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    Hollywood Goes After Illegal Downloaders In Singapore

    Studio targets 500,000 members of Dallas 'Pirates' Club


    This image released by Focus Features shows Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof in a scene from the film, Dallas Buyers Club. Nearly two years after its release, the studio behind the film is targeting a half-million illegal downloaders of the Oscar-winning film. (AP photo)

    13 Apr 2015 at 15:32

    SINGAPORE – The 2013 Academy Award-winning movie Dallas Buyers Club is earning new fame in Asia -- not for its cinematic wonder, but as a cautionary tale for thousands of people who could face legal action for illegally sharing the film.

    The film's co-producer Voltage Pictures has obtained court orders in Singapore and Australia, forcing Internet Service Providers to reveal the names of hundreds of suspected offenders who downloaded and shared the film illegally.

    The scale of the crackdown has been unprecedented, identifying more than 500,000 unlawful distributors worldwide, according to Voltage Pictures.

    "We can only pursue a small proportion, but the hope is that that will be sufficient to raise awareness of this massive problem," said Michael Wickstrom, vice president of Royalties and Music Administration at Voltage Pictures, said in an email to Reuters

    The film, for which Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar for best actor, is about a homophobic, rodeo-loving Texan who contracts AIDS and becomes an unlikely saviour for gay patients and drug addicts desperate for treatment.

    The legal case has sent shivers down the spine of illegal downloaders globally.

    "Everyone is now warning each other not to download illegally online," said a 24-year-old Singaporean studying in the United States, who wished to be known only as Clement.

    Voltage Pictures has not demanded specific damages, but alleged infringers are being invited to make a settlement offer. Failure to comply will result in legal action, said Samuel Seow Law Corporation, legal representative for Voltage Pictures in Singapore.

    But Wendy Low, a lawyer from Rajah & Tann who has been contacted by some alleged infringers for legal advice, said court proceedings were usually not pursued in cases of small-scale downloads because of the legal costs.

    "The damages recoverable may be pegged to the price of a licensed movie download or a DVD, and this may outweigh the legal fees and investigation costs involved," she said.
    Source: Studio targets 500,000 members of Dallas 'Pirates' Club | Bangkok Post: lifestyle



    Dallas Buyers Club downloads: Peer sharing ‘affects livelihoods’, says studio


    TODAY reports: Voltage Pictures, the studio behind the movie Dallas Buyers Club, says one click of a mouse will adversely affect the distributors, producers and even the cast and crew of each piece of work as the royalties may be reduced significantly.

    SINGAPORE: Breaking its silence on why it is pursuing legal action in Singapore, independent film studio Voltage Pictures said on Thursday (Apr 9) through its lawyers that it is going after people here not merely because they downloaded the film Dallas Buyers Club.

    The studio explained that by downloading via peer-to-peer networks, they were simultaneously distributing the work illegally on a global scale, affecting the livelihoods of those who made the film.

    By Thursday, the studio had also received and accepted “quite a number of” offers of compensation after sending letters of demand to 77 M1 subscribers, said lawyer Robert Raj from Samuel Seow Law Corporation, which represents Voltage’s subsidiary Dallas Buyers Club LLC’s suit in Singapore.

    It has yet to contact subscribers of Singtel and StarHub, as the two telcos are still in the process of complying with the court order to turn over information of subscribers who allegedly downloaded the film illegally.

    In response to TODAY’s queries, Mr Raj said his clients had initiated the action in Singapore because “piracy is seriously damaging the economy”, and they are pursuing uploaders “as these people are distributing the work without a licence on a global scale”. He added: “When the public downloads our client’s movie using peer-to-peer networks, at the same time they are also uploading the film and they become illegal distributors globally. One person can turn into 10, which in turn can turn into 100 or to thousands.”

    One click of a mouse will adversely affect the distributors, producers and even the cast and crew of each piece of work as the royalties may be reduced significantly.

    “It also means less money available to make new films and increases prices for lawful paying customers. This has an effect on employment rates and the economy generally,” said Mr Raj.

    Mr Raj confirmed that his client has not demanded any specific sum as damages in the demand letters.

