Here's The Letter Aussie Dallas Buyers Club Pirates Are Getting

Check your mailboxes, pirates. You might be seeing something like this in there very soon if you pirated Dallas Buyer's Club.

In case you've been living under a rock: the studio behind Dallas Buyers Club is on the warpath against Aussie pirates.

After iiNet challenged Dallas Buyers Club's discovery process in court and lost, the court stipulated that the studio had to draft a copy of its letter of demand before a judge before it was sent out.

Mashable nabbed a copy of the letter going to Dallas Buyers Club pirates, following iiNet's loss.

The letter starts by defining piracy, adding that Aussies have engaged in widespread piracy of the film to the point that Dallas Buyers Club and Voltage needed to take legal action:

Piracy of the Film in Australia is significant and widespread. As a result of this piracy of the Film, DBC and Voltage have experienced a significant reduction in consumer sales and have suffered significant loss and damage.
DBC and Voltage consider the level of piracy of the Film to be egregious and, taking into account the profound impact of piracy on them, intend to take legal proceedings against any person who has engaged in piracy of the Film.
We are writing to you because an IP address linked to your internet account with [insert] was used to illegally upload the film.

The letter goes on to discuss how DBC and Voltage investigated those pirating the films via BitTorrent using technology from a company called Maverik Eye over the period of a year:

As a result of these investigations, Maverik Eye has identified a number of Internet Protocol addresses (IP Addresses) that have been used to illegally upload the Film for other users of the BitTorrent Network to illegally download. Maverik Eye has identified the IP Addresses from where pirates are illegally uploading the film.

The letter doesn't specify specific damages that need to be paid by those caught out by DBC and Voltage, but does ask that those receiving the letter get in touch with the studio's legal representation to determine the punishment.

You can contest the studio's claim that you engaged in piracy (which may have happened if someone downloaded the film on your unprotected Wi-Fi hotspot, for example), or you can agree to the studio's settlement terms:

What if you agree that you engaged in Piracy?
If you admit that you engaged in Piracy, DBC and Voltage are prepared to settle the dispute on the following basis.
1. You provide an undertaking not to engage in Piracy in respect of the Film, or permit or authorise others to do so, in the form set out in Annexure "A" to this letter.
2. You undertake to delete any copies of the Film from any hard drive or operating system and any copies saved to external storage devices, other than copyrighted works owned by DBC an/or Voltage that you have obtained legitimately. We also suggest you stop making other copyrighted works available online across the BitTorrent Network.
3. You contact us in writing at [insert email address] to negotiate a settlement with DBC and Voltage. Alternatively if you would prefer to speak with someone directly then you may call [insert telephone number] to negotiate a settlement with DBC and Voltage.

If you confess to pirating the film but disagree with the settlement proposed by DBC and Voltage, the studio writes that it may engage in separate legal proceedings with you alone to get legal relief.

Recipients of the letter will have 28 days to respond under threat of further action being taken against them by the studio.

The full letter is below, via Mashable

Draft Letter to Account Holder


Comments

    Wasn't the whole point of this letter to stop them voltage from asking for absorbent amounts of money from people?

    Wont they just do that in the second form of communication?

      I thought the exact same thing - I cannot believe the judge would allow them to send this out considering, as @sirfancyrabbit pointed out, the whole point of the judge needing to review the letter first was to stop voltage from speculative invoicing?!?!

        But if they demanded a specific sum in that letter, wouldn't that be speculative invoicing? Regardless of whether they demand $20 or $20,000, demanding a specific sum of money in that letter would still be speculative invoicing irrespective of the amount, wouldn't it? I don't know... any lawyers in the house?

          I was just thinking it would be a great article for Gizmodo to do (cough hint cough) on how the laws specifically around unsecured WiFi and responsibility of the account holders

            You are responsible for anyone using your network as the account holder

              So if I'm illegally hacked and was unaware I'm responsible?

                Yes and no.

                A guy in the US had his door knocked down and was arrested by ICE agents for kiddy porn. Turned out it was his neighbor got into his (unsecured?) wifi and was downloading it.

                He didn't get charged, obviously, but still...

              Opinion, not law.

