The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 39,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Tilly Bailey Irvine (TBI) the Law Firm that jumped on the “Speculative Invoicing” bandwagon driven by ACS:LAW has “Agreed” to accept a monetary punishment of £2800. This is a sad sad day for those who followed this case and were expecting more from the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
TBI launched their letter campaign in January 2010 and by April had had enough. They represented “Media & More GMBH” and also “Golden Eye International” sending out letters of claim to members of the general public that they claim were infringing the copyright of their clients.
Problem for TBI was that it was a deeply flawed system that rounded up far to many innocent people.
TBI like ACS:LAW and the law firm that followed Gallant Macmillan, never sought to go to court but relied heavily on the embarrassment of receiving one of these letters, and the assumption that no one would challenge them because of the damage to their reputation in doing so.
One of the more infamous titles represented by TBI was “Army Fu**ers”, I cant publish the titles of the others as they are that bad (You can type in Media & More into a search engine to see what I mean)
Ironically TBI withdrew from the “Speculative Invoicing” plan, in a letter to the SRA TBI stated:
“We have been surprised and disappointed at the amount of adverse publicity that our firm has attracted in relation to this work and the extra time and resources that have been required to deal solely with this issue.
We are concerned that the adverse publicity could affect other areas of our practice and therefore following discussions with our clients, we have reluctantly agreed that we will cease sending out further letters of claim.”
Hmmm well not as surprised and disappointed as a military man returning from service to one of their letters accusing him of downloading a porn film called “Army Fu*kers” but still.
TBI went on to try to eradicate all trace of their “Speculative Invoicing” actions by Vandalising” an entry on Wikipedia. This led to a rather amusing clash with one of the editors:
“Please do not remove sourced content from Wikipedia, as you did with TBI Solicitors — this is vandalism,” wrote a Wikipedia admin to Tilly Bailey & Irvine.
“Furthermore, your IP address geolocates to ‘TILLY BAILEY & IRVINE’ which suggests that you have a conflict of interest in removing criticism of the firm from Wikipedia. I suggest that you familiarise yourself with that policy before editing this particular article any further,”
The Speculative Invoicing plan that TBI took wholesale from ACS:LAW as shown in the ACS leaked emails (And for which ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley originally threatened to report them to the SRA, but later relaxed and attempted to “Work together” when the SRA came down on them both), was also described in the House Of Lords as “no better than Legal blackmail”
In the end most people who read my Blog know that I seek only one thing from these Lawyers, and that is an apology, an apology for the pain they have caused in falsely accusing people who were left with a feeling of helplessness, and having no option but to pay up to avoid losing their homes or their jobs.
Did Tilly Bailey Irvine feel they could apologise? Well here is what one of their Bosses said,
TBI managing partner John Hall said the firm was “delighted to be able to dispose of this matter in a way that makes it clear that the firm has never acted with any conscious or deliberate impropriety”.
He added: “We take pride in our reputation for fighting our clients’ corner to the best of our ability. Although on this occasion the SRA has ruled that we went too far – on their interpretation of the rules – we shall continue always to put the interests of clients first, as our clients and the public generally would expect.
“Copyright breaches cost business £200m per year. We hope that these cases will highlight the lack of clarity in the rules and ensure that, in future, criminal activities such as these can be dealt with by the legal process so that copyright is safeguarded and clients’ legitimate interests are protected.”
noting that the SRA ruled that the company went “too far”, that decision was based on “their (SRAs) interpretation of the rules”.
One wonders what on earth John Hall means by this, the SRA after all are the ones who MAKE THE RULES and regulate Solicitors, this is no apology, and I hope the SRA will reconsider referring Tilly Bailey Irvine to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal which is independent, and where the likes of John Hall can argue the rules all he wants.
Terence Tsang is working for PSB LAW. The former Davenport Lyons and ACS:LAW Paralegal, had gone off the radar as far as those interested and greatly affected by the dealings of Davenport Lyons and ACS:LAW were concerned.
After a brief stint at Cramer Pelmont that ended at the same time as leaked emails from ACS:LAW showed that he had continued working for them whilst at Cramer Pelmont, he seemed to have dissapeared.
The fact he has been so hard to find is that Terence Tsang has stopped using his real name and has adopted the new name of Terence Jintin (This may actually be his middle name) What is of interest is that PBS LAW it would seem have gone to great pains to conceal his identity.
