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
“I have ceased my work… I have been subject to criminal attack,”, “My emails have been hacked. I have had death threats and bomb threats,”
So said ACS:LAWs Andrew Crossley’s in a statement read out in Court AFTER he had left.
And with that he was gone, the infamous Lawyer who has led his Law firm to destruction and many thousands of innocent people to despair, has seemingly given up. The man whose lies have broken marriages and familys and lives, issued his statement, and went, didn’t even hang about to deliver it himself.
I have no doubt however, he WILL be back, maybe as an “Advisor” or “Co-ordinator), his Ego will demand it. But what of his claims of threats, against him?
Today the Metropolitan Police has said it had no knowledge of any bomb threat against Mr Crossley or ACS:Law. The US Company that Crossley claimed to be working with Dunlap, Grubb and Weaver (also known as United Copyright Group), evacuated its offices after receiving a bomb threat via email last October.
As those who have been following this story for the last few years, will know, ACS:LAW are “not the best at getting things right“, indeed they even attempted SUE a forum that had included that very statement. And this is the kind of scenario that made ACS:LAW the most hated Law firm in the UK, and the most complained about, over 500 complaints had been received regarding their practice at the point that Andrew Crossley was referred to the “Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal”, for the THIRD time!
They threatened to sue the owner of a domain that was called “BeingScammed” a website that provided vital information and help in the early days, In a leaked Twitter conversation the Paralegal and EX Davenport Lyons employee Terence Tsang said of this incident
TezimondoYes but I decided to not pursue him for costs and damages. Was feeling nice.
BeingScammed rebranded and morphed into BeingThreatened arguably a far more powerful base alongside the Slyck forum for those letter recipients that felt that the ACS:LAW model did not pass the “Smell test”. Indeed this very Blog was setup as a repository for the background to these people behind the practice, there is lots of it.
But Crossley is a consummate liar, a man who is VERY slippery indeed. Many times he has been caught out and changed his now defunct website to suit the fact he had been found out. The different Law Firms that cropped up alongside ACS:LAW (Tilly Bailey Irvine, Gallant Macmillan) seemingly linked by a common purpose of “Copyright enforcement” were later exposed by the release of ACS:LAW of their email database to be linked also by Crossley as well, sharing letter templates and other ideas, whilst the others though fell by the wayside, TBI first then Gallant Macmillan due to negative publicity, ACS:LAW had no such reputation that could be harmed so Crossley ploughed on.
An interview with Crossley by the Telegraph highlights the type of person that the public have been exposed to for nearly TWO years.
When we spoke he had portrayed himself as a pauper, telling me that ‘less than a month ago’ he had been wandering around an air show with no money in his pocket and not a ‘penny to my name’. The leaked data painted a very different picture.
‘Hi Paul,’ he said, a few days later in an email to me. ‘One thing I wanted to scratch from the interview was I said I had no money recently. That was not an accurate reflection of the position.’
No not accurate at all, Crossley expected to make over THREE MILLION POUNDS himself (2010-2011) that would have been Crossleys cut, the GROSS revenue was to be a whopping TEN MILLION POUNDS. That after all was what this tawdry mess was all about all along.
The story he trolls about regarding his “emails being hacked” is not true either, he was a target of a ddos, but he had the arrogance to mock that, it was AFTER this that his site was overwhelmed and in rebuilding his website the plank exposed his email backup to the World in the root Directory. Why he had the WHOLE archive in such a place is still a mystery. He has still not apologised to the public for exposing their details to the world.
This year the Company GCB LTD seemed to have also joined the fray but the moment they started they were crushed by an outpouring of scorn and derision. It turned out that a Paralegal from ACS:LAW had taken over GCB LTD, but Crossley denied ANY knowledge, this again was a lie exposed at the second Court hearing where Crossley let slip that in addition to Jonathan Miller there was an unnamed SECOND ex employee.
At the Court hearing it was disclosed by Crossley that GCB LTD had been planned in September, interestingly the same time period as the “Email leak”
The links to his friend Lee Bowden owner of Media C.A.T I believe are well established and have been reported on already. Bowden is the Managing Director of “Piri Ltd”, and the “Text Works” in addition to Media C.A.T
Many people mainly those who stood up and refused to pay up, and some of the Media have come out of this well, a few have not. Sky has still not even reported on their “Breaking News” Channel the fact of the ACS:LAW email leak, there is suspicion regarding Sky and ACS:LAW and the silence that SKY has tried to bring to this in light of them being the biggest ISP to let down their subscribers it is SHAMEFUL of them. 8000 of their subscribers linked forever with appallingly titled Pornography that is linked to their address and credit card details and SKY says……NOTHING
I believe, I really HOPE this is the end for this horrid “Speculative Invoicing”, only time will tell.
