Well, it is now over twelve months since the disclosure from O2 of their subscriber private details they provided to Golden Eye International (“GEIL”) following the Norwich Pharmacal Order (“NPO”) Court judgement and GEILs successful appeal.
This Anniversary now requires GEIL to perform their Court order obligation to destroy the private details of the O2 subscribers they have not sent a begging letter to (See below).
Within twelve months of the date of disclosure, the Applicants shall destroy all copies of any data which has not been used to either send a letter or claim or issue legal proceedings for infringement of copyright on the terms set out in this Order and shall provide written confirmation to the Respondent that such destruction has taken place.”
The interesting part of the above paragraph is “issue legal proceedings”. This would seem an assumption that a High Court Judge has a belief that GEIL will actually bring proceedings against alleged infringers and I believe it was crucial for the ruling of disclosure. This can be seen further from the following paragraph of the Order:
The Applicants are granted permission (to the extent that it is necessary) to use the information provided to it pursuant to the Order in paragraph 1 herein for the purposes of bringing separate proceedings for copyright infringement against those said persons (or any of them), and for the purposes of any pre-action correspondence relating thereto.
The part “for the purposes of bringing separate proceedings for copyright infringement against those said persons” is foremost and prominent in the Order, whilst “pre-action correspondence” is “relating thereto”.
Indeed, from the actual Court approved letter that GEIL sent to alleged infringers, it states:
In the event that that this matter cannot be resolved, it may become necessary for GEIL and BDP to bring a claim against you for copyright infringement. This claim would be brought in the civil court, where liability is determined on the balance of probabilities.
Our initial letters in summary gave details of the infringements the software had detected, giving specific dates and times in addition to film titles. The letters then gave the recipient our legal position and encouraged them to contact us so that we could make an informed judgement on whether we would be pursuing the case through the courts or ceasing action. It also gave the recipient the option to admit the offence, financially settle the matter as well as committing to not re commit the offence.
So “we could make an informed judgement on whether we would be pursuing the case through the courts or ceasing action” again is foremost and prominent.
The truth is GEIL have conducted a campaign of threatening Court action against alleged infringers unless GEILs settlement figure has been paid.
The truth is GEIL have not issued proceedings against any alleged infringer who denied their claim.
So will GEIL ever issue proceedings against an alleged infringer?
Of course we know that GEIL have a history of speculative invoicing. This Judgement from HHJ Birss QC shows GEILs intent. Quite clearly this shows GEILs true intention of only going after “default judgements” under Civil Procedure Rules (“CPR”), Part 12.1.
In order to secure a “default judgement” , GEIL would need to issue proceedings against an alleged infringer to the Courts and the alleged infringer fails to file an acknowledgement or fails to provide a defence to proceedings.
He was also concerned about the breach of the Civil Procedure Rules when issuing the claims. Copyright and IP cases can only be heard in certain courts and the money claims the online process used by Golden Eye is not set up for IP cases.
The truth is GEIL have never issued proceedings against an alleged infringer who has contested their claim.
So why would GEIL use the Money Claim Online route? Speculation is they tried this route against those who did not reply to their Letter Of Claim (“LoC”). It was unfortunate for GEIL that these individuals actually took action against their claim and did mount a defence.
The truth is that GEIL have absolutely no interest in issuing proceeding against anyone who denied their claim. Going after default judgements against those who did not reply to their LoC is their “modus operandi”.
The truth is this is NOT the correct actions from an organisation who wishes to protect their copyright.
The message is clear to GEIL. Back up your “Evidence”, “Technical witness” and “Expert witness” and issue proceedings against an alleged infringer who denies your claim.
The truth is no legal outfit or copyright holder has done this, and it will very likely never happen.
After all the efforts of Golden Eye International Limited (“GEIL”) to “protect their copyright” by applying for disclosure from O2 for subscriber names in their Norwich Pharmacal Order (“NPO”), we get to the situation where GEIL leave those who deny their claim in limbo.
GEILs replies vary, but one constant in all replies remain the same. A sort of “GEIL are very nice people who follow rules and judgements and would never harm anybody or anything”.
That constant in their letter is:
We have followed the procedure laid down by the Court when corresponding with you.
Such noble words, but what does that really mean?
From the NPO Court Judgement, let us see what Justice Arnold said about the monitoring:
For the results to be reliable, it is important to ensure that the monitoring software is functioning correctly. In particular, it is vital that the computer on which it is running has a correctly synchronised clock.