On their website the actual text describing their team members is HTML text, however on Tsangs it is an actual image. This has the effect of being invisible to both Googles and other search engines “Search Robots”. In addition to this, in the HTML of the page “About us” there is in the header a HTML intruction <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,nofollow” /> this instruction will stop a search engine actually indexing that page and any links from it. In effect this makes the page invisible to normal searches and would only be seen by someone who was on the actual PSB LAW website. there is NO link to Tsang/Jintins presence on this page. All rather strange.
To be clear Google and other search engines will search and index the total PSB LAW website EXCEPT Tsangs own page.
One has to wonder WHY Tsang has changed his name. If what he had done at Davenport Lyons and ACS:LAW was so right and above board, then why try to hide? Of course the Courts have not found what Davenport Lyons and ACS:LAW did was right, and neither has the Solicitors Regulation Authority that has sent both Davenports Brian Miller and Dave Gore and ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley to their Disciplinary Tribunal.
There are many ways to hide online, doing what PSB LAW has attempted to do, may have worked, however the best way to remain anonymous online and protect your name and reputation seems to me to not upset people in the first place by exercising dubious legal methods.
The FULL hearing into Davenport Lyons Lawyers Dave Gore and Brian Miller.
(On Page 7 at 18 the cryptic letters are as follows …
Tw = Topware Interactive
Cm = Codemaasters
RP = Reality Pump
T = Techland
A = Atari
Dp = Digiprotect
Ls = Logistep)
I realise they may be seeking anonymity, but NONE of them have apologised for the pain they caused, so I think they are fair game.
It has come to my attention that this PDF is NOT searchable, so here is one that is. I must caution you however that this is an OCR Conversion and may contain grammatical innacuracies.
I would urge you to use this one for it’s search capability and then compare the results with the original. Unlike those engaged in Speculative Invoicing, I like to be accurate… I hope you understand.
Here is the SEARCHABLE version
Please post any observations or comments below.
To Download each version. Please click HERE for the original….
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
Dave Gore and Brian Miller have been suspended by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for sending intimidating letters of claim to members of the general public that they accused of filesharing. *
Although Gore and Miller accused the people they sent letters to , they never gave them a chance to prove their innocence in Court, they relied on people not responding to their letters to get dubious “Default payments”
The Suspension willl be for three months and they will be fined £20,000.
The SDT said:
Their judgment became distorted and they pursued the scheme regardless of the impact on the people receiving the letters and even of their own clients.
In addition to the £20,000 fine, Miller and Gore were ordered to pay interim costs to the SRA of £150,000.
The SDT went on to say:
“Some of those affected were vulnerable members of the public. There was significant distress. We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a conclusion and hope that it serves as a warning to others.
“Solicitors have a duty to act with integrity, independence and in the best interests of their clients. Solicitors who breach those duties can expect to face action by the SRA.”
The order has been suspended for 21 days to allow for appeals.
Although this is a welcome development, it no way goes to be an adequate punishment for the pain caused. £20,000 fine would be easily miniscule to the profit that was made from people scared of legal letters and paying up to make the situation “Go away”, Davenport like their successor ACS:LAW aimed the letter of claim at a cynical price of £500 – £750, the same cost to employ a lawer to fight the claim.
A Three month supension will allow them to be back in work for the New Year.
We look forward to seeing what the SDT does with the ACS:LAW/Andrew Crossley hearing later in the year, but after this rather dissapointing ruling we dont expect much.
*(For more on the background of Davenport Lyons “Letter of Claim” see the excellent Torrentfreak that broke the news way back in 2007)
**Davenport Lyons has issued a response to the SDT Findings.
“We were instructed by the owners of intellectual property rights in music, film and games to help them curtail the significant losses they were suffering as a result of the unlawful file-sharing of their products.
“The steps we took on behalf of our clients were for the protection of their legitimate legal rights. We consider that we acted in our clients’ best interests at all times.
“We wholeheartedly support David and Brian’s intention to appeal both the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal’s original decision and the resulting suspension and fine.”
Just a thought Davenport Lyons, when you are in a hole, STOP digging, you have been found guilty in the Court of Public Opinion a long time ago, and that could be easy to dismiss, however NOW you have been found guilty by you own regulatory body and their disciplinary body.
Accept you have done wrong and APOLOGISE for the pain you have caused.
You are going down the same road as Andrew Crossley and ACS:LAW by denying that you have done anything wrong. Last time we looked that path was not good…