CHOICE has welcomed this week’s iiNet Federal Court judgment, which greatly limits the demands that the makers of Dallas Buyers Club can place on consumers via a speculative invoice.
The judgment prevents Dallas Buyers Club from sending out ‘pay-up-or-else’ speculative invoices by restricting access to customers’ contact details held by iiNet until the copyright owner reduces its claims and pays a $600,000 bond.
“This shows that proper court processes are the way to protect consumers and make sure rights holders don’t run riot. This is a great outcome,” says CHOICE Policy and Campaigns Adviser Sarah Agar.
“The Federal Court ruling that iiNet will not have to hand over customer details, which would have allowed the owners of Dallas Buyers Club to send letters demanding punishing payments from people they believe have pirated their film, is welcome news for consumers,” says CHOICE Policy and Campaigns Adviser Sarah Agar.
“The judge in this case has offered some protection for consumers from a copyright cowboy known for its aggressive and intimidating approach,” says Ms Agar.
The judgment comes as the copyright and internet industries seek approval for a draft ‘education notice’ scheme from the Australian Communication and Media Authority. The scheme has been designed to provide a way for rights holders to gain access to consumers’ contact details without going through a contested court application.
“CHOICE maintains the view that aggressive legal action does nothing to address the reasons people pirate. Unlawful downloading comes down to availability, timeliness and affordability,” Ms Agar says.
“If rights holders are serious about stopping piracy they should make their films and TV shows available in Australia at the same time as everywhere else in the world and at a fair price.”
Consumers can join CHOICE’s call for an effective response to piracy at http://choice.good.do/nofilter