              I am using the router supplied & supported by my ISP, I have enabled WPA2 encryption with a ludicrously strong password, I know it's hackable in seconds thanks to a hardcoded WPS pin that cannot be disabled. My ISP is therefore responsible for any infringement occurring on my connection.

                Exploit only works on routers made between 2006-2012. If you're using a router from then, upgrade it as you're outdated. If not, even though you might not be able to configure it, the router will lockout after 5 attempts. Some ban the Mac (not the best, user can spoof multiple macs using bully), some will lock out for 24 hours and some will permanently lockout until the router is restarted. It typically takes between 3-5 hours if you're testing against a router made within the time specified above, which has not been issued with a firmware update. It'll guess the first 4 digits, then the next 3 and finally the last digit.
                Even though there are scripts available to break thru the lockout, they aren't terribly effective and IMO most would still rather a brute force attack with a simple list or a man in the middle attack from an easy looking target ap. The wps exploit isn't very popular these days, there's a lot of other new tricks available.

              That's why I always make sure I always use Telstra's network, to make sure that as the account holder of the Interwebaz, they are responsible.

      Wonder how much money all this chasing up people is costing Voltage. Not to mention legal fees etc. I think it's a case of Voltage standing waist deep in the ocean shoreline, trying to stop the waves coming in. Voltage's whole exercise is futile.
      http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/10/hollywood-director-piracy-is-necessary-and-doesnt-hurt-revenues

      Last edited 19/06/15 12:37 pm

      Wasn't the whole point of this letter to stop them voltage from asking for absorbent amounts of money from people?

      I, personally, refuse to pay $librafleur for the Film.

      Handee Ultra, Australia's most absorbent paper towel. I think you mean "exorbitant" sir.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=be27ZXImiVI

    So you pay them for the film, but have to delete all copies of it.

      It's a civil claim, and they are proposing terms of settlement. Up to the recipients if they will agree to it, reject it, or propose a counter-offer.

    I thought they had to come up with an actual monetary amount before sending the letter? How is this going to be fair if everyones potentially fined different amounts? At least Warner Brothers only fined people who downloaded FRIENDS 20 dollars per infringement.

    I tried out IPVanish so I could watch movies on Popcorn Time. Completely useless.
    Movies kept constantly buffering making them unwatchable. It might be alright for
    pirating, but useless for streaming. I don't think they are too worried about people that watch the content, they are going after the folks who copy and distribute the content. Either way, if they want to find you, they will. VPN or no VPN. As Sabu found out the hard way.

    Last edited 19/06/15 12:16 pm

      Whoa. I was going to get ip vanish or another one because I use pop corn time as well. If it won't stream properly them that's a real bummer. I suppose you could always download the movies by torrent. Are you going to stick with ipvanish or are you going to try some other one ?

        There are a stack of dummies out there using Popcorn Time who think they aren't torrenting. I imagine the whole thing is going to turn into a (somewhat hilarious) circus over the next few months.

          To torrent, you have to download content. With Popcorn Time, technically you aren't downloading anything to your computer. And was it the founders of Pirate Bay that got busted, or the people who downloaded content from Pirate Bay ? Was tons of fun Dotcom who got busted, or was it the people who uploaded/downloaded content or streamed ?

            wow. streaming isnt downloading, the data is transferred via magical pixienet. lol. Popcorntime is the front end to a torrent client, genius. Not only did you download, but you uploaded too.

            And when you talk about people getting 'busted', leaving aside the fact that you are talking about other jurisdictions with other laws, what you are talking about is criminal prosecution. This isn't criminal, it's civil. So whether Kim Dotcom got 'busted' is irrelevant to you being sued.

            They are pursuing people who downloaded the gay cowboys eating pudding film. Which will include any donkeys using 'not torrents, teh streeeming!'.

            Good luck with that defence, champ.

              Gay cowboys eating pudding ? XD Relax dude, my bad. I stand corrected. I was under the false impression it wasn't the same as traditional torrenting from sites like Pirate Bay. As I said, I stand corrected. (sits back down).

