ISPs lose torrent privacy battle
Internet providers including iiNet have lost a Federal Court battle to keep secret the names of internet users who downloaded a Hollywood blockbuster over file-sharing networks.
Justice Nye Perram on Tuesday ruled that a discovery order lodged by Dallas Buyers Club LLC should be granted, ‘but that there should be orders maintaining the privacy’ of internet users.
Any letter to be sent to those users will also need to be signed off by the judge.
Dallas Buyers Club LLC and Voltage Pictures LLC targeted six Australian telcos – iiNet, Internode, Dodo, Amnet Broadband, Adam Internet and Wideband Networks – when they sought personal details associated with more than 4700 IP addresses that were used to share Dallas Buyers Club using BitTorrent.
The internet service providers opposed the application, citing concerns the filmmakers could intimidate subscribers with ‘speculative invoicing’ – a strategy that involves sending intimidating letters to alleged offenders threatening legal action and seeking large sums of money.
‘I will order the ISPs to divulge the names and physical addresses of the customers associated in their records with each of the 4726 IP addresses,’ Justice Perram said.
This information can be used only for recovering compensation.
‘I will also impose a condition on the applicants that they are to submit to me a draft of any letter they propose to send to account holders associated with the IP addresses which have been identified,’ Justice Perram said.
Detailed orders will be hashed out when the case returns to court on April 21.
Michael Bradley, the managing partner of Marque Lawyers, which represents the rights holders, told reporters the case would set a precedent.
‘The next step is identifying the users, and then what we do after that hasn’t been decided,’ he said.
‘I don’t know what impact it will have on piracy. Certainly, Australia is one of the jurisdictions with the highest rate of unauthorised downloading and this is a first step from a copyright owner to try to change that balance.’
– See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2015/04/08/isps-lose-torrent-privacy-battle.html#sthash.8V1RG8SV.dpuf