Who knows that? Who officially knows that? GEILs “forensic” expert says he “has identified the clock synchronisation source he used, which he says is accurate to 0.1 second”. Who officially saw that when they did the monitoring? We have to take their words for it.
Any more thoughts Justice Arnold?
Even if the monitoring software is functioning correctly, ISPs sometimes misidentify the subscriber to whom the IP address which has been detected was allocated at the relevant time. This can occur, for example, because of mistakes over time zones.
Maybe I am reading a different Court judgement than the one GEIL are saying they are following.
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.
I don’t see this as following procedures laid down by the Court. The Court said that ISPs sometimes misidentify the subscriber. GEILs words are specific and accuse the subscriber as the infringer.
Not enough to convince? Let us look also at what Justice Arnold said:
Even if the monitoring software is functioning correctly and the ISP correctly identifies the subscriber to whom the IP address which has been detected was allocated at the relevant time, it does not necessarily follow that the subscriber was the person who was participating in the P2P filesharing which was detected.
Damn! It’s not looking good for GEILs evidence is it? Directly accusing the subscriber of infringing when the Court mentions very plausible issues as regards the monitoring, it escapes me. I’m beginning to think that Court judgments are not worth following any more. If you are sentenced to imprisonment in Court, ignore it and just be free and go home.
So let us use our imagination a bit and say that the monitoring software is perfect and the “Expert Witness” is clever and the ISP is useful. Let us believe in GEIL for one moment. They had 2,845 IP addresses that were monitored by Mr Torabi (Not NG3 Systems because they were crap for MediaCAT) for Ben Dover Productions (“BDP”). How many subscribers were disclosed by O2? Apparently less than 1,000! 33% hit rate! That’s it. I tried. I tried to believe in GEIL and it lasted for all of 3 seconds, which is less than the difference between the monitoring software timestamp and O2s timestamp (Ouch! Low blow!).
Let’s get back on to Court procedures and get back to the Court judgement and what Justice Arnold says:
I agree with counsel for Consumer Focus that the figure of £700 is unsupportable. My reasons are as follows. First, the Claimants know that an unknown percentage of the Intended Defendants are not infringers at all. Intended Defendants who have not in fact committed any infringements are not liable to pay any sum.
Let me re-align my reality sensors. How silly I was to try and imagine GEIL are right in their claim! I have to agree with Justice Arnold when he says “the Claimants know that an unknown percentage of the Intended Defendants are not infringers at all” and Justice Arnold is specific to say “Intended Defendants who have not in fact committed any infringements are not liable to pay any sum”.
But…..Justice Arnold says more:
Secondly, in the case of those Intended Defendants who are infringers, the Claimants have no idea about the scale of the infringements committed by each infringer. Some might have infringed on a very substantial scale indeed, while others might only have infringed to a minor extent.
Hmmm, I see. So why do GEIL ask for £350.00 per infringement? Oh yes, in the original draft letter GEIL asked for £700.00 per infringement. Why not £699.99? Why is £350.00 per infringement acceptable as a settlement based on the Justice Arnolds words?
I need more information Justice Arnold! Ah, he provided it:
I think that Mr Becker’s response in his second witness statement to the point made by counsel for Consumer Focus referred to in sub-paragraph 60(v) above is telling: “… it assumes that £700 will be successfully obtained from each of the 9000, when that is plainly wrong. In fact, it is likely that only a small proportion will result in a successfully obtained payment of any sum.”
Mr Beckers words are “it is likely that only a small proportion will result in a successfully obtained payment of any sum”. That is a telling statement. What did Justice Arnold say to that?
This comes quite close to an admission that the figure of £700 has been selected so as to maximise the revenue obtained from the letters of claim, rather than as a realistic estimate of the damages recoverable by the relevant Claimant from each Intended Defendant
Mr Becker, please! Justice Arnold seems to have figured that an awful statement to make! Whatever actions are taken after the judgement, Mr Becker has been shown by Justice Arnold what could be considered a charlatan.
So Justice Arnold says £700.00 is unrealistic and GEIL think £350.00 is realistic. I think Justice Arnolds words “the Claimants have no idea about the scale of the infringements committed by each infringer” gives an excellent clue to what the suggested settlement should be from GEIL. They have the “Evidence” of one download from the alleged infringer and that is the only “Evidence”. That is the value of one video.
Having accepted before Justice Arnolds words that innocent subscribers will be targeted, it is fair to say that the monitoring software will capture those who did infringe GEILs copyright. In this situation, a subscriber will accept GEILs claim and what happens then Justice Arnold?