              Last edited 24/06/15 7:53 am

            My understanding is Popcorn Time:
            Is torrenting.
            Is downloading content.
            Also seeds that content.
            But that doesn't matter, even if it was "only" streaming that doesn't put you on safer ground. Folly.

        I haven't tried popcorn time but I stream netflix over IPVanish all the time. Works fine. I haven't had any real issues with IPVanish, though at my parent's place it disconnects often, but they do have terrible internet so it's hard to pinpoint the problem.

      People who download through bittorrent are all distributing.

        Most, not all. It's possible to turn off upload

          Not without severely crippling the download speed. The bit torrent protocol was designed around mandatory uploading

            I can set uploads at 15kbps. Then download at 4 megabytes per second.. by the time i download an 8 gig file i have shared 40 megs max..

              Doesn't matter from a legal standpoint, you still distributed 40MB of copyrighted material.

                As far as legal evidence is concerned, only the data you shared with a honeypot peer is relevant, because there's no way to prove data was transferred to other peers. In a swarm of 500+ members, the likelihood that any of that 40MB went to a honeypot is very slim. Monitoring agencies often simply use swarm membership as an indicator, but if you argue it in court it won't be sufficient. It's not illegal to join a torrent swarm for an illegal file but not participate in upload/download.

                One of the best ways to limit risk in a public torrent is to set your client to a low rate (but not less than 5kb/s) and a single upload connection limit. That way you're only connecting to one peer at a time, and because of the slow uprate you stay with each peer for longer, reducing the chance of encountering a honeypot.

                Last edited 23/06/15 10:08 am

                  I was just confirming with torrentuser that low uploads does not mena low downloads.

                More to the point - you may have distributed that to 40 people. Or 400?!

            In practice, BitTorrent's choke flag only matters in small swarms with few seeders. Choking is done on a per-peer basis and only after a piece has been completed. As long as there are enough peers in the swarm you can download the whole file at full available speed without being choked.

        Completely incorrect. If you turn off uploading you aren't uploading if your torrent client actually works.

      I use IPVanish all the time. Haven't tired popcorn time yet but I stream Netflix over it just fine.
      Have you tried a few different servers... or different protocols. I get different results depending on how I connect.

      Last edited 23/06/15 2:55 pm

        Only got a VPN on Monday. Express vpn and it seems to work fine streaming pop corn time. For now I've been sticking to Los Angeles as it gives good speed. Don't really want to play with it because I'm scared of a DNS leak. I always check before I fire up pop corn time. Also going to do some research about VPN's and routers. Not sure how that works but have heard it mentioned on this site in the comments. Hopefully the gov doesn't ban VPN's. If they do I'll have to resort to sand boxing or the dark net.

    This will just get worse with Data Retardation laws. VPNs will get even more popular and the speeds will get even slower, both due to more users and the impact all this filtering will have.
    TL;DR, no real NBN, nore cost and less speed. GG Ausfailian government.

    yeah gotta say this looks like a sketchy exploitation of the judges decision to have the letter screened. it's still vague and requires the accused to actually seek out punishment - of an undisclosed value! wtf

      absolutely fukn absurd, shit is going to hit the fan as well now that the TPP fast-track has actually gone ahead, despite clinton so loudly and publically opposing it to score political points with plebs; obviously it has aleady always been a done-deal. Sigh.

      Without a defined amount specified, Its leaves the persons punishment up to their imagination in a way, could be $1,000 or $10,000. Which would make the whole process of getting busted even worse. Not knowing exactly what will happen.

    "As a result of this piracy of the Film, DBC and Voltage have experienced a significant reduction in consumer sales and have suffered significant loss and damage."
    Thats an interesting claim id like to see the evidence of.

    so whatever came of the defence that an IP isnt linked to one singular person is the account holder held responsible for it unless they prove otherwise?

      From my understanding (and i could be completely wrong) it is not illegal yet to have an unsecured wifi connection, nor is it in the law that the owner of the connection is responsible for what people do with it.

      So if you have an open wifi connection how can you name the person who used it?

      Not only that, WEP is notoriously easy to break, older routers may not of have wep2 enabled.

      Last edited 19/06/15 12:35 pm

        Whattaya know. My sisters wifi connection was most definitely unsecured on the night this happened I swear.

