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How Anti-Piracy Trolls Tried and Failed to Ruin Christmas

Posted on December 26th, 2013 at 10:49 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property -- Write a comment

[Quote]:

For the last couple of years TorrentFreak has run semi-regular articles on the efforts of GoldenEye International, an adult movie outfit affiliated with the Ben Dover porn brand and one that realized there’s money to be made from the bullying game.

Just like most other trolls their business model is simple. Send threatening letters to ISP account holders telling them that they have been caught watching some pretty embarrassingly titled movies and inform them that paying a cash settlement is the only way to remedy the situation.

[..]

One young man told us that his parents had gone crazy when his father, as the bill payer, had been accused of downloading porn. Trying to protect himself against the wrath of his wife, the finger of blame naturally got pointed by the father at his son who in turn contacted us, desperate for a solution to clear his name. Another told us how his mother could no longer cope after receiving a third letter asking for money despite her innocence.

In cases like these where we believe that people have been wrongly accused we are more than happy to help. Throughout the year we corresponded with a couple of dozen individuals, half a dozen or so on a regular basis, in order to keep pace with their cases.

And guess what?

Of those who stuck in their heels, stood by their principles and refused to pay, GoldenEye stopped threatening 100% of them. After the initial three or four letters bounced back and forth, the company backed off, a characteristic of most bullies when they realize their intended victim is refusing to become one.

As a result, today these people are able to enjoy Christmas with their families. Rather than finding themselves £500 in the hole in order to finance GoldenEye’s Christmas party or Ben Dover’s festive lunch, that money is being spent were it should be.

“The final letter GoldenEye sent said that they were going to review my case and then make a decision on whether they were going to proceed or not. At that point I started to understand what was going on finally,” says ‘John’, a recipient of a £500 threat letter.

“GoldenEye are a company who just send letters to people to try and threaten and bully them into paying money, but do not take it any further. It was just like a game of poker to me as they were bluffing all the time so I played the game and won as I didn’t back down to their demands.”

  1. Very interesting, because here in Germany we had exactly the same thing just right now where a shady conglomerate of letterbox companies and a greasy law firm tried to do the same blackmail scheme just before christmas. Several ten thousand troll letters were sent. The scheme is so similiar that it makes me think whether GoldenEye might be involved behind the scene, perhaps they are trying to expand their activities to other countries:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/16/thousands-germans-legal-warning-letters-copyrighted-porn

    Fortunately, fierce resistance followed. Press coverage was remarkable. The outrage was so high that the Cologne court (which had ordered the Dt. Telekom to release the addresses of ISP customers on behalf of these so-called ‘lawyers’) will retract its decision (an extremely rare event in the german judicial system). The Hamburg court granted a temporary injunction, forbidding to send more “Porn Troll letters”. And several criminal complaints were filed, for coercion, organized fraud and blackmail. Unfortunately, most probably a lot of people already paid the coerced money, they will never see their money back, and these criminals surely already made a very fine profit.

    http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/redtube-users-longer-need-fear-lawsuit-threats/

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