public places in him or in the legal profession
4) Entered into arrangements to receive contingency fees for work done in prosecuting or defending contentious proceedings before the Courts of England and Wales except as permitted by statute or the common law
5) Acted where there was a conflict of interest in circumstances not permitted, in particular because there was a conflict with those of his clients
6) Used his position as a Solicitor to take or attempt to take unfair advantage of other persons being recipients of letters of claim either for his own benefit or for the benefit of his clients.
7) Acted without integrity in that he provided false information in statements made to the Court.
We at ACS:BORE are pleased with these charges and think they largely cover what we and many others have been saying for the last two years. We look forward to seeing the hearing in practice and feel sure that these allegation whilst unproven at the moment, will be thoroughly pursued with the full weight of the law.
This is not the first time that Andrew Crossley has appeared, this will be his THIRD time. One has to ask how many times can a Solicitor be pulled in before the Disciplinary Tribunal and be allowed to continue. We look forward to August and hope it will be a FULL vindication for all those innocent people affected by the actions of ACS:LAW and their cohorts.
Many of those who engaged with ACS:LAW in bringing this misery to the general public will NOT be tried, but for those who follow this Blog, we at least know who they are.
Thanks to Enigmax!
Davenport Lyons the originator of the odious “Speculative Invoicing” scheme, have been found guilty by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) of breaching SIX rules of the Solicitors Code of Conduct.
They were referred to the SDT by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, after a complaint by Which? and protests from many many innocent people who had received letters. , after a campaing of “Bullying” against Members of the general public.
The SDT met for a week and has now found that the SIX allegations against the two members of Davenport Lyons are proven and upheld. Brian Miller has since left the Law firm but Dave Gore is a Partner.
The SIX allegations of breaching the Solicitors Code of Conduct, now proven are as follows:
(1) Breach of rule 1.03 of the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007: respondents allowed their independence to be compromised.
(2) Breach of rule 1.04: respondents did not act in the best interests of their clients.
(3) Breach of rule 1.06: respondents acted in a way that was likely to diminish the trust the public place in them or in the legal profession.
(4) Breach of rule 2.04(1): respondents entered into arrangements to receive contingency fees for work done in prosecuting or defending contentious proceedings before the courts of England and Wales except as permitted by statute or the common law.
(5) Breach of rule 3.01: respondents acted where there was a conflict of interest in circumstances not permitted under the rules, in particular because there was a conflict or significant risk that the respondents and/or their firm’s interests were in conflict with those of their clients.
(6) Breach of rule 10.01: respondents used their position as solicitors to take or attempt to take unfair advantage of other persons, being recipients of letters of claim either for their own benefit or for the benefit of their clients.
It remains to be seen what sanctions will be imposed on the two.
The Firm that took up the “Speculative Invoicing” baton ACS:LAW and their Principal Andrew Crossley has also been referred to the SDT and will appear this October. Andrew Crossley has already slammed Davenport Lyons for being “rubbish” and “Arrogant” in the way they conducted their business.
The SRA said it “welcomes the decision of the SDT in this case brought for the protection of consumers”.
Updates will follow…..
There are few positive words if any I could use to describe the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). There are far better negative ones. “As much use as a chocolate teapot”, “Like an ashtray on a motorcycle”.
Indeed the ICO are SO inept it would be hard to imagine them being able to “Hit any water if the fell out of a boat”.
What has stirred my ire against the ICO? Is it the fact that they spent EIGHT MONTHS investigating one of the BIGGEST DATA leaks in English History? or the fact that they concluded with a £1000 fine that if the perpetrator was good enough to pay quickly he could get a discount of 20%? Was it the sheer arrogance of the ICO when phoning them up to report a company NOT registered with them that they suggested that their register was “Voluntary” and that they “Did not chase people” who “Had not registered” with them?
NO This is what has angered me.
Can you believe it, after countless people told the ICO that ACS LAW were NOT registered as a Data Handler, when it came to their renewal the ICO wrote THREE TIMES only for Andrew Crossley to ignore them, then only seemed to notice that they should send a “Final” warning as it then occurred to the ICO that they were “..dealing with the security incident you have just experienced”. How much is it to renew your registration? £35
ACS LAW and Andrew Crossley acted with shocking disregard to the General public and their personal details, but WHO allowed them to get away with it for so long? Do you REALLY feel your information is secure with such an inept body as the ICO guarding it?
Andrew Crossley the Sole Trader of ACS:LAW has been declared bankrupt. After a near two year campaign falsely accusing members of the general public and having been lambasted by the House of Lords, the Main Stream Media and the Courts, and after he as a last gasp to claw more money attempted to launch a satellite company GCB LTD, he has now faced his financial ruin…. Or has he?
Although he has been declared officially bankrupt it seems he has lost none of his trappings of status. Of course as a bankrupt he can no longer practice as a Solicitor save with exception from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), that seems unlikely as he is also facing his THIRD appearance before the SRAs Disciplinary Tribunal
As can be seen from the official notice however, the bankruptcy was petitioned for on the 22nd December 2010 by the HM Revenue & Customs. The letter sent from ACS:LAW regarding the handover of cases to GCB LTD (Which turned out to be run by ACS:LAW Employees) was dated 13th December 2010, draw from the timing what you will….
As write this I am awaiting the end of the Discliplinary Tribunal Hearing into Davenport Lyons the forerunner of ACS:LAWs business model… I will update later
UPDATE 1: The rather excellent Dina Greek who attended the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) Hearing today has said that the SDT has upheld ALL allegations against the Davenport Two, Dave Gore and Brian Miller. Their should be a write up in Computeractive Tomorrow.
The SRA had accused the two of “Knowingly targetted innocent web users without evidence” 2 It remains to be seen however why the SRA took so long to take action against ACS:LAW who they knew were running an identical operation.
But for many of us, we have finally seen some sort of Justice done.
In a strange quirk of irony, the two biggest exponents of the “Speculative Invoicing” litigation, were in the same building, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, Davenport Lyons were their in the middle of their SEVEN days of hearings, and ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley was there for a “Directions hearing”
It transpires that Andrew Crossley had requested a number of big asks of the Tribunal. A post from Will Gilmour who spent the day there states
It transpires that the application for directions was actually brought by him (rather than the SRA – the porsecution). He had a number of requests which he wanted the court to order. They were:
- He wanted SRA to fund his costs (as he’s lacking finance and was afraid he’d suffer an ‘inequality of arms’ against the SRA’s budget for his prosecution apparently set at £85k)
- He wanted to exclude all expert evidence, again on the grounds of expense
- He wanted an order to prevent the SRA making any further requests for disclosure of documents from him
- He wanted copies of all of the files concerned with the current Davenport Lyons (Gore / Miller) tribunal and…
- …a delay on proceedings on his case at least until the DL tribunal is concluded.
Wills post continues
As to the outcomes of Crossley’s five applications for directions: every single one was refused. No SRA funding, no exclusion of expert testimony, the SRA are free to request disclosure of further documents from him, he can’t have the Gore/Miller documents and there can be no unwarranted delay just because the Gore/Miller case is ongoing.
I would urge all my readers to go and view his EXCELLENT post on this whole subject. It covers concerns over the “Expert” Testimony of the defence and prosecution teams and casts a dim view over the ability of the SDT to actually regulate Solicitors. I am sure those of you who read the post will be quite astonished at the naivity of these people.
Will Gilmours Twitter feed is @will_gilmour go join his feed, I am sure he will be there again Monday!