        That's true but they probably only have to prove on balance of probability that you were the most likely person who did it. That's the problem

          This. The burden of proving 'beyond a reasonable doubt' is a restriction applied only to criminal law. Civil law allows for 'the balance of probability'.

        I guarantee* that if you admit no guilt and ensure that you state you certainly didn't download the film. Must have been someone else using your internet without your consent you will be off without charge.
        The presumption of guilt is not satisfactory in an Australian court. They will need to provide evidence that it was impossible for it to have been anyone other than yourself that could have torrented. Of which it is impossible.

        Last edited 22/06/15 7:34 pm

      so whatever came of the defence that an IP isnt linked to one singular person is the account holder held responsible for it unless they prove otherwise?

      They need to convince the court that you were the one responsible for the conduct, either directly or via your own negligence.

      As a result of this piracy of the Film, DBC and Voltage have experienced a significant reduction in consumer sales and have suffered significant loss and damage.

      Yeah, this one jumped out at me as well. I'd really love to know how they're judging that. Surely no-one's buying the whole 'pirated copy = lost sale' horse shit?

        I would never have paid for the film under any circumstance. Therefore if I had downloaded this film I would not have caused any loss or damage.

          But they're only going after ppl that uploaded it, ie seeded 100% of the movie.

            They can't reliably determine who seeded 100%.
            If there's a swarm of seeders and each of them share 1%, is nobody responsible?

            Last edited 23/06/15 9:44 am

        I laughed reading this comment a second time just now, after our friend from the site blocking thread appeared and legitimately argued that exact horse shit. There really are people like that out there.

    Where's the $ amount?
    So what happens if you agree is the cost $,
    And if you dont agree its $$$?
    what if the internet protocol number is wrong? Many people will be duped.

      What about me invoicing the publishers for the 2hours of wasted time for watching the garbage they pump out?
      Would open the doors to bankrupt Michael Bay... which i could totally get behind.

        If I get "invoiced" I'll sent them the bill for inspecting all my electronics for their "movie".

    Tying a download to an IP address is one thing, tying it to a specific person is a whole different issue. Has making the account holder responsible for all downloads on a connection been tested in court before?

      I know nothing about the law, but perhaps they might treat it like a speeding fine? It's your car that got snapped by the camera, so you get the ticket unless you can prove somebody else was driving at the time.

        That seems like where it would end up if that's not already the case. As convenient as it would be you can't just leave your WiFi unsecured then claim some Puerto Rican Guy did it. It's a hard loophole to close while being fair but so is the 'I was just holding it for a friend' defense.

          The different to the i was just holding it for a friend defense is different tho. In that case a member of law enforcement has found an illegal substance on you.

          For this case tho. An illegal substance was seen going onto your property. What happened to it next they do not know. If a drug dealer was standing on your front porch dealing drugs when you are at work, is the house owner responsible for not having a security man to stop him from being there?

          Last edited 19/06/15 1:25 pm

            I was just saying it was like that in that it's very hard to prove either way so we found ways of dealing with it rather than just letting people go when they make the claim. We don't really need analogies here. Movies were illegally downloaded via an internet connection. The internet connection may have been compromised but no legal system is going to leave such an obvious and easy exploit unplugged. Eventually any legal system is going to eventually draw the conclusion that you have to prove that your connection was compromised and that the subscriber in charge of the internet connection took appropriate means to secure their connection.
            You can argue against that conclusion all you want and you can insist that further proof must be provided linking the person to serious crimes, but you're dreaming if you think insecure WiFi alone is going to be enough to satisfy anyone that the connection owner is innocent or that the case must be dropped. Just like how if your computer is full of illegal pornography you don't get a free pass if you say 'I leave my doors unlocked and there's no password on my PC, so anyone could have put that there'.
            These guys may be pricks but can you really blame them for not believing people who say some random stranger must have logged onto their PC or hacked their WiFi to download a movie most people didn't care enough about to watch on Netflix even after the piracy case put it in the spotlight?

        It's civil law, not criminal. They can't 'treat' it as anything, because they aren't a government body writing the law for their own benefit.

        Being really, really general, they just need to convince the judge that, on the balance of probabilities, you are the one who caused their loss/damage.