    The letters sent to alleged offenders in Singapore — a copy of which was seen by TODAY — ask for a written offer of damages and costs within three days of receipt. They also require alleged infringers to immediately delete and cease further use of unlicensed copies of the film.

    Singtel has to turn over information on about 150 subscribers. StarHub did not reveal how many of its subscribers were affected.

    According to a Nov 2012 report by law firm Olswang Asia and the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia, Singapore has the highest per capita rates of peer-to-peer infringement of English language pay-TV shows in the Asia-Pacific, and is ranked in the top 10 worldwide.

    Other lawyers TODAY spoke to said the studio is likely to anticipate higher compensation amounts from those who are more active in sharing the clip with others.

    “By seeding the torrent, their act of infringement arguably leads to substantially more acts of infringement … the potential loss is more than just the cost of a DVD since they are propagating the infringement and causing greater loss to the copyright owner,” said digital media lawyer Matt Polins from Olswang Asia.

    Lawyer Byron Xavier from Xavier & Associates LLC said the studio may look at how many users each uploader has shared the file with, then multiply that figure with the amount it would have rightfully obtained from each copy of the film purchased, to determine a reasonable settlement.

    Mr Xavier said users are “incentivised” to share files while downloading to get higher speeds. “Some of the alleged infringers may have adjusted their torrent settings to upload at the same time. If they have done that, they would also be responsible for disseminating the infringing content,” he said.

    However, he maintained that it is not common for rights owners to target so many individual end users at one go. “(The studio) might have stirred a hornet’s nest in terms of public relations by doing things this way,” he said.

    Technology and intellectual property lawyer Koh Chia Ling, from ATMD Bird & Bird, said that regulation in Singapore is mainly targeted at the distributors of pirated materials rather than individual consumers.

    Dallas Buyers Club LLC has also started legal action in Australia and the US, where it is going after more than 4,700 and 1,000 Internet users respectively.

    -TODAY/xq
    Source: Dallas Buyers Club downloads: Peer sharing ‘affects livelihoods’, says studio - Channel NewsAsia

    Dallas Buyers Club case: Some things to know if you have illegally downloaded the movie

    Published on Apr 9, 2015 12:44 PM


    Cinema still of Dallas Buyers Club starring Matthew McConaughey. -- PHOTO: SHAW

    By Cheryl Ong

    SINGAPORE - More than 500 people here who chose to enjoy Oscar-winning film Dallas Buyers Club by downloading it over the Internet found themselves in hot water this week when the owner of the film rights decided it is payback time.

    The owner, Dallas Buyers Club LLC, has embarked on a global campaign in countries such as Singapore and Australia to take action against illegal downloaders.

    Here are some things copyright infringers, and those thinking of downloading the next movie, ought to know.

    Which ISPs here are giving up their customers' details?

    All three major Internet service providers - Singtel, StarHub and M1 - have received court orders to cough up their customers' details. More than 500 Singapore Internet protocol (IP) addresses have apparently been identified.

    The Straits Times understands that Dallas Buyers Club LLC had asked for subscriber details from the ISPs last year, but failed.

    It then made an application to the High Court earlier this year to force the ISPs to release customer details.

    M1 was the first to comply in January. StarHub and Singtel are in the process of doing so.

    MyRepublic and ViewQwest said they did not receive any request for subscriber details.

    Who are in trouble?

    Only people who shared the downloaded movie with other people via BitTorrent, said Mr Steve Dalby, the former chief regulatory officer of Australian ISP iiNet, according to 2DayFM.

    "They (Dallas Buyers Club LLC) can't detect downloaders so if I downloaded it but never shared it I wouldn't be concerned about it," he told Fairfax Media.

    However, arguing that the movie was shared accidentally will not hold water in court, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) said.

    If a person's BitTorrent programme shares even a small portion of the file, he will be liable.

    How are other countries handling the issue?

    In the United States and United Kingdom, a large number of letters of demand are sent out to suspected infringers to pressure people to "pay-up or else", said SMH.

    These infringers often pay what the rights holders demand to avoid a costly legal case.

    In Australia, however, people who have received the letters should not expect to pay up immediately.

    SMH said the Australian Federal Court has ordered that any letters to be sent by the rights holders must be vetted by the court first.

