Golden Eye International Limited (“GEIL”), of which Julian Becker is a Director (Cartoon picture), are now sending out letters to people they accuse of infringing copyright even though the recipients denied their claim. A classic “Not listening to anything you have to say”
From the copy of the letters we have seen; let’s look at what they say:
GEILs starts with;
The letter we sent you on <some date> has been approved by Mr Justice Arnold, after input from both Telefonica’s (O2/BE) legal representatives and Consumer Focus and Open Rights Group on behalf of consumers.
Your name and address have been disclosed by Telefonica (O2/BE) as being assigned to the IP address referred to in our earlier letter, at the date and time when the infringement too place.
So GEIL associate their Court approved letter and its content with this this letter they have created themselves? The problem with that is Justice Arnold stated in paragraph 125 from the NPO judgement;
Secondly, the draft letter does not make it clear that the fact that an order for disclosure has been made does not mean that the court has considered the merits of allegation of infringement against the Intended Defendant.
So everything else GEIL say in their response letter should reflect those words.
GEILs own words say the subscriber details were assigned to an IP address. This is a fact because somebody has to be named at an address to pay the Internet Service Provider (“ISP”) bill. To me GEIL are acknowledging this fact and would be aware that the subscriber is not the infringer.
And at the NPO judgement, Consumer Focus was representing the intended defendants because O2 didn’t have legal representation to defend their customers. Quite clearly Consumer Focus provided a monumental effort to not allow GEIL to send their original template letter. The Open Rights Group (“ORG”) were NOT part of the original NPO hearing and O2/BE had no representatives. So basically GEIL are being disingenuous here.
GEILs letter goes on;
You have responded to our letter with a standard response from the internet. In addition to the evidence we have, we would also present to the Court, if necessary, that your communication copied and pasted from the type of sites that offer these responses is further proof of your infringement using the P2P networks.
Julian Becker is someone who claimed to not to have anything to do with Andrew Crossley and ACS:Law (Which he clearly does here), is quite happy to use a template letter originally used by Davenport Lyons and then ACS:Law (And others). This changed as Justice Arnold in the Norwich Pharmacal Order (“NPO”) application Court case wouldn’t allow his template letter as Becker wanted to send it.
Now GEIL are dismissing Letter of Denial (“LoD”) responses from O2 subscribers because he says it is a template!
Notwithstanding the fact that GEIL have no evidence that the subscriber is the infringer as they insist, they now make assertions that using a template response is further proof of the infringement! I call it clutching at straws.
I hope this will finally disprove those rumors that associate us with Andrew Crossley, although my mother was disappointed it has been proved that I am indeed a pornographer not a solicitor.
And I am guessing that his work puts him in easier access to Lawyers to call on at will but scared, innocent, confused and limited means O2 subscribers are not allowed help according to him.
Anyone using the “Speculative Invoicing Handbook – Second Edition” gets a full and concise explanation of an area of expertise and law that even High Court Judges have trouble understanding, as do Members of Parliament and others.
The firm had used template letters/paragraphs which did not fully reflect the true position.
So effectively if GEIL are to reply using a template response then a template LoD is sufficient also. Actually it is more than sufficient because it fully adheres to the Civil Procedure Rules – Pre Action Conduct – Annex A.
So by GEILs logic, would it be incorrect for an O2 subscriber to go to a Solicitor and gain legal advice and have the Solicitor draft up a letter? Would that also be seen as proof of infringement because no effort was made to draft the letter alone?
And what about the “type of sites” part? What type of sites? Is this guilt by association? So I assume this very blog is promoting copyright infringement from GEILs perspective. Or maybe http://beingthreatened.yolasite.com/ is packed with torrent downloads from GEILs perspective also?
No, the fact is that this blog and http://beingthreatened.yolasite.com/ are helping vulnerable people who have been accused of something they haven’t done simply because they are O2 subscribers.
Maybe GEIL should look at their “type of site” which contains some questionable content:
Clem Vogler, a Chartered Physicist who is registered as a computer expert with the Expert Witness Directory, has written a detailed report of our software.
And surely an “Expert Witness” who has to write a “detailed report” to be used in the High Court would perform a rigorous test of software that is going to be used to obtain IP addresses from a P2P network? Well, from the NPO again:
The tests were carried out in October and November 2009. Mr Vogler explains he did not have Xtrack installed on his computer, and did not concern himself with how it worked, but treated it as a “black box”. He simply presented it with inputs, namely his test files, and examined the outputs to see if they corresponded to his inputs. He was satisfied that they did correspond.
“Mr Vogler explains he did not have Xtrack installed on his computer, and did not concern himself with how it worked”. Some statements are worth commenting on but any “Expert Witness” making this statement in the High Court, well, it speaks for itself.
We use the latest technology to identify those IP addresses from which our films and content are being uploaded to peer-to-peer networks and through rigorous and legal means contact the offenders notifying them of our intent to get them to cease any similar activities in the future as well as negotiate an equitable settlement for the losses caused by their unlawful practises.