          Exactly - I don't know why people think this 'defence' would ever hold water. It's just not likely that a random wardriver parked outside your house and accessed your unsecured connection.

            What if after getting the letting they immediately went to the police and reported the crime? The police would need to prove you are guilty, or accept that you are a victim of crime.

            Maybe...

            It's simple, prove which of my housemates downloaded it.

            Private car park companies in this country ran into a similar issue when they try to give you 'fines' for parking in their car parks. They claim that there is a contract between the company and the driver when you park there. Fair enough. But they then claim that contract is between the owner of the car and the company. Not fair enough, and the courts have never sided with them. They have to demonstrate which PERSON, not object made this contract. Now to relate this internet downloads. Can they really claim that the owner of the credit card that the internet is registered for is liable for all use of that internet? I can't see that holding up in court.

            On a balance of probabilities of a person living in a share house of 5 people, it is not most likely that they were the one that committed the offense. I believe any competent lawyer could fight these claims easily.

              Nope, it falls under the same system as speed cameras/red light cameras.
              It is your car, someone was speeding, it is up to you to point the finger at who was driving, or you have to pay the fine.

                You could claim your car was stolen, but it would have to actually be missing for them to take you seriously. You don't have to uncover the identity of the thief, just that your car was stolen.

                What if you claim that someone illegally used your internet?

          Incorrect. They need to provide evidence that YOU are the directly infringing party. Which is impossible unless they have re-invented the internet.

        You don't have to prove someone else did it, you just have to claim they did. The big loophole is claiming someone overseas did it, then they are screwed.

    lol I'll just say someone must have broken in and stolen my internets and then commited piracies some1 call th cyber police!!1 lololololololololo come at me lawyers

    Last edited 19/06/15 12:51 pm

      Your parents are going to be so mad at you lolololol!@

    Mashable nabbed a copy of the letter going to Dallas Buyers Club pirates, following iiNet’s loss.

    Shouldn't that be alleged DBC pirates? As far as I know, no one has been convicted of anything.

    The fact that they don't simply state the specific amount they want for damages suggests they trying to sidestep the court's attempt at stopping speculative invoicing by encouraging the people they contact them directly. People who are scared and ignorant of their rights are more likely to pony up the dough.

      Shouldn't that be alleged DBC pirates? As far as I know, no one has been convicted of anything.

      And even if they were, it certainly wouldn't be 'piracy'. As per the Crimes Act

      "act of piracy " means an act of violence, detention or depredation committed for private ends by the crew or passengers of a private ship or aircraft and directed:
      (a) if the act is done on the high seas or in the coastal sea of Australia--against another ship or aircraft or against persons or property on board another ship or aircraft; or
      (b) if the act is done in a place beyond the jurisdiction of any country--against a ship, aircraft, persons or property.

      Given they seem to mention 'piracy' at least a dozen times, might be worth shooting a definition back to them. Preferably out of a cannon.

      Last edited 19/06/15 1:02 pm

        "might be worth shooting a definition back to them. Preferably out of a cannon."

        You just won the internets! Thanks for the LULZ!

    Well unfortunately my wireless is "always open" so I don't know who uses it and I do not control who uses it :)

    So...

    Who is going to be the first to phone them up and ask them how much they want to settle?
    Please publish your findings..

      I wonder how long before some random internet group decides to call that number a thousand times per minute for the next hundred years. They're pissing off a lot of people who take the internet being a lawless free for all very seriously.

        Whats the phone number? Loading dialer...

          Pretty sure that constantly dialing the same number just to annoy the crap out of them might fall foul of the Commonwealth Criminal Code...

          474.17 Using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence

          (1) A person is guilty of an offence if:

          (a) the person uses a carriage service; and

          (b) the person does so in a way (whether by the method of use or the content of a communication, or both) that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all the circumstances, menacing, harassing or offensive.

          Penalty: Imprisonment for 3 years.

          Last edited 20/06/15 10:34 pm

            Doesnt fly - The internet doesnt need just one person to call the number - Publish the number, everybody tries it... No one can even get through because that many people are calling the number - it's a DDOS coming in from all angles

              and because telecoms companies don't keep records of the calls you make...said no-one ever.