It was rumoured in the forums but now it is official, Gallant Macmillan are no longer representing Ministry of Sound.
In a terse letter to a person accused, Gallant Macmillan the controversial Law firm with links to the Infamous ACS:LAW has announced that it is no longer being instructed by Ministry of Sound, ALTHOUGH it also states that Ministry of Sound are in the process of instructing another firm and that the recipient would “likely to hear from in due course”
Although this sounds rather sinister, it may well be bluster, it is hard to think of what Law firm would pick up the Poison Chalice of further “Speculative Invoicing” cases.
Davenport Lyons fell by the wayside in May 2009, the firm who gained the paralegals from Davenport Lyons, ACS:LAW are still struggling with the legal issues that they have brought on themselves what with the email leak that is being investigated by the ICO and the SRA referring their Principal Andrew Crossley to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal as a result of sending out these letters.
Tilly Bailey Irvine attempted these “Speculative invoicing” for a short time, but long enough to also attract the attention of the SRA who are investigating them for the same reasons. Their reputation was further damaged whenthey were caught “vandalising” their page on Wikipedia in an attempt to erase all mention of their actions.
Terence Tsang the paralegal who left Davenport Lyons for ACS:LAW, left them for Cramer Pelmont. Cramer Pelmont announced that they would start issuing letters in the same model. This did not actually come to fruition though as the ACS:LAW email leaks showed that Tsang has also been working for ACS:LAW whilst at Cramer Pelmont, an accusation that Cramer Pelmonts head honcho Alex Brassey had denied just a week previous.
So just who WILL take instructions from the Ministry of Sound? I would like to think that no one would, but I have underestimated ACS:LAW before…..
Just also want ot say, HAVE A GREAT CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR….PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW THESE PEOPLE TO RUIN YOUR HOLIDAYS.
The Ministry of Sound has buckled under pressure of their disastrous “Speculative Invoicing” Scheme. Like all bullies it has backed down after someone stood up to them and called their bluff.
That someone was the ISP BT, BT it seems wanted Ministry of Sounds lawyers(Gallant Macmillan) to ensure the safety of it’s subscribers data. This followed the catastrophic release by ACS:LAW of its emails online, exposing thousands of internet users personal data. As Gallant Macmillan models its own plan on that of ACS:LAW it seems that BT was very concerned.
A hearing that had been adjourned until January 2011 was greatly anticipated by internet users and those wrongly accused by Gallant Macmillan and others as being a turning point in the future granting of Norwich Pharmacal Orders (NPO) the orders that a Court grants for the release of information. Sadly now it seems that won’t happen.
There has been growing opinion that law firms had been abusing the NPO orders, using them to get information with no actual intention of going to Court for the sole purpose of gaining money by sending letters to people they suspected of sharing their “Works”.
BT has issued its own statement on the issue, most revealing was this “Ministry of Sound’s decision is clearly a matter for them. It’s a shame though that, in this instance, our concerns over the current process will not be examined by the court,”
Ministry of Sounds statement was put through the new Bull$hit Detector
The following is what came out
Ministry of Sound have had to put on hold their plans to send warning notices to 25,000 illegal uploaders on BT’s broadband network after discovering that the ISP has deleted over 20,000 of the records that Ministry of Sound had asked them to save pending the resolution of a court application.
This is not true, Ministry of Sound and their Lawyers are well aware of the data retention policy of BT. Ministry of Sound/Gallant Macmillan looked set to lose a Court case adjourned until January 2011 that would have been a PR disaster for them.
Ministry of Sound launched a campaign in July targeting the illegal uploading of their music on the UK’s digital network. This work was undertaken by lawyers Gallant MacMillan and technology provider DigiRights Solutions who identified over 150,000 UK addresses from where Ministry of Sound’s copyrighted material was illegally uploaded on the internet.
