Tag Archives: CEG-TEK

RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT is a Reverse-Engineered CEG-TEK Evil Twin

I have been watching the analytics of this website, and as you know, I noticed a spike in individuals looking for help with the DMCA notices they received from an entity called RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT (a.k.a. “RIGHTSENFORCEMENT”).

Until now, because the only copyright enforcement company using DMCA settlement notices has been CEG-TEK (RightsCorp too, but they are a different animal), mistakenly, those who have come to this site have viewed the CEG-TEK articles.  I have done some extensive research to figure out exactly who RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT is, how they got a hold of CEG-TEK’s proprietary software, and what to expect from them.

RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT IS A REVERSE-ENGINEERED CLONE OF CEG-TEK

RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT is a reverse-engineered clone of CEG-TEK. They have taken and have copied all of the methodologies of CEG-TEK, and they have created a mirror entity which does exactly what CEG-TEK did. They have (I understand by brute force) convinced the ISPs to forward their DMCA settlement demand letters to subscribers, and when a subscriber receives a DMCA notice, they are directed to pay a settlement or be sued.

ISPs FORWARDING DMCA COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT NOTICES

ISPs forwarding the copyright infringement notices for this scheme fall into three categories.

  1. Those ISPs that I believe are being forced or bullied by Carl Crowell to participate in the scheme who were formerly hostile to this method of copyright enforcement;
  2. Those ISPs that were part of the Six Strikes System, but willingly participated in the bittorrent-based lawsuits; and
  3. Those ISPs who willingly worked with CEG-TEK to forward the DMCA copyright infringement notices for them, and now are forwarding the notices for Crowell.

CATEGORY 1) AT&T, COX, Frontier, Hawaiian Telecom, Windstream,

CATEGORY 2) Optimum Online, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon, and

CATEGORY 3) CenturyLink, Charter, and sometimes Comcast (at times) and COX (yes, I listed them twice on purpose).

CARL CROWELL IS THE NEW “KEITH LIPSCOMB” MASTERMIND BEHIND ALL GUARDALEY-BASED LAWSUITS.

Carl Crowell is the mastermind behind RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT, just as he is the mastermind behind all of the Guardaley lawsuits (pornography based AND movie-based). To understand who he is, he is equivalent to the ‘kingpin’ role that Keith Lipscomb had in directing all of the Malibu Media, LLC lawsuits (and formerly all of their other pornography-based lawsuits, e.g., Patrick Collins, K-Beech, NuCorp, etc.).

The interesting piece of information that people likely haven’t pieced together yet is when the relationship between Lipscomb and Malibu Media broke apart, so did the relationship with Lipscomb and Guardaley. If you time this, you’ll probably find that around the same time the relationship between Lipscomb and Malibu soured is the same time Carl Crowell ‘came to power’, so to speak and started filing all of the bittorrent-based lawsuits [backed by Guardaley].

***KEEP READING*** (SCROLL DOWN UNDER THE CONTACT FORM TO CONTINUE READING).

CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT IS CEG-TEK’S ‘EVIL TWIN.’

So CEG-TEK (which at this moment is in a dormant state, but is still watching what is going on) is not RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT. RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT is an ‘evil twin’, so to speak of what CEG-TEK tried to be.

RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT USES FAR MORE AGGRESSIVE TRACKING METHODOLOGIES (WITH FAR MORE FALSE-POSITIVES).

The big difference between CEG-TEK’s bittorrent tracking methodologies and RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT‘s tracking methodologies will be the way someone is caught (and I am basing this on what I know about CEG-TEK’s vs. Guardaley’s tracking methods, because they were always competitors for the same copyright holder ‘copyright troll’ production companies).

CEG-TEK always waited until they could prove that the download actually happened.

Guardaley (and thus, RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT) ‘catches’ a downloader as soon as he clicks on a bittorrent file and joins a bittorrent swarm (before even a byte of data is transferred).

Thus, someone could technically get sued or accused of copyright infringement with Guardaley for a download they did not commit. They may have visited the bittorrent website. They may have clicked on the file, but that file never needed to download in order for Guardaley to sue that individual for copyright infringement.

WHY RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT WILL BE A MONSTER.