                IS it a crime if I dial a number?!
                The only records they keep are the calls connected and that's only so they can charge you mate...
                Idiot

                  IS it a crime if I dial a number?!

                  See my post above. One call, probably not, unless it was "menacing, harassing or offensive". If it was part of a DDOS-style attempt to block access to the phone number, maybe
                  (you realise other people can see these words, don't you?).

                  The only records they keep are the calls connected and that's only so they can charge you mate

                  If you think they only keep connected call info...

                  http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BN/2012-2013/DataRetention

                  They don't keep much of it for long, but they'd certainly keep data on a massive spike of calls to a particular number.

                  Last edited 25/06/15 12:43 am

                  I cant reply to your post - but you are suggesting that if the whole internet tried to dial this number a few times then our resources are going to be wasted on tracking down all of those calls, interviewing the callers and then prosecuting them?!

                  You are an absolute idiot

    "As a result of this piracy of the Film, DBC and Voltage have experienced a significant reduction in consumer sales and have suffered significant loss and damage."

    And it totally wasn't because we made a shit film that nobody went and seen.

      Tried watching it on netflix, was so damn boring. Leto as always was damn good but what a shite film.

    Wait,
    1. Doesn't this mean that they have not provided a product (p6, clause2) and yet have asked money for it, not to sure how that works but I thought there are laws against that

    2. As an Sys Admin and someone finishing their studies in CyberSecurity I would love to see what software was used for this investigation and how it works. For all I know the software is looking for IP addresses that Googled or posted on forums keywords such as "Dallas Byers Club"

    3. If someone steals my car and commits a crime with it is it my fault, same can be said for someone downloading the movie using my connection(wardriving, hacking of WiFi) and before they say we have your MAC address it can be easily spoofed.

    At the end I would love to see someone with to much money and time on their hands to call their bluff. I know most of us (if anyone on here in fact downloaded the movie, ha) would just pay some arbitrary sum for the 2 hours they wasted on downloading and watching the movie.
    In fact they should pay YOU for the free distribution of the movie.

      1. Doesn't this mean that they have not provided a product (p6, clause2) and yet have asked money for it, not to sure how that works but I thought there are laws against that

      That's retarded.

      2. As an Sys Admin and someone finishing their studies in CyberSecurity I would love to see what software was used for this investigation and how it works. For all I know the software is looking for IP addresses that Googled or posted on forums keywords such as "Dallas Byers Club"

      And that's why they have to convince a court, if they want to pursue you for damages.

      3. If someone steals my car and commits a crime with it is it my fault, same can be said for someone downloading the movie using my connection(wardriving, hacking of WiFi) and before they say we have your MAC address it can be easily spoofed.

      And that's why they have to convince a court, if they want to pursue you for damages.

        "And that's why they have to convince a court, if they want to pursue you for damages."

        I thought they already had convinced the court, and that's why the court allowed them to get the account details based on the IPs from the ISPs.

          Getting the IPs is an entirely separate matter from pursuing legal remedies against the people behind those IPs. Which is entirely the point of this article. The judge wasn't deciding facts of each case, he was deciding whether to grant their application to have the identities turned over.

          Further the @jjcf 's comment, the letters are the start of the process.

          Once they get the contact details of all the people linked to the IP addresses (ie: their contact details), they send that letter inviting the person to make contact and discuss a settlement.

          The letter is an opportunity for the person linked to the IP address to settle, before DBC takes them to court (note: civil case, not a criminal case).

          They'll probably make the settlement amount just high enough to be somewhat painful (and worth it financially for them) but low enough to discourage the person linked to the IP address from paying a lawyer to dispute the case in court.

      If someone steals your car and commits a crime with it, it isn't your fault. But this isn't even remotely comparable. This is more like someone being caught speeding in your car and the police being unable to identify who was driving - but given that it's your car and thus you're the most likely person driving it, you'll get the ticket.

      The same goes for unsecured or hacked wifi in what will be a civil case - while it's possible that may have happened, the likelihood of it happening is lower than the likelihood of you just having pirated the movie. Civil cases are decided on the balance of probabilities, not beyond reasonable doubt like criminal cases which is a higher standard.