Accordingly, I do not consider that the Claimants are justified in sending letters of claim to every Intended Defendant demanding the payment of £700. What the Claimants ought to do is to proceed in the conventional manner, that is to say, to require the Intended Defendants who do not dispute liability to disclose such information as they are able to provide as to the extent to which they have engaged in P2P filesharing of the relevant Claimants’ copyright works. In my view it would be acceptable for the Claimants to indicate that they are prepared to accept a lump sum in settlement of their claims, including the request for disclosure, but not to specify a figure in the initial letter. The settlement sum should be individually negotiated with each Intended Defendant.
Hmmm. But we have seen a settlement figure from GEIL sent to subscribers who deny their claim. GEIL are not following Court procedures so much that it would be enough to get Justice Arnolds wig spinning!
Before I start to lose faith in the Courts and justice, I will quote one last statement from Justice Arnold:
I conclude that the Claimants’ interests in enforcing their copyrights outweigh the Intended Defendants’ interest in protecting their privacy and data protection rights, and thus it is proportionate to order disclosure, provided that the order and the proposed letter of claim are framed so as properly to safeguard the legitimate interests of the Intended Defendants, and in particular the interests of Intended Defendants who have not in fact committed the infringements in question.
The most important two words in that paragraph are “the order”. That says it is an Order to GEIL as well as the intended defendants. The “proposed letter” was drafted and approved by Court, and any subsequent actions taken by GEIL after the proposed letter are governed by the judgement of the Court.
I will re-write that paragraph which would be more appropriate for GEIL:
I wish we would have followed the procedure laid down by the Court when corresponding with you.
O2/BE There Send More Pre-Warning Letters In Anticipation Of Further Golden Eye International Claims
In a repeat of last Decembers warning letters in anticipation of Golden Eye International Limited (“GEIL”) Letter Of Claim (“LoC”) of copyright infringement on behalf of Ben Dover Productions (“BDP”), O2/BE There have started to send out the same warning letter to their customers in what can only be in anticipation of further LoCs from GEIL on behalf of the other 12 producers.
GEIL successfully gained disclosure of O2/BE There subscriber details (Which was un-opposed by O2) from their Norwich Pharmacal Order (“NPO”) application in March 2012 for BDP, but were unsuccessful with the other 12 producers. They subsequently won their appeal for the 12 producers in December 2012.
The 12 producers (Listed in the NPO Court case) in question are: Celtic Broadcasting Ltd, Easy On The Eye, DMS Telecoms Limited, Gary Baker, Harmony Films Limited, Justin Ribeiro Dos Santos t/a Joybear Pictures, Orchid MG Limited, Kudetta bvba, RP Films Limited, Sweetmeats Productions t/a S.M.P, SLL Films Limited & Terence Stephens t/a One Eyed Jack Productions.
For the new recipients of these imminent LoCs, many will be completely unaware of what is effectively a “phishing” campaign by GEIL. This is because GEIL have only the evidence of a “monitored” IP address and with this they “bought” the subscriber details from O2/BE There. The letter under “Infringing acts” starts:
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
After making such a statement, the letter goes on to say:
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
So they assume the subscriber is the infringer then say they may not be responsible, to which they say:
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
A completely innocent subscriber who has not committed the infringement, and not authorised anyone else to commit the infringement may receive a follow up letter demanding a disproportionate settlement simply because they respond with details of who also lives at their address.
The subscribers who will receive the latest letters GEIL are sending out can see from the NPO judgement that Judge Arnold said:
Furthermore, it will expose them to receiving letters of claim and may expose them to proceedings for infringement in circumstances where they may not be guilty of infringement, where the subject matter of the claim may cause them embarrassment, where a proper defence to the claim would require specialised legal advice that they may not be able to afford and where they may not consider it cost-effective for them to defend the claim even if they are innocent
This is the Judge who presided over GEILs NPO application, and this Judge knows innocent people will be targeted.
The Judge goes on to say:
What the Claimants ought to do is to proceed in the conventional manner, that is to say, to require the Intended Defendants who do not dispute liability to disclose such information as they are able to provide as to the extent to which they have engaged in P2P filesharing of the relevant Claimants’ copyright works
So from the words of the Judge, those “who do not dispute liability” are “to disclose such information as they are able to provide”. The Judge does not say that those who do dispute liability should disclose such information.
