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Australia Movies Piracy Privacy The Almighty Buck The Courts

Dallas Buyers Club LLC Abandons Fight Against Australian Pirates (theage.com.au) 37

New submitter aphelion_rock writes: It's a happy day for Aussie pirates: The Hollywood studio behind the film Dallas Buyers Club has abandoned its fight to extract huge sums of cash from alleged copyright infringers. Dallas Buyers Club LLC had until midday Thursday to lodge a second appeal against an August Federal Court decision which effectively prevented it from engaging in so-called 'speculative invoicing' in Australia.
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Dallas Buyers Club LLC Abandons Fight Against Australian Pirates

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sometimes I'm shocked that Hollywood couldn't police itself better. I know that there are people here that are perfectly content that there are huge swaths of the world where downloading an unlicensed copy of a movie can't be stopped, but I think it's crazy that abusive plaintiffs have made essentially any of those types of copyright claims untenable. In the Southern District of Georgia, for instance, you can't even get to the subpoena stage- not even if you promise the court it can review ANY correspondenc

    • Same as for online advertising. Yes, there are decent companies that now get thrown under the bus with the rest. It's just that the majority is crooks and that courts and consumers eventually catch on.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    pls give context

    "Dallas Buyers Club Movie Producers" and "Media Pirates" would stop some of us from worrying that the real life club (landmark group!) was having shipments intercepted.

  • by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @03:35AM (#51492859)

    I don't know if this is a coincidence, but Dallas Buyers Club went live on SBS On Demand service on Thursday. So if you're Australian, you can watch it for free, legally, right now.

    Haven't seen it myself. No idea if the movie is any good. But there you go.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is kind off. There was the VC thing earlier today and I was talking about it. I've also mentioned this before, on an earlier thread, and mentioned it when the opportunity came up way back when.

      Anyhow, the DBC is not the movie. There's a movie by that name. DBC is a holdings company. They buy and hold the rights to movies. I don't know if they do more than movies - I think they might do some television shows.

      I have a "friend" who emailed me telling me about this group and how it was imperative to get in

  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @03:35AM (#51492861)
    I hope ya Chooks turn into Emus and kick ya dunny down.

    Ya Wankers.

    Signed,
    Australia.
  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @03:45AM (#51492871)
    Or as Americans might say, the letter of the law, not the spirit of the law.

    Justice Nye Perram was forced to agree with DBC LLC over the matter of copyright infringement, so they won on that case. However the Justice was also aware of what happened in the US when the studio's lawyers were permitted to go on a fishing expedition through the ISP's customer records then send them what amounted to extortion notices threatening an expensive law suit if they didn't immediately pay a sum of money. So called "speculative invoicing".

    To prevent this, the justice made DBC LLC pay a bond of about A$600,000 which would be forfeited if they tried speculative invoicing. The agreement meant any communications with the ISP's customers had to be vetted by the courts. After having repeated attempts rejected because they asked for far too much info and were pretty much a prelude to speculative invoicing it became clear to DBC LLC that they would never make a profit on this and simply cut their losses.

    I think I'm pretty safe in saying that the reason DBC LLC has withdrawn their case is just to get their bond back. Dallas Buyers Club was technically in the right, but did everything in the wrong way. That being said, I doubt the Justice was ever going to let them profit on it, setting a precident that you shouldn't go after end users in Australia, even if you are technically right.
    • Yes, you've got it. It was the speculative invoicing that was the problem, not the copying/distributing. I very much doubt that this will go to the High Court (the last course of legal action in Oz for all you non-Aussies), but I'd expect that they would also reject it. A good sense judgement imo, regardless of the infringement.
      • Zero chance of going to the high court. The high court would refuse to hear the case as DBC won the case. You can't appeal to the high court a requirement to act in good faith.

    • by Harlequin80 ( 1671040 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @04:28AM (#51492951)

      Just a correction. They never lodged the $600k bond in the first place. They tried to negotiate multiple different letters and approaches with Justice Perram first. They also wanted to claim damages based on whether the person had shared / downloaded works by people unrelated to DBC and they wanted to claim damages based on the downloader having obtained an international distribution license.

      In the end Justice Perram cracked the shits and said ffs stop with the pissing around and either comply with my requirements or fuck off. You have until COB Feb 12th to come up with something not stupid in your letter.

