Australian ISP asked to Hand Over Customer Personal Information over BitTorrenting
Jeremy Tate / 2 years ago
‘Not Our Kind Of Club’ is the stance Australian ISP iiNet is taking against American studio Dallas Buyers Club LLC – which asked the service provider for sensitive customer details of those it suspected infringed copyright laws through illegally obtaining its Dallas Buyers Club film. The Aussie ISP outlined in a lengthy and detailed blog post about its opposition to the discovery order that was submitted through the Australian Federal Court. In its blog post, iiNet states that the company “would never disclose customer details to a third-party, such as movie studio, unless ordered to do so by a court. We take seriously both our customers’.
iiNet claims that the ISP is gravely concerned about bullying tactics used by movie studios to intimidate and make pirates pay up big time for their actions, and follows up by saying that it has seen third-party alleged infringement notices ordering up to fines of $US7000. Copyright holders attempt to collect evidence of infringement via IP address tracking and tracing, whereby they monitor and analyse addresses that are illegally sharing content. Once the links been recorded, the copyright holder starts applying through courts for what’s called a preliminary discovery process, which asks for personal information and details of account holders that are routing through infringing IP addresses. The consequences of losing the hearing are rather dire – as it could lead to a flood gate of copyright infringement notices from major studios.
iiNet’s blog calls into question fair trials and processing;
It might seem reasonable for a movie studio to ask us for the identity of those they suspect are infringing their copyright. Yet, this would only make sense if the movie studio intended to use this information fairly, including to allow the alleged infringer their day in court, in order to argue their case.
In this case, we have serious concerns about Dallas Buyers Club’s intentions. We are concerned that our customers will be unfairly targeted to settle any claims out of court using a practice called “speculative invoicing”.
Because iiNet has opposed the discovery order, the ISP will be forced to meet in court with the Dallas Buyers Club LLC. The hearing is expected to be dated for next year. For more information on this topic, see the full blog post by iiNet – available here.
Thanks to iiNet for providing us with this information.