So in essence, RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT will be a monster. It’ll be an evil version of what CEG-TEK strove to become (CEG-TEK’s goal was always to discourage piracy, and they succeeded in their goal which is what made it not profitable for them).

RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT will likely accuse ISP subscribers of downloading multiple copyrighted files (asking for $300 per title), when the accused downloader merely clicked on a bittorrent file. This will be true even if he later changed his mind and decided not to download the file, whether he waited in the queue and never got the opportunity to download the bittorent file, or whether he clicked on a bittorrent file, but only decided to download one or more files in a bittorrent file that contained many files for download. Worse, if he clicks on a siterip (something Malibu Media, LLC / Guardaley) almost always ‘dings’ a defendant for, no doubt RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT will ask for settlements for each and every file in that siterip.

WHY CARL CROWELL WILL TURN RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT ‘EVIL’.

To make matters worse, Carl Crowell has a reputation that precedes him. Where CEG-TEK would give deference to an individual who made a mistake, or who didn’t realize the gravity of what he/she did, or if that individual was a war veteran or an elderly lady or gentleman, these considerations reportedly mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to Carl Crowell. Rather, people have referred to him as a bully, and in order to deal with a bully, you need to stand up and fight if needed.

In sum, this is why I am predicting that RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT will be a monster.

HOW WE WILL HELP TAKE DOWN ‘RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT’

As I mentioned before, expect Carl Crowell (and anyone working under him) to be a bully.  As such, the only way to fight a bully is to punch him in the face.  Now since it does a client of our firm no good if I ‘punch him,’ so to speak, the only way to handle a bully entity (as I am sure RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT will become) is to be willing to step away from a negotiation, file a lawsuit, and perhaps even proactively file a declaratory judgement action for non-infringement.  For copyright matters, this can be done in any federal court in any state (although Crowell has already had some issues with judges in his own state, so perhaps that is a good place to start).

I will take clients for both settlements (these will be anonymous just as a CEG-TEK matter would be since Crowell will not know who you are when he sends the DMCA copyright infringement notice to you), and for the explicit purpose of filing lawsuits (and defending lawsuits filed) by him and his local attorneys in the various states’ federal courts.

There will essentially be three kinds of clients:

GROUP 1) Clients with matters small enough that we can resolve them anonymously with no, some, or aggressive negotiation.

GROUP 2) Clients with matters to large to settle (e.g., they are faced with an unreasonable settlement demand, or RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT is unwilling to negotiate a matter).  For these clients we will defend the lawsuit when the client is sued (again, it does not matter in which court this happens), or we will proactively file a declaratory judgement action to obtain a ruling that these clients were not guilty of copyright infringement.

GROUP 3) Clients who want to skip all settlement negotiations and fight this matter in court.  As I mentioned, many individuals will get accused of downloading titles they simply did not download (or, that perhaps they clicked on, but did not download).  For these people who are willing to fight, we’ll skip settlement negotiations and go straight to the lawsuit.

In sum, I am willing to dedicate a significant amount of our firm’s resources to shutting this guy down. From what I understand, this Carl Crowell guy is another John Steele bully, and if he runs his RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT the way he’s been handling his lawsuits, I will be sure to help clients either proactively attack the claims against them, or in the alternative, I will help them get out of his way with an anonymous settlement.

Blog Articles:

Anti-Piracy Management Company (APMC) Still Running Strong – “Pay No Attention To That Man Behind the Curtain!,” written by DieTrollDie on 4/13/2017.

New Automated DMCA Notices Hit Movie Pirates With $300 Fines,” TorrenFreak, written on 3/11/2017.


CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

999,000 views. Thank you!

I suppose it is more appropriate to celebrate when a blog surpasses 1 million views — probably because the website owner doesn’t see the 999,000 mark because he’s not paying attention.

But with the recent fiasco of learning that CEG-TEK possibly has become RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT (#RightsEnforcement), or at the very least, their entire business infrastructure and proprietary BitTorrent tracking technology, along with their client list has been possibly sold or licensed to Carl Crowell, I’m paying attention to the analytics because the analytics are helping me to piece together the story.