Well there is nothing like adhering to the “Innocent until proven guilty” I guess. It is not surprising as the last thing that Gallant Macmillan would want is an actual Court Case where the alleged infringer actually challenged their evidence or rather lack of it as Gallant Macmillan would be most likely laughed out of the Court.
Since July, Ministry of Sound has been applying to the High Court to require ISPs to provide them with the customer data of the illegal uploaders. This process had been working smoothly and seen over 5,000 warning letters and settlement notices sent to illegal uploaders requiring them either to confirm that they had infringed Ministry of Sound’s copyright and make an out-of-court payment of £350 or risk legal action. Since this campaign was launched a large proportion of those contacted have settled out of court.
Well Ministry of Sound HAVE indeed been applying for these NPOs that require the ISPs to provide them with customer’s details. This however had NOT been going smoothly and the 5000 warning letters were actually “Pay up or face Court and possible financial ruin” letters. There Is no recourse to the law for those accused as Lord Lucas in the House of Lords has stated that it can take around £10,000 to defend one of these cases, this he concluded is “Straight forward legal blackmail” Indeed the Judge who allows the Court Order for the ISPs to release Customer details Chief Master Winegarten said “There wouldn’t be this hue and cry unless you were pursuing people who were innocent. I can’t understand why in these thousands – hundreds of thousands – [of letters sent out] no-one has been sued.”
Last month BT decided to challenge this process following a security breach by an unrelated firm, ACS Law, and convinced a Master in the courts to require Ministry of Sound to provide additional information to ensure that the privacy of BT customers would not be breached. Ministry of Sound were happy to do this despite the substantial costs that were going to be incurred and in spite of the fact that the ACS Law security breach bore no relation to this application.
Well this is NOT true at all, indeed Gallant Macmillan are using the same business model as ACS:LAW and to further compound the connection, in the leaked emails from ACS:LAW it shows that Simon Gallant and Andrew Crossley met up for coffee (I am sure they were not just talking about the merits of HMV*), and Crossley later referred to Gallant Macmillan as fellow Brigands, so not as unconnected as we were first led to believe. The fact that the Ministry of Sound had NO CHOICE but to go along with the adjournment as the quality of evidence was starting to be questioned
However, subsequently in legal correspondence it was revealed that BT has failed to preserve over 20,000 of the 25,000 customer records which Ministry of Sound had originally requested and which they had agreed to do their best to preserve. Whilst Ministry of Sound were happy to incur substantial legal costs to access 25,000 names it is simply not economic to pursue the 5,000 remaining illegal uploaders.
Why should this have anything to do with economics? Surely this is about a principle that the Ministry of Sound believes that people are stealing their music (The fact that this is NOT what they argued in Court is by the way it seems, as Ministry of Sound are a compilation label they only have the “Rights” to the track listing of an Album NOT the music, I know I know, now stop laughing) This statement amongst all others proves that the Ministry of Sound are not interested in true justice but merely fleecing potentially innocent people out of money
Ministry of Sound CEO Lohan Presencer said: “It is very disappointing that BT decided not to preserve the identities of the illegal uploaders. Given that less than 20% of the names remain and BT costs have soared from a few thousand pounds to several hundred thousand pounds, it makes no economic sense to continue with this application. We are more determined than ever to go after internet users who illegally upload our copyrighted material. We will be making further applications for information from all ISPs. Every time that a track or album is uploaded to the web it is depriving artists of royalties and reducing the money which we can invest in new British talent.”
The XFactor has more original talent than the Ministry of Sound, nay I say Sir, Britains Got Talent has more talent, and that is saying something.
Ministry of Sound
Ministry of Sound is a flagship for British youth culture; an iconic brand that includes a club, the world’s largest independent record label, and a multimedia entertainment business, all directed from the company’s South London home.
LMAO God help the British youth culture if this bunch of ambulance chasers are its flagship
Norwich Pharmacal Order
The IP addresses of illegal uploaders are identified using the same technology as is used for identifying other illegal activity online. An application is made through the courts to have ISPs hand over personal information relating to those customers. This process is known as a Norwich Pharmacal Order after a 1974 case where the House of Lords determined that:
“where a third party had become involved in unlawful conduct, they were under a duty to assist the person suffering damage by giving them full information and disclosing the identity of wrongdoers.”