So publically saying that IP addresses represents “the offenders”. Which Court said that? Which Judge said that? What Court case said that? Indeed Judge Birss at the case that ended the ACS:LAW debacle, stated that ACS:LAWs client Media C.A.T “do not know who did it and know that they do not know who did it” (Section 28)
GEILs letter goes on;
In the absence of a defence from you relating specifically to the infringement to which we are referring, we consider it likely that the Court would, on the balance of probabilities, come to the conclusion that it is you who has carried out the infringement to which we refer.
In the absence of real evidence from GEIL, and they have already implied the subscriber is assigned to an IP address and not the infringer earlier in their letter, the Court on the balance of probabilities may very well come to the conclusion that the defendant did not infringe copyright.
Thirdly, the draft letter asserts under the heading “Infringing Acts” that the Intended Defendant is liable for infringement. Although the last paragraph under that heading implicitly acknowledges the possibility that the Intended Defendant may not be the person who was responsible for the infringing acts, this acknowledgement is not sufficiently explicit. Furthermore, the reference under the heading “Proposed Settlement” to “inaction, by permitting a third party to use your internet connection” undermines the effect of the implicit acknowledgement. As HHJ Birss QC has explained, nothing less than authorisation suffices for infringement, at least in the context of a claim for damages.
Fourthly, the second paragraph under the heading “Legal Consequences” is too one-sided in that it sets out the consequences to the Intended Defendant of a successful claim without acknowledging the consequences to the relevant Claimant of an unsuccessful one.
Justice Arnold said the above in relation to the original LoC GEIL wanted to send. So HHJ Birss QC says “nothing less than authorisation suffices for infringement, at least in the context of a claim for damages” and the “Legal Consequences” is too one-sided. The statement from GEIL again does not set out evidence of authorisation and again is too one sided.
GEILs letter goes on;
The evidence we have shows the following:
1) Hash of the content being uploaded by you, along with the content name, size and Torrent name. This will uniquely identify the file/movie that was being shared over P2P network.
2) Percentage of the file/movie that was being shared at the time of capture and detection of the infringement.
3) If you are seeding (or partially) more than one content, we have those identified by the ISP.
4) The P2P software, name and version, you were using and the hash that was generated by your software during that session of seeding or partial seeding.
5) The date and the time of seeding of any piece of the content by you with the index of the piece which shows where in the content that piece of data is. As we ask for just one identification by the ISP, this is a snapshot of this as it was happening. All of this could again be sent to the ISP to further identify you.
If we proceed to Court, we will be able to produce the following in digital format:
1) All the pieces seeded by you in a raw format that can then be inspected and further analysed.
2) The raw capture of the packets sent by your P2P software to the Internet at the time of identification. This is raw data that can be analysed further that will essentially show the piece of the content being seeded by you.
That is a lot of technical blurb clearly set out to purposely confuse the subscriber. What it is really is information that was captured from an IP address not an individual person.
It is also a clear assertion from GEIL where they say the subscriber is guilty of the infringement. “being uploaded by you”, “If you are seeding”, “you were using”, “further identify you” etc.
So we see that there is no “phishing” exercise here. GEIL are directly accusing the subscriber which is also apparent from his statement at the NPO hearing:
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
“those IP addresses had been used by the subscribers”. There it is again! Subscriber is the infringer. What is interesting in this interview with Julian Becker, he says:
As regards Richard Clayton’s evidence that the software we use is capable of identifying the correct IP Address but this is not the case every time, I have to listen to my technical advisors who assure me that in the vast majority of the time, the software will identify the correct IP address that has infringed our copyright. The fact that the order was granted implies to me that the judge shared our opinion on this.
“my technical advisors who assure me that in the vast majority of the time, the software will identify the correct IP address that has infringed our copyright”. Hmmm…..Two things of interest there. Firstly, “vast majority of the time” is NOT “all of the time”. Secondly, “the correct IP address that has infringed our copyright” is acknowledging that it is an IP address and not the subscriber.
GEILs letter goes on;
If you would like to view more details regarding the evidence relating to your specific case then please log onto <some “type of site”> , entering the Case Reference <ref> and the Access Code <code>. You will find here the information you have requested, together with the statements of Mr Torabi (Golden Eye’s expert) and that of Mr Vogler, who was the independent expert. The evidence of both Mr Torabi and Mr Vogler was accepted by the High Court when we made our application against Telefonica.
Who would want to log in to GEILs website? Who? Who knows if they use this against someone in a follow up letter saying they have another IP address and this proves again that they are the infringer.
And Mr Vogler being an independent witness? I would agree to him being Independent if he didn’t get paid. I don’t agree that he is an Expert Witness.
GEILs finishes with;
In light of the above, we suggest you reconsider your position and if necessary seek professional legal advice. We look forward to hearing from you either by email <some “type of email”> or to our office at <some office where you dial premium rate numbers>, quoting your reference number <ref>.
