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An Australian court has ordered ISPs to hand over details of customers accused of illegally downloading a US movie.
In a landmark move, the Federal Court told six firms to divulge names and addresses of those who downloaded The Dallas Buyers Club. The case was lodged by the US company that owns the rights to the 2013 movie.
The court said the data could only be used to secure “compensation for the infringements” of copyright.
In the case, the applicants said they had identified 4,726 unique IP addresses from which their film was shared online using BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing network. They said this had been done without their permission.
Once they received the names of account holders, the company would then have to prove copyright infringement had taken place.
The ruling comes amidst a crackdown by the Australian government on internet piracy. Australians are among the world’s most regular illegal downloaders of digital content. The delay in release dates for new films and TV shows, and higher prices in Australia for digital content, have prompted many Australians to find surreptitious ways to watch new shows.