For the application to be granted by a court the victim, in this case the copyright holder, must demonstrate:
• a reasonable basis to allege that a wrong has actually been committed
• the disclosure of documents or information from the third party is needed to enable action against the wrongdoer
• the respondent is not a “mere witness”, but is sufficiently mixed up in the wrongdoing so as to have facilitated it, even if innocently, and therefore be in a position to provide the information
• the order is necessary in the interests of justice on the facts of the case
When put together with the statements of Gallant Macmillan and the Ministry of Sound who seem to have already found the people guilty without a hearing the above statements regarding the NPO shows how abused the system has become. It is a great shame that the Ministry of Sound have denied people the January hearing as it may well have been a turning point in the history of Speculative Invoicing, as it is Gallant Macmillan and the Ministry of Sound like ACS:LAW and Davenport Lyons before them have once again made a mockery of the Justice system.
The statement that ACS:LAW and Gallant MacMillan were not “connected” seems to imply that they did not know each other and did not work together, I call this an outrageous lie. See the two statements below
*I think people have got used to being able to file share. Nobody would dream of going into HMV and walking out without paying. Even more to the point they wouldn’t dream of reproducing CDs and just giving them out to other people for free. – Simon Gallant (Gallant Macmillan)
“It is the equivalent of someone stood outside HMV with a pile of the latest albums, handing them out to people who were intending to go in the shop and buy it,” – Andrew Crossley (ACS:LAW)
Ok so they may have just come up with very similar sounding statements on their own. However below are included the emails that PROVE they knew of each other, even meeting up.
In a startling email between Andrew Crossley and Andrew Hopper QC (concerning collaborating with Tilly Bailey and Irvine), Andrew Crossley dismisses Davenport Lyons efforts (Which he based his whole practice on) as “.. a little bit rubbish at doing this work” and adds “….to arrogant”
What is really interesting is that it appears that Andrew Hopper QC is actually working with ACS:LAW and also Tilly Bailey and Irvine by advising them how best to deal with the SRA.
In the email Crossley continues regarding Davenport Lyons arrogance by stating “…not like me, TBI or the latest brigand Gallant Macmillan”
The link with Gallant Macmillan is unfortunate timing for them in light of the email leak. Gallant Macmillan are back in Court on 4th October to contest the release of an NPO which will give them permission to get lots of further names from the IP addresses they already hold (for the Ministry of Sound).
The original hearing was on the 20th September 2010 but was adjourned as Chief Master Winegarten the presiding Judge had reservations about granting the NPO. This was covered in an article by Torrentfreak
It will be a VERY interesting October 4th when Simon Gallant walks through the door and has to put his case before the Judge, in light of ACS:LAW releasing their emails to the public
To write to Chief Master Winegarten CHANCERY DIVISION, ROOM TM 7.08, THE ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE, STRAND, LONDON, WC2A 2LL
The full email is here
Gallant MacMillan claim to have sent out 7000 letters regarding the “Ministry of Sound – The Annual” Album. They are demanding £250 – £300 for each alleged infringement
What Is slightly amusing is that part of the “Settlement” is that you are allowed to keep a copy for yourself?? As a recipient of one of the letters pointed out, “gee thanks, a piece of crap I had never heard of and I get to keep it for £300, thanks, as I dont have it will they send me a copy?”
Another point of interest is that although according to the letter “Ministry of Sound instructed a Software Company to indicate when the file was shared” it does NOT name the Company!!
If you have received a letter is DO NOT worry, YOU are NOT going to JAIL, this is a CIVIL matter, and the flush is pretty much busted on this scheme now, (almost, not quite yet though)
Write a letter of Denial, send it and leave it there. Don’t get involved with further correspondence, if you KNOW you did not do it and you KNOW you did not authorise someone else to do it, you have done NOTHING wrong.
IF you have committed the infringement seek legal advice as the actual Cash demand is disproportionate
If of course Gallant MacMillan are ANYTHING like ACS:LAW then I would hazard a guess that many many people have been targeted who are totally innocent. The Frontpage of their website states “Pure legal advice. No funny business” Hmmmm
This all comes Hot on the heels of ACS:LAW issuing letters of Claim for ”Cascada – Evacuate the Dancefloor” and demanding monies of £200 – £400 (I wonder if a Judge actually heard this awful mess of muzak he might actually LAUGH the claim out of Court on the understanding that NOONE could have such bad taste as to waste their time in the first place)
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