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O2 and EE customers at risk of Ben Dover demands

We reported back in June this year about porn actor Ben Dover and how he felt because some people had illegally downloaded some of his movies, that he was entitled to recompense. While we haven't heard much since, it turns out that Mr Dover has been working behind the scenes and has managed to get both O2 and EE to give up customer data on certain IP addresses. It now looks likely that a couple thousand people could be set to receive letters with a demand for cash before Christmas.

Two companies are involved in this potential legal threat: Golden Eye Limited and Ben Dover Productions. O2 has admitted to its customers that it had little choice but to comply with requests for information. As TorrentFreak points out, the ISP and mobile provider could have kicked up a fuss, but considering this is the first we're hearing about it, it sounds like the company rolled over pretty quickly.

Ben Dover
Ben Dover, impoverished artist?

Chances are the letter being crafted by Ben Dover and his team at the moment will claim that the recipient's household illegally downloaded one of the company's films and that as the bill payer, the home-owner is responsible. What follows will be a demand for several hundred pounds, with a vague threat that if no response is heard within a certain period of time, that legal action will be taken. These sorts of speculative lawsuits are designed to scare people into paying out, when really neither party wants to end up in a court room.

Fortunately for those worried about possibly being targeted, there's plenty of advice out there on how to deal with these demands. One of the best sources is the Speculative Invoicing Handbook – Second Edition. If you're not in a reading mood however and want to pick up a few pointers, here's a short summary of actions to take:

  • Don't pay out. This will only help fund future invoicing schemes.
  • Leave your ISP and make a point of telling it that you're doing so because your customer data was given out without your permission.
  • Don't tell them anything. The less known about you, the more unlikely you are to be targeted as a potential cash cow.
  • Team up with others. You aren't the only one receiving letters, talk to others and coordinate a strategy.

KitGuru Says: Have any of you been told by O2 or EE that you may soon receive a letter demanding cash? If so please get in touch with us – [email protected] – we'd love to get your take on it.

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