        You'll get the ticket, and then show them the fact that you weren't not in possession of your car, and thus won't pay the ticket. So while his analogy is poor, your counter doesn't really work. The police won't fine the victim of car theft.

          Only if you reported the car stolen. If you have no logs or anything else to show that you internet was compromised, then you are out of luck.
          If someone stole your car, got pinged by a speed camera, then bought your car back and you didn't know it was stolen, you are going to end up paying the fine unless you can prove somehow it wasn't you driving.

        It would be more equatable with someone having the same type and color of car but cloning your number plates and using that. So you still have access to your car, but someone was masquerading as you.

    Interesting, they are not actually making any formal demand in this letter. I wonder how many people will actually call them?

    I have to admin this letter kind of confuses me, are they using it as a deterrent? basically saying "we know you are pirating content." if so what is the gain for them? I imaging sending all these letters and the court case that allowed them to do it cost a fortune so surely they would want a financial reward for there efforts.
    Maybe this is just a first salvo to test the waters given the legal precedent is so new.

      What they wanting you to do is admit you've been pirating... well that doesn't open up a can of worms for further investigation at all does it... If I did get this letter [and I wont] one thing I wouldn't be admitting I engaged in pirating. That shouldn't be a condition of this letter.

        I wouldn't waste the electrical or mental energy required to knowingly download and watch DBC (it looks like its a dreadful movie), i however wouldn't have the time or money to get into a pissing match.

        If i were one of the copyright infringers I would offer them

        $3 as thats what it costs to rent from Hoyts Kiosk
        + $1 for postage and stationary supplies
        + $5 as a donation to a fund for them to get some better writers/producers/directors so they can produce a movie that is worth watching let alone commit copyright infringement of, although Voltage have burnt their bridges and are blacklisted so i will not be likely to see the fruits of that contribution.

        With no admission of guilt, merely i have better things to do with my limited time.

    An 8 page letter is already a bloody farce, with language that is written to bore the shit and then shock your regular consumer. To anyone who receives one of these, seek legal advice and most importantly, know that an ISP address DOES NOT equal a person. What they have is a list of addresses uploading the film. Personally if I got one of these letters, I'd just call their bluff for taking me to court. I love how they lobbed in their court expenses with iinet as losses tied to piracy.

    Didn't iinet say they have organised an free legal council for those involved?

      Yep. I expect they'll have a webpage or something up soon with details.

    I still don't get how they can claim that Maverik Eye detected that you allegedly uploaded DBC. Just because a filename of a bittorrent is XYZ doesn't guarantee that the actual content of the file is XYZ. Only way Maverick Eye would know is if they freely uploaded the actual DBC film themselves. And if they uploaded it themselves, then wouldn't that become public domain?

      Just because a filename of a bittorrent is XYZ doesn't guarantee that the actual content of the file is XYZ.

      I assume they join the swarm, download the file and check. And probably hash it for future trawling.

      Only way Maverick Eye would know is if they freely uploaded the actual DBC film themselves

      They could pretty easily download it and check.

      And if they uploaded it themselves, then wouldn't that become public domain?

      No, that's stupid.

        They could pretty easily download it and check.

        But how do they guarantee that every portion of the file came from one particular IP? Just because a portion of the file you downloaded from IP=V.W.X.Y contained a portion of DBC doesn't mean that the rest of the file is also DBC.

        Last edited 19/06/15 2:17 pm

          They don't need to. You facilitated copyright infringement, it caused loss or damage.

          Playing semantics and arguing random technicalities only works on the internet. And maybe in old episodes of The Practice.

            That opens an interesting avenue (maybe). Do they know how much was downloaded to a particular IP or just that "some" was accessed? If not, how can they show the resulting download was not under the heading of "Fair Dealing" (copying for study or research). If you were copying only a small portion for research into an online article, perhaps?

        That's true, but how am I supposed to know the file I'm downloading is the copyrighted work, and not something else by the same name, until I've downloaded it?

    So the $64,000 question is who going to be the first to test out the process and find out how much they will need to pay.