The man who has perpetrated this phishing campaign is Mr Julian Becker who is a director of GEIL along with Ben Dover (a.k.a. Mr Simon Lindsay James Honey). Mr Becker has been known to make rather odd quotes to the Adult Media Press, such as:
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.
Now the words there are totally misleading and could lead a subscriber who is innocent or guilty in to a false sense of assurance. “pursuing those that are uploading not downloading” is completely irrelevant because the nature of BitTorrent software IS downloading and uploading. And as I have found out, GEILs response to those who admitted one infringement is a demand of £350.00 which contradicts his statement of “we are not pursuing those who have simply downloaded one film”.
For those who have received the warning letter from O2/BE There and may receive an LoC from GEIL, what can you do?
As is always the advice:
BE CALM, DO NOT PANIC and DO NOT IGNORE.
The Citizens Advice Bureau (“CAB”) would be one of the first ports of call, they can be contacted on 08454 04 05 06, their website at adviceguide.org.uk or you can attend your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
The Open Rights Group (“ORG”) are there to give guidance and advice also.
The Speculative Invoicing Handbook Second Edition provides valuable information and a recommended read.
Read here for testimonies of those who received letters similar in the past, and realise YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Letters from Copyright Troll collective, Golden Eye International (GEIL) have started to land on the nations doormats, throwing those unaware into a fit of panic. Many bewildered recipients have woken to find a letter stating that they are deemed by GEIL to be responsible for infringing the copyright on some obscure pornography title.
GEIL are operating a Speculative Invoicing/Copyright Troll scheme almost identical to that run by notorious Law Firm ACS:LAW, and recently gained an appeal to add a further twelve, also obscure companies to their “Legal” action.
One of the firms RP Films has already folded, although that didn’t seem to affect their seeming victory in Court.
The man responsible for these letters, Julian Becker, has said a few contrasting things when he has made statements to the press, (Not faceless keyboard warriors, you understand as he has described those who oppose him)
“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,” – Julian Becker (May 2012)
I have tried to contact him but had nothing in return, (One of his clients informed me he would be prepared to have a face to face on film in front of an audience picked by him and the filming would be produced by one of his fellow pornographers, I of course declined, not least as I have had issues with Golden Eyes previous Lawfirm) I have taken to posting open letters 2 counteracting his “economy with the truth”
I contacted the Adult Industry Trade Association (AITA) who are now headed by one of the Golden Eye clients, Jason Maskell of “Orchid MG”, I sent him an email detailing my concerns with regard to these letters, and he dismissed it out of hand. I have tried to contact a number of the people behind these companies but none seem to care with regard to what I feel are the dangers with pursuing these claims and the sheer lack of evidence that should never be sent to an innocent person.
This Blog has also been the subject of a DMCA Takedown by GEIL “Forensic Expert” Clem Vogler which resulted in WordPress having to remove a photo (but not the content) of Mr Vogler from one of the posts. I did not oppose this takedown as on reflection I believe it improves the appearance of the page immensely.
The letters look the part but they have no substance, they are in effect “phishing” letters. They rely on the recipient to incriminate themselves. They are of course a diluted compromise that was forced on them by the Courts, but the letters still have the potential to scare people into paying up.
So what are those in receipt of one of these letters to do?
Well first thing is
DO NOT PANIC.
DO NOT IGNORE
Consumer Focus have done a great job in educating the Citizens Advice Bureau, and the CAB would be one of the first ports of call, they can be contacted on 08454 04 05 06 or you can attend your local Citizens Advice Bureau
For more on Consumer Focus see here for some invaluable information
Read here, for testimonies of those who received letters similar in the past, realise YOU ARE NOT ALONE
UPDATE 2: A letter received by us seems to show GEIL including the filename of the media they allege has been infringed listed on the ISP Report they have received from O2, this seems a VERY dodgy method of making out that O2 are in agreement with GEIL about the file being copied. This is not true, and unless this is a mistake on GEILs part, seems a very desperate attempt to use O2′s name to lend credibility to what is in essence VERY patchy evidence.
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.
With news reaching us that the “Golden Eye International” launch of their Speculative Invoicing(Copyright Trolling) action is due to start in the New Year, we wanted to bring this latest tome to your attention. This quality guide was written by those fine folks at Being Threatened, in response to the number of innocent people targeted by previous companies, involved with these actions.
Download the PDF file here
Comments are always welcome.
