Simpsons Solicitors

Dallas Buyers Club update

August 31st 2015

The Dallas Buyers Club case returned to court, with Dallas Buyers Club and Voltage Pictures applying to now oblige iiNet and the other ISPs to provide details of subscribers alleged to have illegally downloaded or shared the movie.

The Court had required the copyright owners to show it the letters they proposed to send to subscribers, in which the copyrights owners would be seeking to settle their claims. This was because the Court was concerned that any monetary demands in that correspondence should match what they could plausibly sue for.  If not, then the Court stated that “it would not be a proper exercise of the [Court’s] discretion to permit release of the account holders’ information“.

The Court refused to order the release of the details, stating that it was not satisfied that the correspondence proposed to be sent to the account holders was appropriate or that the bases for compensation proposed would be legitimately available.  Surprisingly, the Court rejected that the copyright owners would be entitled to ask suspected infringers for additional damages based on that account holder’s infringement of the copyright in other films.  The Court is certainly entitled to consider a wide range of circumstances in assessing whether additional damages should be awarded.

In a further blow, the Court ordered that the overseas copyright owners post a bond of $600,000 to cover any breach of the undertakings to the Court in relation to the use of any account information provided to them.

The decision is available online at:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCA/2015/838.html

If you need advice on copyright infringements, contact copyright lawyers Adam Simpson or Ian McDonald at Simpsons Solicitors.