Zee Germans Are Coming: German Copyright Troll Announces Plans For Anti-Piracy Surge In The UK

from the invasion-of-the-privacy-snatchers dept

I’ll give the entertainment and the copyright troll industry this: they sure know how to talk a big game. After the settlement prospecting done by copyright trolls in the UK died down somewhat these past few years, it appears the war is back on. TorrentFreak has the story of one German copyright troll, Maverick Eye, announcing that it is going to step up its efforts in the UK in the coming months.

Framed as one of the largest anti-piracy campaigns in history, Maverick Eye says it teamed up with law firm Hatton & Berkeley and other key players to launch a new wave of settlement demands.

“Since July this year, Hatton & Berkeley and Maverick Eye have been busy working with producers, lawyers, key industry figures, investors, partners, and supporters to develop a program to protect the industry and defend the UK cinema against rampant piracy online,” Maverick Eye says. “The entertainment industry can expect even more from these experts as they continue the fight against piracy in the UK.”

Funny that Maverick Eye should be putting so much weight behind “experts.” You see, a review on Maverick Eye’s website of the films it is working on protecting includes some familiar names, such as The Cobbler, The Expendables, and Dallas Buyer’s Club. If these sound familiar, it’s because they were also all films working with German company Guardaley, whose website lists many of the same movie franchises, and Malibu Media, whose ongoing game of hide-the-ball as to who was representing what and which company was actually a shell of company of whom we detailed last year. It all comes back to this German copyright troll traversing the globe to shuttle out settlement notices to individuals it deems have infringed on these movies in an effort to get them to pay up or face time in court. What makes the trotting out of experts hilarious is Guardaley’s own internal documents indicate that the experts it relies on are so shaky that they have to hope that courts don’t bother to question their qualifications.

Add to that this group’s failure to answer as to exactly what technology it is using to identify supposed infringers, and it seems reasonable to expect any kind of court proceedings to turn into the monumental shitshow that Malibu Media made famous. Mixed in with accusations of experts being paid contingency fees based on suit outcomes and the ongoing games this parent group’s child-companies engaged in as to who worked where and for whom, and this is expert level shadiness we have here.

And this is the group that entertainment companies want championing their product in public and in court? These are the people announcing a new offensive surge in the UK? This practice of identifying “infringers” using “software” that nobody is sure actually “works” and then shaking down victims is still being allowed to continue? Even though it never actually seems to work? C’mon, entertainment industry. At this point, it’s worth at least trying some new ways to do business rather than just putting the mistake track on repeat.

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Companies: guardaley, maverick eye

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Comments on “Zee Germans Are Coming: German Copyright Troll Announces Plans For Anti-Piracy Surge In The UK”

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23 Comments
Wendy Cockcroft says:

Re: Re:

They’re not going to stop until they can’t get away with it any more. I once received an email from the Copyright Office here in the UK in which I was told that speculative invoicing is legal. Basically, they don’t give a damn and unless these conmen do something egregious, they’ll turn a blind eye to their shenanigans. We’re on our own.

Anonymous Coward says:

We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, but we shall sell our citizens to the Gestapo if they download a movie.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

ACS burned, but not Andrew Crossley. He walked away, with hardly a dent. His information supplier just moved onto a new name IIRC.

The germans have been playing hide the expert, filing paper from fictional people, fictional corporations and have yet to face any fallout from that. They will just invent new names and keep playing. Lawyers will fall, but the Germans are forever. Given the sheer number of lawyers the system is churning out, into a market that doesn’t need them and isn’t paying enough to cover the student loans, there is an endless supply of lawyers who will drink the kool-aid for the income to just put their name on a filing. They are sure they won’t end up like those who fell before them, and are shocked when they do… the laughter of the “IHG” ringing in their ears.

Christenson says:

Dallas Buyers Club?? Aren't the original producer's suing the Studio already?

I think SJD or DieTrollDie had a tweet about this recently. Basically, it was over the Hollywood accounting being given to the original producers of the film, a half-decent organisation also being screwed by the Hollywood out of any accounting of financial activities outside of the US.

So it makes actual control over the copyright a very interesting subject.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Dallas Buyers Club?? Aren't the original producer's suing the Studio already?

There was no accounting of the income from the lawsuits, and much bad blood exposed in the filings of a lawsuit to get the information. One gets a feeling that the returns promised aren’t that awesome. Its almost like 1 ass is trying to keep the money for himself, while screaming how he is getting ripped off while he does it to others.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Why do they keep sending millions of defective notices in the US?
Because it is about the optics.
Oh piracy is so terrible, we have to hire all of these outside firms, give us stronger laws!

The imaginary lost billions of dollars that are always bandied about, do not fucking exist.
The problem with piracy isn’t what they claim, “no one” (there is always some asshole) is downloading these films and making a fortune to support terrorism. Hell IIRC there was some idiot who was selling counterfeit DVDs he downloaded and created, and he got lighter sentences than we see from people not doing it for profit.

The simple fact they have to use questionable experts to fight this, should raise more questions about is this problem real or did is it caused by business models that still refuse to adapt to the modern times. This is now a viable revenue stream, using courts who could care less to funnel cash from the accused (but rarely proven to be guilty) to studios to make shitty films profitable.

We need reform of copyright laws, to stop rewarding them for not participating in the market. We need the laws to reflect reality, not imagined trillion dollar losses from 1 person seeing a shitty film without paying. If the shitty film was available at the price the market wanted, and was obtainable without 4000 hoops & restrictions, people would opt for the legal methods.

Imagine how much better the market would be if they stopped spending money on these stupid window dressing “solutions” and dealt with the real issues.

Anonymous Coward says:

Show some compassion

The copyright guys have a hard time in Germany after a rather good decade or at least they took a hard hit recently. Because a copyright company met a judge who knew the stuff he was judging because he worked as a network/sys admin before.

If you are wondering how this turned out well… the copyright troll wanted €500 because that guy downloaded something and because something that copy is worth €500. Well, the judge kind of disagreed and gave them the huge amount of ~€2 in licencing fees.

Story on German:
https://www.lawblog.de/index.php/archives/2015/10/01/richter-gibt-richtern-nachhilfe/

Anonymous Coward says:

>”Since July this year, Hatton & Berkeley and Maverick Eye have been busy working with producers, lawyers, key industry figures, investors, partners, and supporters to develop a program to protect the industry and defend the UK cinema against rampant piracy online..”

Or, instead of being lazy sacks of shit, content creators could be working with distribution models to reach those who pirate. Hah who am I kidding.

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