    ABC News quoted Communications Alliance chief executive John Stanton as saying he doubted that outrageous demands would be allowed in Australia, as he believes "damages in Australia are typically compensatory, not punitive".

    Will it be easy for consumers to be sued?

    No. The firm must identify the actual people who had infringed the film's copyright. It will also have to contend with the high costs of a civil suit.

    Singapore lawyer Bryan Tan, a technology partner at Pinsent Masons MPillay, said the firm must establish a link between the ISP address and the person they are taking action against.

    This is tricky because families share the same Wi-Fi connection, and as such, have the same IP address. Some unsecured Wi-Fi connections can also be freely accessed by anyone.

    "It is unclear whether the law will presume liability for the Internet account holder," said Mr Tan.

    Are court proceedings likely?

    Not for cases of small-scale downloads as the real value of the infringement is only the price of a licensed movie download or a DVD, plus legal fees and investigation costs, said Mr Lau Kok Keng, intellectual property lawyer at Rajah & Tann Singapore.

    Otherwise, copyright holders can claim statutory damages under Singapore's Copyright Act. This can go up to $10,000 per title per person.

    Should downloaders be very alarmed?


    Not according to an intellectual property lawyer in Australia, who said a large fine is not likely, as Dallas Buyers Club LLC is most likely trying to educate the public about copyright infringement, not to threaten them.

    ABC News cited Mr Peter Banki, an IP lawyer at Banki Haddock Fiora Lawyers, as saying downloaders should not be unduly alarmed if they have been "simply copying instead of buying an authorised copy but they're not involved in large scale or commercial activities".

    I received a letter from Dallas Buyers Club LLC. What should I do?

    Get legal help - that's the advice of Singapore lawyer Bryan Tan, a technology partner at Pinsent Masons MPillay. He said those who have infringed copyright laws will face penalties "if this goes all the way".

    Intellectual property lawyer Cyril Chua of ATMD Bird & Bird said the film studio may sue a few individuals here to scare people into paying the settlement fee, which has not been disclosed.

    Sources: ABC News, Sydney Morning Herald, 2DayFM
    Source: Dallas Buyers Club case: Some things to know if you have illegally downloaded the movie - Singapore More Singapore Stories News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

    Dallas Buyers Club case: Uphill task to sue users, say lawyers
    Hurdles include identifying actual offender, costly suits



    Published on Apr 9, 2015 8:11 AM


    A cinema still from the movie Dallas Buyers Club starring Jared Leto (left) and Matthew McConaughey. -- PHOTO: SHAW

    By Irene Tham Technology Correspondent

    The copyright owner of Oscar-winning film Dallas Buyers Club may have an uphill task suing consumers here for having allegedly downloaded the movie illegally online, say lawyers.

    The biggest challenge is to identify the actual people who had infringed the film's copyright. Another reason cited is the high cost of a civil suit.

    A company of Hollywood producer Voltage Pictures, which owns the film rights, identified more than 500 Singapore Internet protocol (IP) addresses, from subscribers of the three major Internet service providers (ISPs) - Singtel, StarHub and M1 - where the movie was downloaded illegally.

    Voltage's company Dallas Buyers Club LLC has obtained a Singapore High Court order to compel all three ISPs to release the details of subscribers linked to the IP addresses in question.

    "But the rights holder also needs to establish a link between an impugned IP address to a person," said lawyer Bryan Tan, a technology partner at Pinsent Masons MPillay.

    Establishing the link is tough because families share the same Wi-Fi connection, and as such, have the same IP address. Some Wi-Fi connections are also not secured and are freely accessed by anyone. "It is unclear whether the law will presume liability for the Internet account holder," said Mr Tan.

    Starting a class action suit is also a costly affair, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, for rights owners.

    "The cost is dependent largely on how many people are defending and the defence raised," said intellectual property lawyer Cyril Chua of ATMD Bird & Bird.

    Dallas Buyers Club, whose parent company Voltage has been on a global anti-piracy rampage, is represented by local law firm Samuel Seow Law Corporation here.

    In October last year, Singtel received a letter from Dallas Buyers Club's lawyers, alleging that some of Singtel's subscribers had illegally downloaded the film. It asked for the identities of some 150 subscribers.

