Amnet Blog

Dallas Buyers Club gives up on piracy case - UPDATE Feb 12 2016

Feb 12, 2016
The owners of Dallas Buyers Club have chosen not to pursue its Australian court case seeking damages for the alleged illegal download of the Dallas Byers Club movie.

Latest Update

The owners of Dallas Buyers Club have chosen not to pursue its Australian court case seeking damages for the alleged illegal download of the Dallas Buyers Club movie.

If you have any questions please email DBC@amnet.com.au


December 10, 2015

On Wednesday, 9th December 2015, the Dallas Buyer Club (DBC) requested access, through the courts, to a collection of alleged illicit movie downloaders from iiNet stating that it would now look to claim for the cost of the film ($20), a single license fee for upload, and damages for its court costs. No Amnet customers were included in the request to the courts.

If you have any questions please email DBC@amnet.com.au


September 3, 2015

Today, the judgment was handed down by the Court. The Court has ordered that Amnet is currently not required to provide names and residential addresses of alleged infringers to Dallas Buyers Club.
DBC have not lodged an appeal.

August 14, 2015

This is because, to date, Dallas Buyers Club (DBC) has not provided acceptable assurances to the Court. However in the future, if they do provide acceptable assurances, and a bond of $600,000 to the Court, Amnet may still be ordered to provide names and residential addresses of alleged infringers to DBC.

DBC has until 31 August 2015 to appeal the judgement handed down today by the Court. If DBC appeal we will provide a further update on this blog.


June 18, 2015

There was a court hearing on Thursday 18 June 2015.  Unfortunately no further information was provided as to how and when Amnet would be required to provide account holder names and addresses to Dallas Buyers Club.  We expect a final judgement around the middle of July 2015, we will provide an update at that time. 


Apr 7, 2015

On 7 April 2015, judgment was made in this case requiring Amnet and other ISPs to disclose customer details to the film owners, Dallas Buyers Club and Voltage Pictures. On or about 29 April 2015, the Court is expected to make orders which may include a timeline for when the details of identified subscribers are to be provided. Amnet will continue to be involved as the orders are made by the Court.

Background

The owners of copyright of the film Dallas Buyers Club have filed an application to the Federal Court for Amnet and a number of other Australian ISPs to share the details of their subscribers alleged to have infringed copyright in the film Dallas Buyers Club.

The application is requesting that Amnet share our customers' names and contact details whom Dallas Buyers Club believe have illegally downloaded this movie. This allegation is based upon evidence collected by Dallas Buyers Club.

Our position

Amnet does not condone online copyright infringement, however, we do take our obligations to protect the privacy of our customers very seriously. The Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth) and the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) impose legal obligations on Amnet in relation to customer privacy.

Amnet will not disclose customer information unless compelled to do so by a court order.

Amnet has a number of concerns about how our customers will be treated if the requested information is provided to Dallas Buyers Club. Correspondence with Dallas Buyers Club has failed to allay these concerns to Amnet's satisfaction.

Amnet's concerns include:

  • The strength of the evidence that Dallas Buyers Club has against our customers has not been tested in Australian courts.
  • Amnet does not want to expose its customers to unfair practices or unreasonable claims. Similar actions taken overseas by rights holders have resulted in customers being intimidated into settling infringement claims for large sums.
  • There is no clear precedent under Australian law for the amount of damages that should be paid for a copyright infringement like those alleged by Dallas Buyers Club. It will therefore be difficult for account holders to determine whether damages claims from Dallas Buyers Club are reasonable.
  • If the requested information is provided, Dallas Buyers Club should give binding assurances in relation to secure storage of customer information.

It is appropriate these concerns now be considered by the court.

What happens next?

The timing for Amnet to provide details has not yet been set by the Court but is it anticipated that this will become clear in the coming weeks.

Importantly, the Court will also be reviewing the content of the letter to be sent to subscribers by Dallas Buyers Club. A draft of the proposed letter is likely to be provided by Dallas Buyers Club to the Court for review during May.

Should you have any questions please email DBC@amnet.com.au