Final Dallas Buyers Club ruling due August 14
- 11 August, 2015 15:30
The final Federal Court ruling in the court clash between the rights holders of the movie Dallas Buyers Club and a group of ISPs led by iiNet will be handed down on August 14.
Voltage Pictures and Dallas Buyers Club LLC earlier this year successfully obtained a court order that will allow them access to the details of ISP customers alleged to have illicitly downloaded the movie.
However as part of his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Perram, indicated he would have the final say on the contents of initial communications between DBC LLC and alleged pirates.
DBC LLC has indicated it wants to contact alleged downloaders in order to potentially obtain out-of-court settlements with them.
The company's legal representatives have said the amount they would seek from alleged pirates in exchange for an agreement to not take them to court would vary depending on their personal circumstances and the severity of the copyright infringement.
For example, DBC LLC might seek less from someone who downloaded the movie once then deleted it after watching and who has a low income, and a greater sum from someone who downloaded the movie the day after it was released and continued to make it available online.
The company has previously indicated it was devising a formula for the amount it would demand from downloaders.
That formula would be based on a licence fee for the movie, the cost of the legal proceedings against ISPs, the cost of obtaining ISP subscriber details, an estimate of how many alleged downloaders will "engage" with the company, and then, potentially, additional damages.
Justice Perram granted a request from the company to keep the exact formula secret. However lawyers representing the ISPs have been allowed to view the formula and make submissions on it ahead of the judge's final ruling.
Releasing details of the methodology to be used could affect DBC LLC's negotiations with alleged pirates, lawyers representing the company argued.
Against the wishes of DBC LLC, Justice Perram granted access to a draft letter and phone script drawn up by the company for contacting ISP customers (the documents are reproduced below).