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Golden Eye Will Expand Piracy Threat Letters to More UK ISP Customers

Friday, December 28th, 2012 (9:01 am) - Score 2,062

Golden Eye International (GEIL), the firm which holds numerous copyrights for UK adult films (Ben Dover) and has recently been targeting O2’s broadband ISP customers with internet piracy settlement letters, has confirmed that it plans to use a recent court win to expand its scheme by tackling copyright infringement on behalf of USA based rights holders.

London’s High Court had initially blocked GEIL from seeking the personal customer details associated with data from roughly 6,000 O2 and Be Broadband internet connections, which had been extracted from activity logs on public P2P file sharing networks (i.e. where the adult copyright content is alleged to have been “illegally” shared).

At the time it was ruled that the data related to claims from 12 separate copyright holders and that GEIL should not be allowed to represent them. The court stated that to allow such activity would be like selling “the intended Defendants’ privacy and data protection rights to the highest bidder“ (GEIL stood to keep 75% of any related cash settlements).

But on 21st December 2012 this ruling was broken by the Court of Appeal, which found the High Court’s “reasons difficult to follow“. Both Lord Justice Sullivan and Lord Justice Patten agreed that “If the arrangements are not therefore unlawful and are not simply a money-making exercise designed to take advantage of the vulnerability of the subscribers rather than a genuine attempt to protect the rights of the Other Claimants, I can see no justification for refusing relief based on a disapproval of those arrangements.”

As a result GEIL has now confirmed to the BBC that it plans to both pursue the other 6,000 internet connections and will also travel to the USA in order to begin offering its services at adult conferences in both Los Angeles and Vegas during early January 2013.

Julian Becker, GEIL’s Spokesman, said:

Adult content is legal in the UK and should be given the same rights as mainstream films. However, in reality, I believe there is always going to be a bias against this genre of film production. 85% of computers exhibit porn history, although 90% of users will preach against it. This makes me wonder, if Golden Eye represented the interests of mainstream producers, would there have ever been a necessity of such a long and expensive legal process?

The move would result in a huge expansion of GEILs scheme that could impact a larger number of ISPs and their customers. However, despite the court’s ruling that GEIL’s strategy was “not simply a money-making exercise“, even Ben Dover (Lindsay Honey) himself admitted earlier this year that “At the end of the day, if I can’t make money out of porn, the only way I can make money is to get to the people who are not buying it” (here).

Meanwhile GEIL must still prove that such a pursuit can rake in the cash, which was made more difficult after the High Court imposed a raft of restrictions upon what they could and couldn’t say in their letters. For example, the recipients would effectively have to admit their own guilt before a claim could move forward. The court recognised that the bill payer should not automatically be assumed responsible for any copyright infringement on their internet connection.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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6 Responses
  1. Avatar cyclope says:

    These two appeal cout judges where they bribed in some way ? or just dumb asses ?

    It’s blatently obvious that it no more than another spectulative invoicing scheme
    All because their joke porn outfit is a failure, no one will buy their porn movies because they are crap, soft core & overpriced not doubt, because lindsay honey is a crook

  2. Avatar Greg says:

    If you got a GEIL letter, accusing you of illegally downloading their stuff, what would you do?
    Would you ignore it, and see how far they take it, without a response from you? Would you
    write back to tell them to provide actual undeniable proof? Or, would you write back, telling
    them, in no uncertain terms, to shove their legal threats where the sun doesn’t shine?

    1. Avatar cyclope says:

      @Greg Well for me it would be number 1, ignore them,& file demand letter under B (B=bin)But number 3 sounds tempting ,lol better still go in person face to face , with the scumbag

  3. Avatar dragoneast says:

    Fairness and reasonableness play no part in judicial decisions – more fool them. The result is that exploiting the law for commercial advantage is not only acceptable, but a national hobby and a thriving business (even a national export). It helps to keep the economy afloat, I suppose.

  4. Avatar thenet says:

    These people are using the same methods as Andrew Jonathan Crossley formerly of ACS:law who is currently serving a two year ban from practice having been found guilty on six charges including using his position as a solicitor to take unfair advantage of the public. Crossley’s Disciplinary Tribunal reveals that he had no evidence of the “works” being shared…. similarly if people stand up to this latest extortion scam GEIL have no evidence either, in fact their percentage of IPs which can be identified by the ISPs has dropped significantly. The scam depends on frightening people into paying up quickly, just deny everything, search for help online and certainly don’t pay up a penny.

    People who paid up to Crossley’s scam did not get their money back.

    Ben Dover has already served jail time check his wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Dover
    You might also note that according to the Police Ben Dover was running “an on-going tax free profitable business”, something which does not go down too well in the current climate.

    It’s a scam, just stand up to these con men.

    1. Avatar Timeless says:

      well put thenet, however you forgot to add one thing..

      going by past events those who didnt want the aggravation tended to pay-up tended to turn into walking wallets, l know one person personally who paid up and received a further two letters for other things when Crossley was in business, it was only after l sent information over that they wised up tho sadly they lost money for something they didnt do the first time.

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