999,000 page hits results in roughly 345,000 unique visitors since we started the blog in mid-2010. Subtract the regular visitors (including myself and my staff) and compare that number with the number of BitTorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuits that have been filed.

Considering that I have always been careful to make our blog a contribution to the fight against ‘copyright trolls’, seeing this number gives me satisfaction that at least our message is being heard.

I remain a loyal advocate for each of you, and it continues to be a daily adventure to fight the misapplication and misuse of copyright law against BitTorrent users.

-Rob (@6:10am, from my cell phone)

P.S. – Coincidentally, as I posted this message, WordPress informed me that this was my 200th post. How exciting!


CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT DMCA letters like CEG-TEK but with teeth.

If CEG-TEK were a stone, I deeply analyzed every facet of it.  I knew every client of theirs. I knew what business connections they had, how they acquired them, and which ISPs they were working with.  I knew which of their principles answered the phones, and at what times.  I knew what problems they were working on internally, and what business ventures they were working on externally. But then in August of 2016, they took a step back and stopped sending DMCA letters to ISP subscribers accusing them of copyright infringement.

I thought this was a win, namely, that there was one fewer copyright enforcement agency out there actively sending settlement demand letters and threats to sue for copyright infringement in federal court.

Before CEG-TEK stopped going after downloaders, there were rumblings of what was to come.  …What they would and would not do, and as far as I understood, their success was causing their business model to fail.  Around the same time, there was a huge opportunity missed for Keith Lipscomb to partner with CEG-TEK (consider this lucky timing based on him getting sued by his Malibu Media, LLC client), because if the relationship between Lipscomb and Malibu Media, LLC had not soured around the same time as CEG-TEK began to shift their client base and restructure the operations of the company, Lipscomb might have proposed a partnership and CEG-TEK might have agreed to it.

For those of you are newcomers because you received a notice or a letter forwarded to you from your ISP based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) statutes, Lipscomb used to be the mastermind behind each and every Malibu Media, LLC (adult film-based pornography lawsuit) and through his local attorneys across the US, he filed thousands of copyright infringement lawsuits against John Doe Defendants, initially asking for $20,000+ in settlement amounts from each defendant.  Do the math.

If Lipscomb corrupted CEG-TEK’s Copyright Enforcement system, instead of asking for a mere $300 per title for the bittorrent download of one copyrighted title, Lipscomb would have employed Malibu Media, LLC’s strategy of “catch one torrent click, sue for 60+ titles which were all downloadable by clicking that one bittorrent file.”  In other words, we would have seen settlement amounts of $18,000 ($300/title x 60 titles) per accused downloader.

But that didn’t happen, or so I thought…

HAS “RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT” BECOME THE NEW CEG-TEK?

Come now, a new entity dressed in new clothes, but one that still ‘walks and quacks’ like CEG-TEK did.  This new entity named “RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT” (or, “RIGHTSENFORCEMENT”) appears to have gotten access (legally, illegally) to CEG-TEK’s proprietary systems and mechanisms and they started sending DMCA settlement demand letters directly to ISP subscribers, just as CEG-TEK did.  They appear to be tracking and sending these notices the same way CEG-TEK did.  They are asking for $300 per title as a settlement, just as CEG-TEK did.  But the RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT name doesn’t carry the same history as does the CEG-TEK name, which caused me to write almost FIVE YEARS of blog entries on them.

A few weeks ago, I started to notice that people were finding my older website articles using the names of CEG-TEK’s old clients, as I outlined in CEG-TEK’s Client List (posted in 2014).  I saw Google Searches such as looking for DMCA notices surrounding adult film companies such as Brazzers, Girlfriends Films, Reality Kings, Wicked Pictures (all CEG-TEK clients), just to name a few.  I did not think anything about this until in the past few days, people started visiting my CEG-TEK articles.  Again, I didn’t think much about it until the visits to the CEG-TEK articles started to spike in the last day or so, and this morning, I wrote a blog entry in alarm, asking why everyone was suddenly visiting articles on CEG-TEK, a sleeping entity?

