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.
Despite assurances from GEILs “Commercial Director” Julian Becker that he is NOT connected to ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley, the release of the template of their Pre-Action letter, shows that he is at least a fan of the format of letter that was developed by Davenport Lyons, and licensed by them to ACS:LAW , who then in turn let Tilly Baily Irvine use them. TBI were the Solicitors for GEIL/BDP.
It is watered down for sure, as I have said all along, it would be a “Refinement”, but it is still essentially the same format with the same evidence, or should that be, LACK OF EVIDENCE.
The letter is really an exercise in Phishing, you would have thought a company who had gone to Court and gained a Norwich Pharmacal order, would at least have some kind of concrete evidence, right? Err no not quite.
The letter states that
“This letter assumes that you, as the internet account holder at your address, were the user of the relevant computer on the day and time in question,” the letter states under the title “Infringing acts.”
“In the event that you were not responsible for the infringing acts outlined above because, for example, another member of your household was the user of the computer, you should make full disclosure to us of the other parties at your residence using your internet connection to make the Work available for download,” the letter states.
“A failure to make such disclosure may lead to a claim being made against you with the court being asked to conclude, on the balance of probabilities, that you were the user of the computer.”
ACS:LAW in their desperation issued a questionnaire that covered the same criteria, GEIL are using it in their initial letter! One thing is missing though and that is a demand for money,(GEIL had wanted to demand £700 per letter, but were slapped down by the High Court), this on the face of things seems a good thing, however, it almost certainly guarantees at least a second letter.
We know from the ACS:LAW cases that when they got to court, they were laughed back out. Judge Birss said of ACS:LAWs client Media C.A.T,
The letter also contains another similarity to the ACS:LAW letter, the “Forensic computer analyst”, Hmm that would be Alireza Torabi, the same one that ACS:LAW used, of course Becker has already stated he had no problems with Torabis system, only Crossleys use, but that is the issue, a lot of the captured data was duff.
One final concern, is that in the Solicitors Regulation Authorities report, they stated,
“Neither MCAT nor the Respondent had evidence that the “Work” had been made available. They had a report from the monitoring company which showed that its software had captured pieces of the two pornographic videos being made available from an IP address at a particular second in time.”
What was true a year ago is as true as today, there IS NO EVIDENCE, that is why the letter is designed to trip up a person who has not infringed but at least could be hoodwinked into paying up. It is a scare tactic being used by a failing pornography business to generate money.. PURE AND SIMPLE
Now what was it that Lindsay Honey (Ben Dover) said? Ahh yes..
Says it all really
EDIT: If YOU receive a letter from Golden Eye International, then contact your local Citizens Advice Center. Citizens Advice Consumer Service (08454 04 05 06) or your local Citizens Advice Bureau And of course post comments here or on the Slyck forums!
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”
Telefonica Spanish owner of O2, were approached by Golden Eye International with a request to disclose 9124 (NINE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FOUR) of its customers details. “Golden Eye International” (GEIL) is a trading name for “Ben Dover”, the Pornographers.
It is astonishing to think that this request came on the 20th September 2011, a FULL year after the ACS:LAW debacle unravelled. At a time when all other ISPs have stated they would not work with the “Speculative Invoicing” scheme, O2 alone has bucked the trend.
They did NOT fight for their customers, rather they SOLD them out
5: 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.
6: On 18 November 2011 the parties were given notice of a disposal hearing before Chief Master Winegarten on 6 December 2011. On 28 November 2011 Baker & McKenzie wrote to the Chief Master to confirm that O2 did not oppose the making of an order in the terms submitted by Golden Eye, and therefore did not intend to attend the hearing. At the hearing on 6 December 2011 Mr Becker attended on behalf of the Claimants. The Chief Master raised a number of questions about the proposed order, which he asked Mr Becker to relay to Baker & McKenzie. Mr Becker duly did so, and on 14 December 2011 Baker & McKenzie wrote to the Chief Master answering his questions. In the letter Baker & McKenzie stated that, prior to issuing the Claim Form, Golden Eye had provided O2 with a draft of the proposed order and that Baker & McKenzie had made amendments to the draft. A number of amendments were identified and explained. The letter reiterated that O2 did not oppose the making of an order in that form. Having considered the letter, the Chief Master decided to refer the claim to a judge.
120: In consider the proportionality of the order sought, it seems to me that it is important to have regard to the precise terms of that order. The terms of the draft order having been negotiated between Golden Eye and Baker & McKenzie, it is in a form that O2 is content with. Thus it may be regarded as proportionate as between the Claimants and O2
32:1: 4(b) Within 7 days of the date of this Order, the First Applicant, on behalf of all the Applicants, shall pay into an escrow account to be held by the Respondent’s solicitors, Baker & McKenzie LLP, (the ‘Escrow Account’) a sum equal to £2.20 per IP address requested within the initial Batch together with £2500 costs to be held as security for the costs specified in paragraph 5 below.
