A landmark case thought to signal the beginning of stricter laws around internet piracy has been thrown out of Australia’s Federal Court.
The makers of Oscar-winning movie Dallas Buyers Club launched legal action against internet service providers (ISPs) to reveal the names of users who illegally downloaded copies of the 2013 movie.
In making his judgement on Wednesday, Justice Nye Perram said the company had put forward some “wholly unrealistic” contentions in court in its latest bid for compensation.
In particular, the company’s claims they were entitled to an amount that would be charged for granting “a non-exclusive worldwide” distribution licence, additional damages and reduce a previous court-ordered bond to $60,000.
“On this factual question, I concluded that (the company’s) contention was wholly unrealistic, indeed, I went so far as to describe it as ‘surreal’,” his judgement read.
“The present application must be dismissed with costs. Some finality must now be brought to these proceedings.”
Justice Perram granted access to the private details of 4726 iiNet account holders in April, on the condition Dallas Buyers Club LLC (DBC) paid the court costs of the ISP and showed copies of the draft letter it would send to alleged pirates.
He later also added a $600,000 bond, to prevent the company sending ‘speculative invoices’ that exceeded adequate compensation, this was indicated to be the retail price of the film and a portion of DBC’s unrecoverable legal costs.
DBC also pursued legal action against illegal downloaders in the United States and Singapore and won access to the private details of some users.