the company which owns the rights to Oscar winning film Dallas Buyers Club has succeeded in its bid to force several Australian internet Service Providers, including iiNEt, to reveal the identity of IP addresses who illegally downloaded the film.
During today’s ruling at Sydney Federal Court, Justice Nye Perram said: “I will order the ISPs to divulge the names and physical addresses of the customers associated in their records with each of the 4,726 IP addresses.
“I will impose upon the applicants a condition that this information only be used for the purposes of recovering compensation for the infringements and is not otherwise to be disclosed without the leave of this Court.”
Justice Perram has ordered that any letters sent to ISP must be approved by him and that Dallas Buyers Club LLC cannot disclose the identities of letter recipients.
According to an iiNet’s blog post, “Once those details are handed over, we expect these customers to face letters of demand, such as those we’ve seen overseas. In some instances these letters have demanded settlement amounts of up to US$7,000”.
This judgement comes a fortnight after the federal government introduces the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill. This legislation, in its current form, gives Federal Court the power to block access to online locations outside Australia that are used to download content.
During their submission to the Online Copyright Infringement discussion, iiNet stated that: “We don’t accept that threatening or disconnecting our customers is the appropriate approach to reduce online copyright infringements. iiNet simply does not know, and is not able to know, which individual committed the alleged infringement or even whether they are known or unknown to the account holder. An IP address does not identify a particular person using a particular computer.”
The film Dallas Buyers Club was released in Australia 105 days behind the US and, according to IMDB, grossed an estimated $56 million dollars worldwide.