Entertainment

iiNet Is Taking On The Studio Behind Dallas Buyers Club Over Australian Copyright Notices

Have you downloaded Dallas Buyers Club illegally via BitTorrent? It might serve you well to read this. The studio behind the film is looking to send out copyright infringement notices to Aussie infringers, which may include demands for money. To do it, the studio needs customer names and addresses, but iiNet isn’t playing ball and will oppose the action in court. That’s right, kids. It’s time to take to the high seas once again for iiTrial 2: The Clickening.

In a blog post entitled “Not Our Kind Of Club“, the ISP today detailed its plan to oppose a discovery order submitted to the Australian Federal Court by Dallas Buyers Club LLC that asks for the customer details of those who may have infringed copyright laws by downloading the film of the same name.

“One way copyright holders collect evidence is through online investigative bodies that detect the IP addresses (issued by ISPs) of services illegally sharing content and then apply to a court using the preliminary discovery process, to get the personal details of the account holders, using those IP addresses.

“iiNet would never disclose customer details to a third party, such as movie studio, unless ordered to do so by a court. We take seriously both our customers’ privacy and our legal obligations,” iiNet said via its blog.

iiNet has decided to oppose the discovery process to block a process known as “speculative invoicing”, which basically means that the studio may issue copyright infringement notices that compel them to pay the studio via a third party for the alleged infringement in order to make it go away. Those “fines” can total up to $US7000 in some cases.

Amongst iiNet’s concerns a fairly legitimate concern that because none of these cases have been tested in front of an Australian court before, it could result in someone being unfairly treated or intimidated by a studio for something they may not have even done in the first place.

The next step involves the Federal Court deciding whether or not the information ought to be handed over by iiNet to Dallas Buyers Club LLC.

A date for the hearing will likely be set for next year.

This isn’t the first time iiNet has landed itself in the Federal Court of Australia over copyright infringement. The original iiTrial ended in a victory, and saw the ISP successfully fend off the now defunct Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft or AFACT which had attempted to hold them liable for the copyright infringement of its users.

At the same time as the ISP re-enters the legal copyright fray, the original iiTrial decision is at risk of being overturned as part of Australia’s signing of a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea.

The proposed plan to roll-back the decision forms part of Australia’s larger position on anti-piracy which, according to leaked papers and discussion documents, include proposals for site blocking and a three-strikes scheme. [iiNet via Allie Coyne]


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