iiNet Announces Pro-Bono Services For Dallas Buyers Club Pirates

iiNet Announces Pro-Bono Services For Dallas Buyers Club Pirates
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iiNet has announced it won’t be appealing the High Court’s decision to hand over IP addresses of people who downloaded Dallas Buyers Club. However iiNet will be offering pro-bono legal services to its customers accused of pirating.

Voltage Pictures, the owner of Dallas Buyers Club, has successfully argued that internet providers had to hand over the information (including name and physical address) of customers who had infringed online copyright.

In a recent blog post, iiNet said it was: “working with a law firm that has offered to provide pro-bono services for any of our customers”.

Around 4700 Aussie ISP addresses are accused of sharing the movie online during the period of 2nd April 2014 to 27th May 2014. Dallas Buyers Club was legally available in Australia on the 13th February 2014, it had been available in the US since 10th October 2013.

“It could be less than a parking ticket for single instances of infringement,” iiNet argued.

“The Judge did say that for single instances of infringement that damages could quite possibly be limited to the fee that would have been paid had the film been lawfully downloaded. This could be around $10.”

The blog post also detailed what iiNet considered ‘wins on the board’:

  • The initial letter issued by the rights holders must first be approved by the Judge. The extent to which the Court is willing to restrict what can be said in the letters will become clearer shortly when the Judge hands down the Court’s orders. The Court has described previous letters sent by Voltage as “very aggressive”. We are hopeful that the Court will ensure that the letters to our customers in this case will be considerably less threatening. If the Court permits it, we intend to continue our involvement in the application to ensure that customers are treated as fairly and reasonably as possible.
  • iiNet will not be required to hand over the phone numbers or email addresses of the customers that appear on the list of people who allegedly shared the film.
  • The rights holders will be required to cover the cost that ISPs incur for sourcing and providing the details.

It’s unclear if the other ISPs involved in the case- Dodo, Internode, Amnet Broadband and Adam Internet- will also be offering pro bono services to customers.

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