    It is not as if the rest of the world won't then know exactly how much the fine will be once one person has complied.

    Heres an idea, don't pay them. Just like Nigerian prince letters...

      'Yes please Sirs, I will kindly provided the money as DBC, plus an extra $1m for your patience of me. However, to transfers money I first need to verify account - please send your internet banks passwording'

      How long before the email address in the letter is signed up to spam?

    The real concerning part is the clauses 'additional damages' and 'out of pocket expenses' on page 4. Shows that the monetary fine will be huge if anyone admits.
    'the need to deter similar infringements of copyright'
    '...out of pocket for legal costs... which they are also entitled to claim from any pirate'

      They are also asking your employment status as well . I'm sure they will ask you how much you earn and base the settlement amount around your income. If you earn over 100K then they could easily sting you for 10K or more. I'm sure they have already worked out a a scale of fines based on employment status and income . They have got around the speculative invoice ban from the judge easily. Do NOT call the number at all and give them ANY information . Seek legal advice first.

        It not legal to means test a fine, A crime is a crime poor or rich.

        If their legal cost is a $1 million divide that by 4K = around $250 + the cost of technology used $100000 = $25 cost of the movie to buy the DVD or cinama ticket $25.

        $300 seems fair, anything over that is extortion.

        They can come after me with their legal team if they want to know how much money I make, I promise you they wont get far.

          Yes you are right. Means testing people on fines and trying to get money out of you for other movies not even related to the case is absurd. I dont see how this letter content can possibly be approved by a judge given his previous requests.

          Last edited 22/06/15 2:19 pm

    The keep on about uploading / distributing the movie but you are seeding / uploading only random chunks of the total file and not the file in its entirety.

    Also remembering back, during the hearing Maverick Eye could not produce raw logs and the 'Expert' didn't know how to read them. so i would call them on that

      The size of the file shared is moot. Perram "read down" the legislation and decided infringers were in breach of the legislation because they made the content available on the Internet. It's covered in his initial ruling. So, even if you shared 50ms of the film, you are still breaching the copyright act (iinet did not appeal this finding). The ruling also gives some background on how MaverickEye operates.

    I noticed that they use the term "upload" not "download". Does that mean they are only going after those who were distributing the movie, rather than those who only downloaded it? Surely if thats the case then theres a LOT of people out there who are not going to receive this letter.

      If you are using bittorrent, you are almost definitely an uploader.

        Would limiting the number of leechers who can connect to your client help limit the risk of Maverick Eye seeing you as an uploader in the future?

        Also, if you downloaded the file quickly (had some sweet NBN) you may have only been seeding the video for a few minutes before you hit stop, would that have also limited your risk or detection?

          Back in the day when I used torrents (gone legit now) I went to lengths to stop anything seeding from my computer. I probably couldn't stop the file seeding as I was downloading it, but like you say squinly, as soon as it was down the torrent was deleted from my list.

          Yes I was a selfish downloader.

            The whole design of BitTorrent is that as you download little parts of the file from others in the swarm, you are also sharing the parts you have downloaded with others.

            So it doesn't matter if you close your BitTorrent client as soon as you finish downloading the file, you have already shared parts of the file with others.

              I probably couldn't stop the file seeding as I was downloading it

              Yep, like I said...

    This letter is still a draft and has not yet been approved by a court - that will come next month.

    But DBC are trying to be too clever by half here. They are attempting to get around a very clear directive by a judge, and judges are rarely amused by, or tolerant of, this kind of behaviour.

    I strongly suspect they have pushed their luck too far here and the judge in this case is going to teach them a lesson. They were all but asked to come up with a specific dollar amount and have instead opted for a very obvious backdoor into speculative invoicing. I won't be at all surprised if a judge imposes a modest dollar amount on them, and that they won't be at all happy with the result.

      Totally cleaver. Judges are not stupid. I said earlier they have easily got around the speculative invoice but I thought it was the final letter. The judge clearly stated he did not want speculative invoicing. I dont think speculative invoicing is even legal is it ? By giving you the option of calling and discussing the settlement you are admitting guilt. They then determine the fine based on your income is almost speculative invoicing and not the dollar amount the judge asked for.

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