Feeds

Will litigants chase Oz smut-watchers?

Copyright trolls linked to adult content biz

High performance access to file storage

What started out looking like another industry strategy to hunt down BitTorrent users via their ISPs for mass lawsuit is turning into a PR problem for its proponents.

Earlier in October, the local Whirlpool broadband discussion group was set a-buzz by stories emerging on Australian site Delimiter that a previously-unknown company called Movie Rights Group was writing to ISPs seeking the identities of users who had allegedly downloaded Kill the Irishman.

The fear among local media and Internet users is that the operation looked like a “litigation extortion” operation: send legal letters to end users threatening large damages if the accusation is proven in court, or offer to settle for a sum that the end user might be able to afford.

That sparked a flurry of whois-digging over at a blog called North Coast Voices, and what a rich harvest it gathered: Movie Rights Group, it emerged, has extensive links to the adult entertainment industry, something further elaborated by Fairfax.

At least part of the problem for the company is that Australia doesn’t allow the private domain registrations that are offered in America. As a result, while the active domain – movierightsgroup.com – offers no registrant identity, its defensive registration of movierightsgroup.com.au identifies both a registrant contact (Matthew Clapham, already named in the first stories) and an organization, Hyperfocus Media, which provided probably the first hints at the adult industry connections.

Certainly, a Robtex search on the Hyperfocus domain yields an interesting list of cohabitants of its name servers, most of which are pay-per-view adult content. Some of these identify not just Matthew Clapham and his brother, Richard, but a third individual, Kenneth Pedersen, who gives the registration address as Cyprus and the registrant as Callstar Enterprises.

Callstar appears to also operate the billing agency through which the adult content is paid for by customers, under a variety of identities – callsta-bill.com, billsearch.net, csbill.net and others.

The discussion of Movie Rights Group on Whirlpool extends the net even further by suggesting a search on the mobile number identified to some of the registrants, yielding some sites that aren’t merely “adult content”, but whose names suggest targeting abusive content.

The extensive and documented links to the adult video trade – which, according to Fairfax, may extend all the way to content of questionable legality in Australia – leads to the obvious speculation that Kill the Irishman isn’t the main game for the Movie Rights Group. Rather, its strategy may be more focused: to pursue punters whose taste for illegal downloads run to content that falls into the NSFW category. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.