Plea for Funds to Defend Porn Pirates Doesn't Sit Well for Golden Eye
LONDON — A U.K. organization called the Open Rights Group is seeking financial help to put a stop to Golden Eye International's attempt to gain access to the identities of thousands suspected of pirating porn videos.
Golden Eye, an intellectual property protection firm that owns the rights to numerous adult film copyrights including the Ben Dover Productions line of movies, earlier this year won a key high court ruling that allowed the company to proceed in obtaining IP addresses of more than 9,000 O2 broadband customers fingered for trading movies on BitTorrent networks.
But Consumer Focus, a U.K. consumer protections group, later intervened with an appeal, telling the court that there were no grounds to pursue 6,155 of them because Golden Eye didn't own the copyrights to movies involved in the suspected acts of piracy. A judge agreed with Consumer Focus, allowing Golden Eye to get information on only 2,845.
Now Golden Eye has gone to court to appeal its case and get details on the 6,155. Open Rights Group, meanwhile, has filed its own court papers to shelve the request and has asked for donations to help pay £5,000 in legal fees.
But Open Rights Group's plea for donations doesn't sit well for Golden Eye, according to spokesman Julian Becker, whose company has gone the extra mile to battle piracy by attempting to identify defendants.
"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."
Becker said he is particularly incensed that the group is reaching out to Britons for help bailing out pirates caught red-handed and asking for funds.
"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."
Becker said that the court challenge over obtaining details on the 6,155 is scheduled for the second week in December and that members of the adult entertainment industry should take note of the court battle.
"The cases we are fighting have huge implications to the creative industry, both the large multinationals and the smaller independent producers from music and film who do not have the knowledge and financial resources to protect their property from online piracy," he said.
"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."