Several more movie studios have quietly joined a partnership with the Federation Against Copyright Theft that bears all the hallmarks of a pending major anti-piracy scheme. It will be of concern to UK-based pirates that several of the companies are already involved in broad litigation activity in the United States against both downloaders of content and those that provide it.
Last month we revealed that a coalition of known anti-piracy groups, rightsholders and related movie companies are quietly building a new coalition in the UK.
Data retrieved from the UK’s Companies House database showed that a partnership, previously known as H&B Administration, had rebranded to FACT Administration LLP with key member FACT Worldwide, a division of the Federation Against Copyright Theft.
As of June, FACT Administration LLP consisted of companies that previously sent cash settlement demands to users of ISP Sky on behalf of TCYK LLC, the owner of the Robert Redford film ‘The Company You Keep’. The partners also include H&B Administration (which previously administered that process) plus Voltage Holdings, an entity that has pursued individual BitTorrent downloaders in the United States, plus newcomer Azil Productions LLC – the owner of the movie ‘The Marksman’.
Trying to predict what these companies might be preparing for is problematic since previous requests for information from FACT were not responded to. However, since the companies own movies and are partnering with known anti-piracy groups, a new cash settlement scheme could be a reasonable assumption.
However, there is also a possibility that something bigger is on the horizon.
Several Additional Movie Companies Join Partnership
New data listed by Companies House reveal that the FACT Administration LLP partnership has significantly expanded with the addition of no less than six more movie companies, at least some of which are involved in aggressive anti-piracy lawsuits in the United States.
Wonder One LLC, for example, is a known Voltage Holdings affiliate. The company is currently involved in a lawsuit targeting VPN company LiquidVPN. In that matter, the service’s former and current owners are accused of promoting and facilitating piracy.
Wonder One LLC is also a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against VPN.ht, hosting provider Voxility, and a widely-used Popcorn Time app.
The same is true for After 2 Movie LLC, which in the US is also known as After II Movie LLC. This company appears to hold the rights to the ‘After’ and ‘After We Collided’ movies and is both a Voltage affiliate and involved in the same lawsuits as Wonder One LLC. Another company, After 34 Nevada LLC, appears linked to After 2 Movie LLC and may hold the rights to the forthcoming movies ‘After We Fell’ and ‘After Ever Happy’.
Cinestate Run Hide Fight LLC is also connected to Voltage Holdings and is the company behind the school-shooter movie ‘Run Hide Fight‘. We aren’t aware of the company being involved in copyright litigation in the United States but as a Voltage partner, it’s no surprise to see the Dallas-based entity involved here.
Another company to join the coalition is Right Angle Productions LLC. There isn’t much public information on the business entity but it appears to hold the rights to the Aaron Paul movie ‘Adam’. The role of Hollywood-based H Films Inc is less clear.
So What is The Plan?
As we wrote in our piece last month, it’s certainly possible that there is a copyright-troll style cash settlement scheme in the making but as the list of companies expands, other options open up to the FACT Administration LLP partnership too.
While their plans are open to interpretation in advance of any solid legal filings, the fact that some of these companies are suing VPN companies, web hosting companies, pirate sites and apps, plus other related entities in the United States and elsewhere, raises the prospect of broader action than simply demanding £500 from a downloader to make a possible lawsuit go away.
We’ll keep a close eye on developments but if anyone receives any contact from these companies anywhere in the world complaining about copyright issues, we’d certainly like to hear more.
Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.