Australians who illegally downloaded the Oscar-winning American film Dallas Buyers Club may have their identities revealed and face prosecution for piracy.
The studio, Dallas Buyers Club LLC, has already filed 66 lawsuits in the US, targeting more than 1000 people who allegedly downloaded the film via torrent client BitTorrent. In some cases the studio has sought settlements of up to US$5000.
The makers of the film are now attempting to take their battle abroad, requesting Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) reveal the identities of downloaders TorrentFreak reported.
However, one Australian ISP, iiNet, has vowed to oppose the actions of the studio, according to its chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby.
“iiNet would never disclose customer details to a third party, such as movie studio, unless ordered to do so by a court. We take seriously both our customers privacy and our legal obligations,” Dalby said.
“We are concerned that our customers will be unfairly targeted to settle any claims out of court using a practice called ‘speculative invoicing’.”
According to TorrentFreak, ‘speculative invoicing’ refers to the activities of companies involved in extracting cash settlements from alleged infringers (via mailed ‘invoices’) and deterring them from having their say in court.
In 2012, iiNet famously defeated Hollywood in a four-year piracy battle, successfully proving it was not responsible for its customer’s copyright infringements.
Other Australian ISPs involved in the Dallas Buyers Club LLC lawsuit include Wideband Networks Pty Ltd, Internode Pty Ltd, Dodo Services Pty Ltd, Amnet Broadband Pty Ltd and Adam Internet Pty Ltd.
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