[LINK] Porn website link to demands for personal ID from ISPs
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Tue Oct 18 11:40:40 AEDT 2011
[intersting second stage of who is involved in
demanding info from ISPs -- the AGs better be
careful with how they amend the law for 'streamlining' access']
October 18, 2011 - 10:18AM
IF THERE'S one thing Matthew Clapham loves more
than money and porn, it's privacy. The
33-year-old New Zealander lives in the exclusive
Clear Island Waters canal estate on the Gold
Coast, in a six-bedroom waterfront mansion he
bought in May 2007 for $1.75 million.
On Google Earth you can see a satellite image of
the house's roof and the appealing spit of
artificially sculpted land on which it sits, but
you can't see the house on Google's street view
because it sits behind the heavy wrought-iron
barriers of a gated community, which no prying camera car penetrate.
What goes on inside the house is equally off
limits, though this much is known: it is the
registered address of a business called Movie
Rights Group, whose directors are New
Zealand-born brothers Matthew Wade Clapham and
38-year-old Richard Dean Clapham. Neither is on
the Australian electoral roll or in the phone
book, and the company does not list their names
or publish a contact number on its website.
Movie Rights Group was registered in November
2010 but only came to public notice this month
when the CEO of an Australian internet service
provider mentioned on his blog the first step in
a legal action that could have massive ramifications.
John Linton, boss of Exetel, wrote on October 1
that a Brisbane law firm acting on behalf of
Movie Rights Group had written to him requesting
the account details of 150 customers who had
allegedly downloaded the movie Kill The Irishman
in May. The firm had also written to other ISPs,
including Telstra, iiNet and Internode; in total,
Linton wrote, Movie Rights Group had a target
list of about 9000 Australian IP addresses.
''The most interesting thing I found in their
approach,'' Linton continued, ''was their request
for IP records going back 12 months or more. This
would allow them to issue one subpoena
covers 12 months-plus of illegal downloading and
thus allow them to take action against tens or
hundreds of thousands of end users at a time on an ongoing basis.''
If Linton's hunch is correct, that could spell
bad news for the vast number of Australians who
have downloaded or uploaded movies such as Kill
The Irishman via torrent-streaming sites in the
past year. But is that really what Movie Rights Group has in mind?
The Age has traced the lineage of Movie Rights
Group and Lightning Entertainment, and the
connections of the Clapham brothers to a vast
international web of pornographic websites, and
concluded that there is a strong chance this
action is in fact a stalking horse for a wider
campaign against copyright breaches on behalf of the porn industry.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Our truest response to the irrationality of the
world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer
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