<some signature who is not a person>
In light of being very much less than straightforward, dismissing a perfectly good legal response, a direct accusation of the subscriber being the infringer and an attempt to get the subscriber to log in to one of those “type of sites”, GEIL suggests the subscriber to reconsider their position (Back to the SRA Report, Andrew Crossley stated the LoC’s were “…to try and entice people to settle with us, because that is the object of the exercise to avoid litigation”).
The only part of this letter that actually gives good information is to seek legal advice (And that was Court Ordered)
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t reconsider my position if I received this letter!
But wait………what is this that accompanies the letter…………another letter!!!
Let’s see what this letter says:
GEILs starts with;
Thank you for your correspondence regarding infringing our copyright in <some copyright videos>.
Ah, “Without Prejudice”. That’s interesting. So effectively this letter they are offering some form of settlement for which it cannot be tendered as evidence in Court. See Wikipedia Article paragraph:
The term “without prejudice” is used in the course of negotiations to settle a lawsuit. It indicates that a particular conversation or letter cannot be tendered as evidence in court.
GEILs letter goes on;
We would be happy to settle this matter with you at this stage and would ask for <Some disproportionate amount> from you together with the undertakings and details of where to send payment.
Hmmmm……..I’m beginning to think that “Golden Eye” is actually the “All Seeing Eye”. In the first letter they are making the assertion that the subscriber is the infringer and then ask the subscriber to reconsider their position. In the second letter it seems they have anticipated the subscribers response and requested a settlement figure! Amazing! If they are really struggling because no one buys their material, with foresight like that they could pick six numbers and win the lottery! And guess the bonus ball whilst they are at it!
Also this article, Mr Julian Becker says:
Fundamentally we are pursuing those that are uploading not downloading, they are potentially uploading to millions of others who are also using these networks. How many they upload to is impossible to calculate, but in effect these violations are unauthorized distribution, we are not pursuing those who have simply downloaded one film.
That is interesting. The letter I seen was for one download. And apparently it is “impossible to calculate” how many “they upload to” but it is not impossible to calculate a settlement figure!
GEILs finishes with;;
If this is acceptable to you, we will send you an agreement to sign together with the undertakings and details of where to send payment.
Please respond in writing to either our office at <some office where you dial premium rate numbers>, or by e-mail to <some “type of email”> quoting your reference number <ref>.
<some signature who is not a person>
So sending the first letter to a subscriber asking them to reconsider their position simply because the subscriber denied their claim, then accompanying that letter with another letter proposing a disproportionate settlement figure on the basis that the subscriber has admitted the infringement could be considered injudicious.
Now such a settlement letter being sent by a private company is obviously possible because there is no regulatory body that can scrutinise GEILs actions.
An extract from Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (“SDT”) Case Number 10726-2011; between the regulatory body Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”) and Andrew Jonathan Crossley, paragraph 91.16:
The settlement sums demanded were not based on any or any genuine assessment of the damages and costs for which recipients were liable. In interview with the IO on 16 February 2010, the Respondent had stated:-
“…actually I decided to take a more broad brush approach to this now and simply said “our client is prepared to compromise his claim in receipt of £540 or £495” whatever the figure is going to be, and that’s what it is and we believe the damages would be more in court, as simple as that. I don’t think we need to quantify how the compromise amount has been arrived at other than to say it’s the amount our client is prepared to settle at to avoid a claim.”
And a reminder of what happened to Andrew Jonathan Crossley, paragraph 109:
Statement of Full Order
The Tribunal Ordered that the Respondent, Andrew Jonathan Crossley, solicitor, be suspended from practice as a solicitor for the period of two years to commence on the 16th day of January 2012 and it further Ordered that he do pay the costs of and incidental to this application and enquiry fixed in the agreed sum of £76,326.55.
If the SDT judgement is that such practices warranted Andrew Jonathan Crossley being suspended for 2 years, then such practices must be considered unacceptable.
Anyone who has been a recipient of such a settlement letter could raise a complaint to various persons / organisation such as:
Judge: Arnold J. (NPO Judge) Clerk: Alison Lee, Tel: 020 7073 1789, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Judge: Birss J. Clerk: John Curtis, Tel: 0207 947 7379, email: email@example.com
Write to your MP or Lords representative: http://www.writetothem.com/
Find your MP: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
Consumer Complaint – Citizens Advice: https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=citacomplainform&to=flare.fromforms
Open Rights Group: firstname.lastname@example.org
Court of Appeal civil division – Listing Office
For queries about listing cases for hearing, and other queries regarding hearing dates, and should also be used for queries about the settlement of cases
Telephone: 020 7947 6195/6917, Fax: 020 7947 6621, Email: email@example.com
Court of Appeal civil division – Associates
Relates to the Associates or Court Clerks and should be used for queries about Orders of the Court, and any other post judgment matters
Telephone: 020 7947 6879, Fax: 020 7947 6751, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scrambled first letter page one:
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
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 – 188.8.131.52
http://www.aleriza.me – 184.108.40.206
http://www.cyberdealer.co.uk – 220.127.116.11
http://www.ng3systems.com – 18.104.22.168
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.
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!
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.