They COULD have contested it, but CHOSE not to.
If YOU are a subscriber of O2, I think maybe you should consider moving to an ISP who values you as a customer more than the needs of a Pornographer who after all is merely following the example of ACS:LAW. Golden Eye International after all were first represented by Tilly Baily Irvine. It was only when TBI reacted to the negative publicity including being named in the House of Lords that they withdrew and GEIL continued.
Their will be another hearing after Easter regarding the GEIL hearing and how the letters will be composed, one thing is for sure GEIL did NOT get what they wanted.
This is not a new direction more an attempted refinement of the scheme that Davenport Lyons, ACS:LAW, Tilly Baily Irvine and Gallant Macmillan/Ministry of Sound have attempted and failed. It should be treated with the same contempt.
The contempt indeed that O2 have shown it’s customers.
Previous Posts RE Golden Eye International
Speculative invoicing or “Copyright Trolling” really is the “Turd that will not flush”
Just as Davenport Lyons, ACS:LAW, Tilly Baily Irvine, and Gallant Macmillan, have been roundly ridiculed in the House of Lords, the Media and the High Court, and apart from Gallant Macmillan all been financially punished by the SRA/SDT most of us thought this tawdry practice of sending out letters in the hope of receiving money from people to scared to frightened or not able to afford to defend themselves was well and truly over.
For those who are not aware of this sad saga, please see these links for background.
However, their will always be one arrogant or greedy or indeed both Lawyer and Troll who will chance their arm, and indeed reputation. Step forward Golden Eye International (GEIL), better know as Pornographer Ben Dover, (AKA Simon Lindsay Honey) alongside Barrister extrodianaire (well if his own hype is to be believed) Jonathon Cohen of Littleton Chambers
They were in Court on Friday applying for an order known as an NPO for 9000 names, yep NINE THOUSAND, they want to send demands of £700, to each of these people which will net them a cool £6.3 MILLION
The interesting thing about all this, is that it IS the same sad old scheme “Pay us or else”
Even more amusing, Golden Eye International are using the same “Expert Witness” that ACS:LAW used but considered troublesome in the emails they leaked, Clem Vogler, and if that was not bizarre enough they are using Alireza Torabi of NG3Systems
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 monitioring to be done by Guardaley. One would have thought Torabi at least would have learnt his lesson!
Computer Focus are the group who have employed Ralli Barrister Guy Tritton who tore the ACS:LAW/Media C.A.T case to shreds before High Court Justice Birss.
Jonathan Cohen acting for the Pornographer (GEIL) stated that it was not “economically viable for Golden Eye International) to bring a test case”, in other words to show they have a valid case. This should be no surprise as Judge Birss at the ACS:LAW/Media C.A.T hearing stated, that (See her for link)
Whether it was intended to or not, I cannot imagine a system better designed to create disincentives to test the issues in court. Why take cases to court and test the assertions when one can just write more letters and collect payments from a proportion of the recipients?
Media CAT and ACS:Law have a very real interest in avoiding public scrutiny of the cause of action because in parallel to the 26 court cases, a wholesale letter writing campaign is being conducted from which revenues are being generated. This letter writing exercise is founded on the threat of legal proceedings such as the claims before this court.
Judge Birss also made the point In summing up of the ACS:LAW?Media C.A.T case in regard to the Norwich Pharmacal Orders
Wider issues – this kind of Norwich Pharmacal order
111 I cannot 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. In my judgment when a Norwich Pharmacal order is sought of the kind made in this case, it may well be worth considering how to manage the subsequent use of the identities disclosed. Perhaps consideration should be given to making a Group Litigation Order under CPR Part 19 from the outset and providing a mechanism for identifying tests cases at an early stage before a letter writing campaign begins. When Anton Piller (search and seizure) orders are made the practice is for a supervising solicitor who does not act for the claimant to be closely involved in order to ensure that the orders are not abused. The supervising solicitors are experienced practitioners. Perhaps a court asked for a Norwich Pharmacal order of the kind made here should consider requiring some similar form of supervision from a experienced neutral solicitor.
112 A party seeking a Norwich Pharmacal order in a case like this should also give serious consideration to s102 of the 1988 Act. Although s102(3) clearly provides that s102(1) does not affect the granting of interlocutory relief a Norwich Pharmacal order has some elements of final relief about it. After all the Norwich Pharmacal action comes to an end once the order is made. In any case just because the court has power to grant the relief without joining the copyright owner does not mean it must do so.
UPDATE 1: The ISPs involved in this case are o2 and Bethere, essentialy the same company Telefonica. In the past these Lawfirms have only targetted ISPs who have said they will not challenge the order. In other words, if you are a customer of O2 or Bethere, think, wether you want to remain a customer of a company that thinks so little of you that they put the needs of a Pornographer above yours! The could have challenged the order, but DIDN’T
Maybe you should consider Plusnet as your new ISP.