iiNet: Dallas Buyers Club Result Will Ensure Safeguards For Aussie Customers

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iiNet has stated its court battle with Dallas Buyers Club LLC has “ended in a positive result”, ensuring safeguards will be put in place that will see Australian customers protected and treated fairly.The Federal Court of Australia yesterday ordered that iiNet along with a number of other Australian ISPs hand over the details of customers alleged to have shared the film Dallas Buyers Club online.

Justice Perram ruled in favour of Dallas Buyers Club LLC’s application for preliminary discovery, ordering the ISPs divulge the names and physical addresses of the customers associated in their records with each of 4,726 IP addresses.

In response to the ruling, iiNet has stated its stance “will see significant safeguards put in place to protect Australian customers, with discovery being granted under strict conditions”.

iiNet chief executive officer David Buckingham stated the court battle had shone the spotlight on the practice of speculative invoicing.

“The result is pleasingly what we expected – by going through the process we’ve been able to ensure that our customers will be treated fairly and won’t be subjected to the bullying that we have seen happen elsewhere,” Buckingham stated.

“We’re very happy with Justice Perram’s judgment and his balanced approach to both the studio’s and consumers’ rights.”

In arguing against preliminary discovery, iiNet and the ISPs had put forward there was evidence suggesting speculative invoicing would take place, with Justice Perram imposing the condition that a draft of any letter proposed to be sent to account holders associated with the IP addresses first be submitted to the court for approval.

“Letters issued by the rights holders will be reviewed by the judge to ensure they are not threatening – providing a significant safeguard for our customers,” Buckingham commented.

“As a result, the ruling will put a major dent in the process and business case behind speculative invoicing, since the financial returns could be outweighed by the costs of legal action.”

The Communications Alliance today advised that a new code of practice for dealing with internet piracy in Australia has been submitted to the Australian Communications and Media Authority for registration.

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