Australian court limits infringer's penalties in Dallas Buyers Club piracy case

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

An Australian court has told the rights holder of Hollywood blockbuster Dallas Buyers Club that it must cap penalties for those who illegally downloaded the movie and will require a $442,000 bond before details of the alleged pirates are released.

In April this year, Dallas Buyers Club LLC (DBC) was granted the right to be able to contact almost 5000 iiNet ISP users targeted under the action and seek damages for copyright infringement.

Justice Nye Perram ruled that DBC must hand over drafts of the proposed letters and telephone script it intended to use to obtain damages in relation to the illegal downloads. The letter contained questions such as “how much do you earn and how many movies have you torrented?” but did not specify any monetary amounts the company was seeking.

"Critically, however, it did not make any demand for a sum of money. Instead, it encouraged recipients to make a telephone call to discuss the matter or to engage in email correspondence with an unidentified representative of DBC," Perram said, according to court documents.

In clarifying its monetary demands, DBC said it was seeking four heads of damages: A claim for the cost of purchasing the movie; damages relating to how often it had been uploaded by the user; punitive damages relating to how many other copyrighted works had been downloaded; and damages covering the cost it took for DBC to obtain that infringer's details.

While Judge Perram allowed the first and last of these damages, he said the other two were “untenable”. He added that the court would only allow the letters to be sent if DBC gave written confirmation that it would only seek damages related to the cost of purchasing the movie and the costs of obtaining the infringer’s details. The judge then ordered the company to pay a $442,000 bond to ensure they adhered to the agreement.

The Australian ruling is in contrast to recent cases in the United States, Britain, Germany and Canada, where content holders have been allowed to contact suspected downloaders and demand payment with the threat of court action. The practice is known as speculative invoicing, or “pay up or else” schemes.

image credit: s_bukley / shutterstock

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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Forgive for asking such an impertinent question but, "was the movie any good"? It seems to have came and went without much fanfare. (At least from where I was sitting).
 
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Dimitriid

TS Booster
Hopefully this will last a few weeks before international pressure proceeds as they might end up taking Australia's government to court.
 

Darth Shiv

TS Evangelist
It would be far less time and hassle if they just fixed their distribution system. Modernised it.

I just absolutely refuse to buy in the their antiquated system. If they want our patronage, they'll have to not charge us double the US price for digitally distributed content. Like hell that is reflective of costs...
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
I thought it was very good.
I don't think a movie is any good unless it's got about 2000 FX shots, a major US city gets blown up, good eventually triumphs over evil, and Iron Man whips off his titanium stainless chastity britches and pops Potts. I plan on growing up by the time I'm 70, so there may still be hope for me yet.

I wouldn't hold my breath or lay any money on it though. Word to the wise.

Jennifer Garner seems to be holding up well though. I wonder if she has a self portrait in her attic?
 
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noel24

TS Evangelist
Dallas Buyers Club LLC (DBC) LOL. So far, all the movies that landed in those kind of scams were B class failures that were obviously sold to shady law firms to make even. Havn't seen Dallas... but my understanding was it's an Oscar class film. What would make the producers to implicate their child in this kind of bad publicity?
 
D

davislane1

I don't think a movie is any good unless it's got about 2000 FX shots, a major US city gets blown up, good eventually triumphs over evil, and Iron Man whips off his titanium stainless chastity britches and pops Potts. I plan on growing up by the time I'm 70, so there may still be hope for me yet.
No Michael Bay soundtrack? What's wrong with you?

Jennifer Garner seems to be holding up well though. I wonder if she has a self portrait in her attic?
It has to be the coconut oil. There's no other explanation.
 
Let's make more unemployed yeha! If someone gets fined for over 100 000$ he most probably stops hes/hers work and starts living on welfare. Can't ever make the money and never get anything for your self so why bother. And this leads to lots of free time without money which lead to more piratism.
 

treetops

TS Evangelist
Idk how these crooks managed to make stealing a 10$ movie 100 times more costly then stealing a 10$ anything else in existence that is normally accessible by legal means. Stealing a movie online should not incur a harsher penalty then stealing one from the store. If anything it should be less.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Idk how these crooks managed to make stealing a 10$ movie 100 times more costly then stealing a 10$ anything else in existence that is normally accessible by legal means. Stealing a movie online should not incur a harsher penalty then stealing one from the store. If anything it should be less.
Well, society seems to do everything it can, to exclude all the people it can, from enjoying its benefits. Unless you get bagged for shoplifting as a juvenile, and accept a public defender, that stolen $10.00 DVD will wind up costing you a couple of grand also. Not to mention potential loss of future earnings. Even the rent a cop at the mall has to be bonded, and when the DVD incident shows in in a background check, guess who's getting the job? Somebody else. So, then you can spend a couple more grand to get your police record expunged, and try again later.

Most all the entertainment you can deal with, in respect to free time, can be had for free on broadcast television. Anything else can be had from Redbox. At least provided that you have some patience and impulse control. .Rental discs in some ways are better than the same movie in retail version. A good percentage of those much vaunted, "special features", are nothing more than the actors blowing great gobs of sunshine up the director's a**, so they'll be hired for the sequel.

A fair amount of the coming attractions are better than the special features. Simply by virtue of the fact, the footage they contain, has been gleaned from the hour and a half of dead air, which constitutes the rest of the movie.

I couldn't believe my eyes, but the DVD of "DUFF", a B movie teenage stinker, actually contained "Cinavia", protection. I guess that was to counter the argument, "it stunk so bad, you have to steal it, because it isn't worth buying". (It saved you from yourself, as it were).

What I am completely baffled over, is where these imbeciles, (intellectual property rights owners), summoned the hubris to believe they can call you on the phone and ask you "how many other DVDs have you downloaded"? First of all, it's completely outside the scope of the investigation. But more importantly, had the judge gone along with it, it would have completely voided anyone in Australia's future rights against self incrimination....:mad:

Better then I thought it would be. Recommended
Well, I didn't see it, so I'll take your word for it. I can also tell you up front, I won't be going to buy, beg, borrow, rent, or steal, the next movie these clowns come out with,.
 
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