    Singtel said it refused to provide the information to protect customers' confidential information. Even in court, Singtel said its lawyers questioned if the evidence provided by Dallas Buyers Club was "sufficiently detailed and clear" to support its claims of infringement.

    Dallas Buyers Club also made similar "pre-action discovery" applications at the High Court to force StarHub and M1 to release customer details.

    The film company succeeded in its application against all three ISPs.

    Over the weekend, Samuel Seow Law Corporation sent out its first batch of letters to Internet users here asking for a written offer of damages and costs within three days of receiving the letter. It is not known how many have responded to the letter.

    "Most cases of this nature are settled without commencing a court action or prior to a court assessment of damages," said Mr Lau Kok Keng, intellectual property lawyer at Rajah & Tann Singapore.

    Court proceedings are usually not pursued in cases of small-scale downloads as the real value of the infringement is only the price of a licensed movie download or a DVD, plus legal fees and investigation costs, he added.

    Alternatively, copyright holders can claim statutory damages, which can go up to $10,000 per title per person, under Singapore's Copyright Act.

    "It is awarded in circumstances where the rights owners cannot prove actual losses," said Mr Chua of ATMD Bird & Bird. But these damages have not been awarded against consumers so far, he added.

    A civil suit, if pursued by Dallas Buyers Club, could set the precedent for more of such lawsuits. But the consumer backlash may deter many from taking this route, said digital media lawyer Matt Pollins at Olswang.

    "Piracy is an emotive issue and if a large portion of the Internet community takes exception to you suing consumers, then that can be quite damaging for your brand," Mr Pollins said.

    "It is for this reason that the Recording Industry Association of America announced in 2008 that it would stop suing consumers directly."

    [email protected]
    Source: Dallas Buyers Club case: Uphill task to sue users, say lawyers - Singapore Courts & Crime News & Top Stories - The Straits Times


    Singtel receives court order to release some 150 customer details

    Published on Apr 8, 2015 3:59 PM


    Out of more than 500 people who allegedly downloaded Oscar-winning film Dallas Buyers Club illegally over the Internet, more than 150 subscribed to Singtel. - PHOTO: ST FILE

    By Irene Tham

    SINGAPORE - Out of more than 500 people who allegedly downloaded Oscar-winning film Dallas Buyers Club illegally over the Internet, more than 150 subscribed to Singtel.

    In a statement this afternoon, Singtel said that it has now been issued a formal court order, which compels the Internet service provider (ISP) by law to disclose the identities of those subscribers.

    The ISP must release the information by the end of this month to the film's rights holder Dallas Buyers Club LLC, which is represented here by local law firm Samuel Seow Law Corp.

    The film company has apparently identified more than 500 Singapore Internet protocol (IP) addresses from subscribers of the three major ISPs - Singtel, StarHub and M1 - where the movie was downloaded illegally.

    In October last year, Singtel received a letter from Dallas Buyers Club's lawyers, alleging that some of Singtel's subscribers had illegally downloaded the film. It asked for the identities of some 150 subscribers.

    Singtel said it "refused to provide them such information as we believed we had a duty to protect the confidential information of our customers".

    When the matter went before the courts late last year, Singtel appointed external counsel. "At court our lawyers highlighted our legal obligations to keep our customers' information confidential and requested the court to consider if the evidence provided by the Dallas Buyers Club was sufficiently detailed and clear to support their claims of infringement for purposes of compelling Singtet to disclose our subscribers' identities," the ISP said.

    The 2013 film is based on the true story of an American's quest to treat HIV in the mid-1980s. It won three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Matthew McConaughey and Best Supporting Actor for Jared Leto.

    Over the weekend, Samuel Seow Law Corp started sending letters to Internet users here asking for a written offer of damages and costs within three days of receiving the letter. It is not known how many have responded to the letter.
    Source: Singtel receives court order to release some 150 customer details - Singapore More Singapore Stories News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

    Dallas Buyers Club ruling: iiNet must hand over names of downloaders
    iiNet and other internet service providers lose bid to keep secret the identities of those who used file-sharing networks to download film



    Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club Photograph: Anne Marie Fox/AP

    Australian Associated Press

    Tuesday 7 April 2015 04.46 EDT

    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 4,700 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 4,726 IP addresses,” 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,” Perram said.

