[LINK] Porn website link to demands for personal ID from ISPs

Jan Whitaker 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']

Playing dirty

  Karl Quinn
  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
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.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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