We at ACS:BORE are not affiliated with the production of this book, although we endorse it as the best information to read with regard to receiving a letter from one of these companies. For further reading on this please see the excellent Torrent Freak post
My apologies, as pointed out I wrongfully referred to “Golden Eye International” as “Golden Eye Interactive”, my apologies, it was an inadvertent mistake made in a moment of acute clarity of mind that a shell company based on an industrial estate in the UK with only two employees, and who operate only within the UK is NOT really an international company, my apologies again:-)
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 – 126.96.36.199
http://www.aleriza.me – 188.8.131.52
http://www.cyberdealer.co.uk – 184.108.40.206
http://www.ng3systems.com – 220.127.116.11
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.
Open Rights Group (ORG) have stepped into the fracas of the Golden Eye International Court Case, that is threatening to bring more misery to innocent people in the UK. They have taken over from Consumer Focus and need some funding to continue to oppose the case, that the Pornographers have brought against thousands of O2 Customers.
For all those caught up in the Davenport Lyons/Acs:Law/Tilly Baily Irvine/Gallant Macmillan cases will now, there was NO talking to these people, it was a case of PAY UP OR ELSE.
Although Golden Eye International have been somewhat neutered by the High Court, they still use the SAME Software Monitor, that was shown to be corrupt and also the same “Expert Witness” that even ACS:LAW said was “Problematic”
To read what Open Rights want to do and to donate to their cause, please see here. http://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2012/org-goldeneye-intervene
In an amazing example of what can only be described as “Shameless Audacity” Golden Eye International are attempting the same thing.
GEILs Head Julian Becker who trades under the Optime Strategies moniker and whose business interests seem to cover a Security role at a London Synagogue and it is also the Parent company of Ben Dover Productions, has taken the Open Rights Group appeal for money as an insult.
“It would appear once again we have a difference of opinion on what constitutes a consumer — mine being someone who purchases goods or services theirs being someone who just takes them,” Becker told XBIZ. “I’d like to think I have a decent grasp of the English language and my term to describe such a person would be thief rather than consumer.”
Once again as is shown Becker is saying that anyone caught by his Software Monitor, is guilty of theft, now we already know that file sharing copyrighted material is “Copyright Infringement” NOT THEFT, however, Becker goes on
“They are appealing for funding for their court costs, which having checked our bank balance recently has given me the idea to do the same,” he said. “The perception of pornographers outside the industry may well be filthy rich; however as anyone with an ability for rational thinking will appreciate any business who’s core product has been decimated by piracy is experiencing a massive downturn in turnover and profitability.”
Considering the material that Ben Dover Productions produce I would imagine the fanbase is dying off due to lack of quality material rather than “Copyright Infringement”, it is very easy to say that it is because it is being copied and not brought, but I see it rather that even if it WAS being copied, those who copied it would never have bought it in the first place. I am NOT defending the downloading of copyright material here either, I just wonder if Golden Eye actually pay a license fee for ripping off other peoples titles, (XXX Factor complete with similar logo)
Regarding the “Outside perception of pornographers being “Filthy Rich””, I wonder if they might get that impression from Mr Beckers partner Mr Honey, AKA “Ben Dover” seen here in a BBC Interview. And here in a magazine article “I still have a very nice lifestyle. When I say I’m skint, people say, “No, you’re not skint mate, it’s just now you’ve only got three cars instead of five.” So I wonder where these perceptions from people “outside the industry” come from? Note in the BBC interview there was NO talk about file sharing stealing business.
“Therefore any financial support, however small, that can be given will help the cause massively. If you can’t give then supportive messages also are appreciated if not lost in the deluge of personal abuse and threats from the faceless keyboard warriors.”
I wonder what he means? A man whose partner is a multi-millionaire is asking people of lesser means to contribute to a case of his own making, and that is RIGHT?
Whereby a Consumer group that KNOWS what happened with previous Legal actions, that were declared as “Legal Blackmail” in the “House of Lords”, wants to raise money from those people affected BY those legal practices, and that is WRONG?
I think I have a pretty good grasp of the English language to, and I wouldn’t like to say what I think about people like this, Pornographers attempting to squeeze the last pennies out of a dying beast, oh I better stop, I may being giving them a new film idea!
Golden Eye Interactive are due back in Court in December, to attempt to get 7000+names that they were declined at an earlier hearing.
I would urge anyone who feels the need to defend innocent people to contribute to the Open Rights appeal, at least that way there can be justice, Golden Eye are not interested in the justice, merely money to fill their coffers. £5000, is nothing to these people it is EVERYTHING to Open Rights Group (ORG)
Source for the quotes: http://newswire.xbiz.com/view.php?id=156690
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.