      • And that's just it. Copyright infringement is copyright infringement. But these are not cases of mass distribution for profit. There's no facility to cover damages other than the damages that were caused. No massive punitive damages are awarded.

        From the very beginning there was the thought that the pirates may be liable for $12.50 which was the price of the movie at the time when the case was brought. Half way through there was a thought that they are liable for legal fees as well but legal fees diluted thr

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        Reminds me of the letter I saw several years ago from the department of Justice in Belgium to the national RIA, SABAM. They said basically:
        Do start any lawsuits as long as people are not making money from it. They will be handled with the lowest priority. If they are making money from them, we are happy to help.

        This preventedcases against grandma doing some down and uploading. They also tried to ask for info about ISP customers, but the standard answer would be 'FOAD, not allowed to give you any information

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > That being said, I doubt the Justice was ever going to let them profit on it, setting a precident that you shouldn't go after end users in Australia, even if you are technically right.

      In Australia, you can only sue someone for the damages that they have caused.

      If DBC LLC could prove in court that someone downloading DBC had caused the company $5000 in damages then the court would be open to listening to that.

      If someone in Australia seeded DBC on bittorrent and had a seed ratio of 100, DBC LLC would be

      • If 4000 people leech a movie via bittorrent, meaning you lose $1,600,000 in lost sales in stores

        That makes it $400 a copy.

        • If 4000 people leech a movie via bittorrent, meaning you lose $1,600,000 in lost sales in stores

          That makes it $400 a copy.

          Which brings us back to "speculative accounting".

        • I think that was a case of bad maths on the AC's part. 4000 movies leeched then available restitution should be 160,000 + the costs of enforcing it through the courts.

      • By torrenting a movie, you are not just taking a copy for yourself and for however many people you are seeding to; you are, in the words of the mobie studios, "enabling piracy". The people who get their copy from you also seed to 10 people, who each seed to another 10, and so on and so forth. So by their logic, you are on the hook for every copy that originated from yours, and the studio gets to claim insane amounts of damages from whomever they catch. As someone once calculated, if every pirate was caug
        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          Yes, there's the thing. In theory, if EVERYone who downloads would have otherwise bought a copy (doubtful) and taking their making available theory into account, if I get caught torrenting a movie, I should be liable for a little less than 2x the wholesale price of a digital download. That assumes a typical torrent ratio of 2.

          I say a little less since they didn't incur any accounting overhead. Wholesale because that's the price they get from everyone who buys from them (for example, what Apple would pay the

    • by dargaud ( 518470 )
      Isn't it ironic that a movie which recounts the story of people smuggling (or simply trying to get permission to use) drugs against the express will of big pharma hits very similar roadblocks with people trying to watch it...?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It seems that Australian courts actually do their jobs and are not the playthings of the corporations, not like in the USA.

    • by Viol8 ( 599362 )

      Careful what you wish for. If the law was always followed to the letter by the authorities all those pirates would have criminal records by now.

  • Would that be random shakedown letters demanding sums of money with no proof of infringement or who did anything, but if you fork over everything you own and sign documents saying you'll never use the internet they won't sue you?

    Well, honestly, how the hell did shit like that ever become legal elsewhere in the first place?

    Oh, that's right, lawmakers are on the payroll of the copyright cartel to give them stupid laws which allow them to do anything.

    That's OK, I'm sure once the TPP is ratified the 'speculativ

  • The movie Dallas Buyers Club demonstrates how, by braking the laws, people improve their lives and solve their problems.

    The irony is that when the movie itself is pirated an issue is taken by the creators of the movie about infringing the very same laws.

    I am not defending pirates. But at the same time existing laws and rules related to the intelectual property protection are very much imperfect.

  • When I was 12 I went to the county fair with my friend Billy. There was a girlie show. You had to be 18 to get in. Me and Billy went behind the tent and poked our heads underneath. We saw boobies. Real boobies. Real girl boobies. I must have seen 27 boobies. By mpaa reckoning, what do I owe? So long as property includes intellectual property, downloading is stealing, at least by law. Just like what Billy and I did by poking our heads under the tent. But you have to be realistic as to the penaltie

"It's like deja vu all over again." -- Yogi Berra

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