[UPDATE: This mystery has been solved. Carl Crowell has created a new entity called RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT which has reverse-engineered CEG-TEK’s proprietary DMCA copyright infringement notice system. Many of you have visited CEG-TEK links thinking that RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT was CEG-TEK, but really they are an ‘evil twin’ competitor.]
This is confusing me. CEG-TEK has not been active since last summer.
As I wrote in December, CEG-TEK started to change the internal makeup of their company, and they changed the clients they were taking to more ‘mainstream’ movie clients. …But then they went *SILENT*.
[In passing, I want to note that CEG-TEK had a shake-up as well over the summer. They were changing their business model from sending DMCA notices and soliciting small $300 settlements for copyright infringement claims for just a few titles to sending notices only to “more egregious downloaders” which in turn would increase the per-person settlement amount paid to CEG-TEK on behalf of their clients. They also appear to have been changing their client base by transitioning away from little porn companies to more well-known copyright trolls (e.g., Millennium Films, LHF Productions, etc.) — copyright holders who threatened to sue downloaders (and in at least one circumstance did sue at least one client of mine in federal court.) The point is that they were changing their image from being a company who’s clients didn’t sue to a company who’s clients do sue…]
– Excerpt from the “CEG-TEK and Lipscomb – Star Crossed Lovers” article, 12/21/16.
CEG-TEK has been silent since the Girls Gone Wild fiasco in July, 2016, where their once-flawless DMCA machine started sending hundreds of duplicate notices to the same internet users. At the time, I joked that ‘perhaps they were being so effective at stopping piracy that they were probably putting themselves out of business’.
Then the following month, I noticed an across-the-board drop in activity from CEG-TEK. As far as I knew, they even stopped sending DMCA letters to accused internet users through their ISPs. I noted the defeat of a once-great foe, and even wrote a cautionary article revealing my observed changes in the “Unintended Consequences of Winning the Bittorrent Piracy War” article.
Since August, 2016… silence. September… silence. October… silence. November… silence. December… silence. January… silence. February… silence. March… some activity.
In the past few days, I’ve noticed a significant ‘uptick’ in visits to the CEG-TEK articles. I don’t even watch the keywords enough to notice the little changes, but this one looked significant. That’s enough to pique my interest and ask you, the reader, whether CEG-TEK has risen from the dead.
Please do share if you have received a DMCA notice of copyright infringement from Ira Siegel, from CEG-TEK (a.k.a. “Copyright Enforcement Group”), or some new attorney affiliated with their cause.
What could CEG-TEK be up to?
To me, this uptick means one of two things: 1) They started sending DMCA settlement demand notices out again, or 2) CEG-TEK is considering taking on a new partner (something I was gravely concerned about early last year). When the opportunity passed and I learned from CEG-TEK shared that they would not pursue this option, I wrote the “CEG-TEK and Lipscomb – Star Crossed Lovers” article to share the disaster that could have happened if someone like Lipscomb took over CEG-TEK’s DMCA notification system and “copyrightsettlements.com” website.
The confusing part is that their “copyrightsettlements.com” website forwards back to http://www.cegtek.com, which for the moment has been taken down and only shows the following notice:
Settlement opportunity services are currently not provided through CEG TEK.
So, what is going on with CEG-TEK?
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