I have to thank Sophisticated Jane Doe (“SJD”) of FightCopyrightTrolls.com for the tip-off.  I am posting her comment in its entirety, and I do encourage her to write more about it.  While I could answer a number of her questions about the mechanisms of how CEG-TEK did their tracking, and how their systems worked, SJD has pieced together who the entities are behind the scenes.

Crowell was cozying with Siegel since last summer. “London Has Fallen,” used for shakedown by both the Guardaley network and Siegel, was a test drive for something new IMO. This “new” is a new CEG-TEK-like outfit created and run by Crowell in December. Check it out. The letters are already being sent out. I wanted to write a post (and maybe I will) about these developments, but has been busy recently.

I don’t know who harvests IP addresses and have no idea to what extent Siegel and Crowell work together, if at all, but my gut feeling: they do.

The gravity of this news is that Crowell & Co have something that neither Rightscorp nor CEG-TEK had: credibility of threats to sue. As a result of non-paying to this new shakedown factory, at least one lawsuit was already filed (can’t locate it for the moment, but the complaint explicitly mentioned that the defendant was given opportunity to pay small ransom, but skipped).

Funnily, Crowell wrote about it anonymously yesterday, as if he didn’t know.

“RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT” IS NOT CEG-TEK

So what do we have now?  We appear to have a new copyright enforcement entity called “Rights Enforcement” which acts as if it is CEG-TEK, just in new clothes.  Aside from the fact that this name (RIGHTSENFORCEMENT) is impossible to search for in a Google Search (ingenious).  Aside from the fact that it is next to impossible to bring scrutiny to Rights Enforcement’s practices because the name is so generic.  And, aside from the fact that “rightsenforcement.com” is just as confusing to look at as “iwenttothestoreyesterdaytobuysomedaisies.com”… I believe what is going on.

CEG-TEK WOULDN’T SUE. RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT UNDER OWNERSHIP / MANAGEMENT OF ATTORNEY CARL CROWELL WILL SUE.

A big complaint the principles at CEG-TEK used to have is that they would ask for $300/title and threaten to sue if this amount was not paid, but when that notice was ignored, nobody at CEG-TEK filed any lawsuits.  I would even say that Ira Siegel was averse to filing lawsuits, as we know that he used to file copyright infringement lawsuits, and then after having Siegel had a number of bad experiences with the California federal courts inquiring about his settlement rates, he dropped all of his lawsuits and went on to help form Copyright Enforcement Group (CEG-TEK).

However, RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT is run not by Ira Siegel, but by Carl Crowell.  Putting aside everything that has been written about him on the other bittorrent-based blogs, one thing that you as a recipient of the DMCA letter must know is that Carl Crowell files lawsuits in federal courts, justified or not.  This means that if a settlement is not reached, he will file copyright infringement lawsuits against individual John Doe Defendants, and instead of asking for $300 for one title (or whatever he is asking for in the DMCA notices), he will file a copyright infringement lawsuit for $150,000 for the infringement (unlawful download, upload, etc) for ONE copyrighted movie.

So in sum, as far as I understand it, RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT is a reverse-engineered copy of CEG-TEK, but with teeth and a salivating desire to sue accused downloaders who do not settle.

FOLLOW-UP NOTE (FOR ACCURACY PURPOSES): RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT, especially with litigious attorney Carl Crowell is certainly a threat to anyone who received a DMCA  letter from their ISP.  Why?  Because whoever represents a client in a settlement MUST be prepared to also be able to fight Carl Crowell in the federal courts.  It appears as if they have somehow acquired, or even reverse engineered CEG-TEK’s DMCA copyright infringement notice system (I have already contacted a number of individuals at CEG-TEK trying to ascertain who RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT is).

Either way, based on the way they appear to be structured, I believe that we’ll be able to settle these cases using the same methodologies as we did the CEG-TEK cases (keeping the accused downloader ANONYMOUS), but with a caveat that we did not need to give our CEG-TEK clients — these guys are a different breed of attorneys than CEG-TEK, and they come to the negotiations with a “we’ll take your house” mentality, so aggressive negotiations backed by a willingness to fight or be bullied is the strategy that will need to be used with this new RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT / CEG-TEK clone entity.


CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

CEG-TEK asleep. Why new hits?

[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?

-Rob


CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.