Only iiNet customers in Dallas Buyers Club crosshairs – for now

New ruling expected next week

A new proposal by the rights holders of the movie Dallas Buyers Club would see letters sent to only a collection of alleged illicit movie downloaders that are iiNet customers.

Lawyers representing Dallas Buyers Club LLC and Voltage Pictures today said that the subset of IP addresses it was proposing to contact about alleged downloads of the movie, out of the more than 4700 originally tendered in court, were all used by iiNet subscribers.

However, the 10 per cent of the IP addresses for which DBC LLC is now seeking customer details do not represent all the iiNet customers that the company believes may have infringed its copyright.

The IP addresses were gathered using software dubbed Maverick Eye.

In addition to iiNet, the complete collection of IPs includes addresses associated with customers from Adam Internet, Internode, Amnet Broadband, Dodo and Wideband Networks Pty Ltd.

Representatives of the film companies and the group of ISPs today returned to the Federal Court in Sydney.

The judge presiding over the case, Justice Nye Perram, previously granted a DBC LLC application for preliminary discovery, which would see it gain access to the contact details of ISP customers linked to IP addresses involved in downloading Dallas Buyers Club.

However, the judge in August imposed a stay on that order.

Perram ruled as unacceptable two of the four elements of a formula DBC LLC proposed to employ to calculate the figure it would demand from downloaders. In exchange for a financial settlement, the company would commit to not taking legal action against an individual for copyright infringement.

DBC LLC said today it had modified the method it would use to calculate a proposed settlement.

The company had initially constructed a formula, revealed to the court but not released publicly, based on the cost of purchasing a copy of the film, a licence fee for distributing the film (linked to the uploading activities of pirates), a portion of the company’s legal costs, and a figure relating to piracy of other films by an individual.

Today it said it was willing to take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to the proposed demands and ditch other unauthorised downloads of films as a component of its settlement formula. However, it has still pushed for a licence fee for distribution to be included in the final figure.

To ensure DBC abide by the conditions the court imposed, Perram said in his August ruling he would require a $600,000 bond to be lodged with the court.

Perram ruled in August that providing the bond was lodged and the court received an undertaking from DBC to only contact the ISP customers to seek the cost of a copy of the film and a portion of its legal costs then he would lift the stay.

In September when DBC applied to the court for the stay to be lifted it offered to lodge a pro-rata amount of $60,000 in return for access to the details of customers linked to 10 per cent of the collection of IPs.

That proposal was opposed today by ISPs.

Voltage Pictures has indicated that the original bond would have a substantial impact on its operations.

Read more: Dallas Buyers Club downloaders safe for now

Perram today denied a request by DBC for an adjournment while it sought to gather more evidence relating to the licence fee it wishes to seek from downloaders.

The judge said he expects to issue a ruling next week, which may include leave for DBC to seek to appeal his decision.

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