Federal Court Gives A Win To ISPs And Pirates In Dallas Buyers Case

Federal Court Gives A Win To ISPs And Pirates In Dallas Buyers Case
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The Australian Federal Court has ruled that film studio behind Dallas Buyers Club, Voltage, can’t send out scary piracy letters to the 4,726 alleged downloaders of the film.

Voltage, who are known for being fierce copyright defenders, had previously succeed in their bid to obtain the name and address of those accused of downloading Dallas Buyers Club. Today the Federal Court ruled that Dallas Buyers Club LLC will have to fork out a $600,000 bond before it can get its hands on pirates.

Justice Nye Perram said in his ruling: “The applicant was claiming four heads of damages and was proposing to negotiate with account holders in relation to those four amounts.

“I’ve concluded that two of those amounts could never be recovered, and in those circumstances, I’ve decided that what is presently proposed by Dallas Buyers Club in terms of its correspondence ought not to be permitted.

“I therefore make these orders: I dismiss the prospective applicant’s application to lift the stay of order one made by me on the 6th of May; and I order the prospective applicants to pay the respondent’s costs of that application.”

Justice Perram set $600,000 due to concerns Dallas Buyers Club (DBC) would be able to avoid court scrutiny if it did not comply with any proposed restrictions.

“Because DBC has no presence in Australia the court is unable to punish it for contempt if it fails to honour that undertaking,” Justice Perram said.

“I will therefore require its undertaking to be secured by the lodging of a bond. Having had access to what it is that DBC proposes to demand … and the potential revenue it might make if it breached its undertaking to the court not to demand such sums, it seems to me that I should set the bond at a level which will ensure that it will not be profitable for it to do so.”

The decision will effectively prevent the practice of “speculative invoicing” from happening in Australia.

Voltage will also have to pay the court costs of the seven ISPs-including iiNet- and Voltage will also need to submit draft copies of the phone scripts and letters it intended to send to copyright infringers for approval.

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