Advanced Television

Court reprieve for Australian content pirates

December 16, 2015

By Colin Mann

An Australian Federal Court judgement has given a reprieve to Australian Internet users who pirated copies of Dallas Buyers Club. The makers of the film had sought compensation from illegal downloaders and launched legal action against Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to reveal the names of such users.

The Court threw the attempt to not only seek the private details of almost 5,000 Australians it believes illegally shared copies of the film online, but to levy extra fines. The film’s maker wanted to not only fine each infringer but to also charge them for the cost of legally buying the film, a one-off rental fee, a licence fee for uploading activity, and the costs of obtaining the downloader’s details from the ISPs.

In his judgement, Justice Nye Perram said the company had put forward some “wholly unrealistic” contentions in court in its latest bid for compensation.

“The present application must be dismissed with costs. Some finality must now be brought to these proceedings,” he ruled.

Justice Perram granted access to the private details of 4,726 iiNet account holders in April 2015, on the condition Dallas Buyers Club LLC (DBC) paid the court costs of the ISP and showed copies of the draft letter it would send to alleged pirates.

DBC also pursued legal action against illegal downloaders in the United States and Singapore and won access to the private details of some users.

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