It was April of 2015 when the Federal Court of Australia ruled that five internet service providers were required to hand over the personal details of users who had downloaded the film Dallas Buyers Club, threatening our fix of some of our favourite movies and tv shows. Ten months on, avid film watchers can breathe a sigh of relief as the judge threatens that the landmark case be terminated.

An update on the case

After ruling that the makers of Dallas Buyers Club could have access to the details of suspected pirates under strict conditions. Recently, the judge made the decision that the makers of Dallas Buyers club would not be able to obtain the contact details of the 4726 it had accused of pirating the film. The judge threatened to terminate all proceedings, ordered the film studio to pay the court costs of internet service providers, and provide compensation for the time and money used to investigate the suspected pirates. The judge requested a $600,000 bond to ensure that the filmmakers were not able to send letters demanding suspected pirates pay for copyright infringement. Those who downloaded the film, can rest a little easier tonight knowing that the ruling likely spells the end for the landmark case.

Why did the case fail?

When the judge made the recent ruling on the case, he called the intention of Dallas Buyers Club filmmakers “wholly unrealistic”. The first of it’s kind, the case was trying to respond to growing culture of torrenting, and it’s implications on the film industry. However, the ruling demonstrates that tracking suspected pirates and demanding they pay for infringement is not a feasible response to the torrenting crisis. The case sheds light on various flaws in this proposed solution to torrenting crisis, such as the reliability of the IP information or ethical ramifications of speculative invoicing. For film makers desperately trying to prevent the film industry from having the same fate as it’s cousin, the music industry, a more appropriate response to the torrenting crisis must be devised. For now, seeders and leechers can continue to sail the high seas ready to invade the next hollywood blockbuster.

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Anthony Guerrieri

Anthony is a Paralegal working in our content team, which writes free legal guides aimed at improving public awareness of legal and business issues. Anthony has an interest in simplifying complex legal problems in order to allow people to understand their legal dilemmas.