The makers of Dallas Buyers Club (DBC) have recently been refused an application that would have forced internet service providers (ISPs) to hand over details of the customers that illegally downloaded the film.
In April, the Federal Court had ordered ISPs to give the personal details of customers’ accounts linked to the IP address that had illegally downloaded the film. Our earlier blog set out details of the initial case and the restrictions placed on DBC before they could access the personal information: http://digbylaw.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/the-dallas-buyers-club-aftermath-what.html
DBC has been arguing in court about the restrictive safeguards that have been placed on them by Justice Perram. It is believed Perram J has placed these restrictions in an effort prevent bullying tactics such as those employed in the US, where content owners have been known to send threatening letters to suspected pirates demanding the payment of large fines so as to avoid legal action.Perram J has ordered DBC pay a $600,000 bond before they receive the contact details of 4,726 people. This sum is intended to create an incentive to act responsibly and adhere to the guidelines set by the Court.
But now, Perram J has had enough of DBC trying to strike a better deal and has said that the proceedings will be dismissed in their entirety unless DBC takes some steps towards finalising the proceedings before Thursday 11 February 2016 at noon.
So DBC might not have gained much out of this case. Nevertheless, according to the Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation (IPAF) this case has contributed to an overall decline in piracy Australia wide. Australians were once considered as leaders in piracy. We may have DBC to thank for this improved status, but with no real outcome concluded what will stop Australians from continuing to illegally download?