    Detailed orders will be hashed out when the case returns to court on 21 April.

    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.”
    Source: Dallas Buyers Club ruling: iiNet must hand over names of downloaders | Film | The Guardian


    Dallas Buyers Club downloads: M1 passed customer details to law firm on court order

    POSTED: 08 Apr 2015 09:19
    UPDATED: 08 Apr 2015 10:10


    The Singapore telco says it was acting on an order from the High Court, which has also been received by StarHub. Similar action against alleged illegal downloads is being sought in Australia and the US.



    A scene from Dallas Buyers Club.


    SINGAPORE: Following a court order, M1 said it has disclosed customer information to a local law firm over alleged illegal movie downloads.

    In response to queries from Channel NewsAsia, an M1 spokesperson said on Wednesday (Apr 8) that it disclosed customers’ names, NRIC numbers and addresses to Dallas Buyers Club LLC following a High Court order in January.

    The telco was responding to reports that customers who allegedly made illegal downloads of the movie Dallas Buyers Club had received letters asking for compensation. The letters reportedly claimed that M1 had received a court order to reveal subscribers’ information to a law firm representing Dallas Buyers Club LLC.

    “M1 did not provide personal data of the affected customers to Dallas Buyers Club LLC when it first requested for the information,” a spokesperson for the telco told Channel NewsAsia on Wednesday.

    “Dallas Buyers Club LLC subsequently applied for a hearing at the High Court. After hearing the parties, the Assistant Registrar of the High Court granted an order compelling M1 to disclose the names, NRIC numbers and physical addresses of the affected customers.

    “M1 has accordingly complied with this order."

    STARHUB 'IN PROCESS OF COMPLYING'

    Separately, StarHub on Wednesday told Channel NewsAsia that it had also received the High Court order.

    “We have received a High Court order to provide details of some customers based on particular IP addresses, and are in the process of complying with this court order,” said Ms Caitlin Fua, Assistant Vice-President of corporate communications at StarHub.

    On Monday, internet service providers in Australia were forced to hand over the personal details of almost 5,000 users who were alleged to have shared the movie on online file-sharing networks such as BitTorrent. Similar action is being sought by Dallas Buyers Club LLC in the United States.

    The movie, made on a US$5 million budget, won Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Makeup at the 86th Academy Awards in 2014.

    - CNA/xq
    Source:
    Dallas Buyers Club downloads: M1 passed customer details to law firm on court order - Channel NewsAsia




    Hollywood goes after illegal downloaders in S'pore

    Apr 7, 2015 6:00am



    LEGAL ACTION: Dallas Buyers Club stars Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey.


    LEGAL ACTION: Lawyer Samuel Seow.

    By: LINETTE HENG

    Those who illegally downloaded the Oscar-winning Hollywood film Dallas Buyers Club could soon get "pay up" letters for infringement of copyright.

    The firm behind the movie, about the search for drugs to treat HIV in the mid 80s, has engaged a local law firm to send letters to several downloaders that had been identified, asking for a written offer of damages and costs.

    It had earlier gone after illegal downloaders in the US and Australia after using a software programme to detect IP addresses in torrents.

    The three local telcos confirmed that they received demands to reveal information of their subscribers.

    They refused until court orders were issued to M1 and StarHub to compel them to do so. Singtel's case is still before the courts.

    Intellectual property and technology lawyer Han Wah Teng said illegal downloaders may have to pay the copyright owner up to $10,000 for statutory damages.

    Read the full report in our print edition on April 7.
    Source: Hollywood goes after illegal downloaders in S'pore | The New Paper
    Last edited by bigsale; Apr 14th, 15 at 07:42 AM.

  2. #2
    it's not Hollywood. It's only Dallas Buyers Club. We all knows what happens if they go after every single person.
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  3. #3
    never heard of the movie...

    I hope M1 and starhub lawyers really did bother...

    coz if singtel wins, those two have to go into damage control...

    ...this will actually help singtel's market share alot, if they win... ... ... ***innocent thoughts***

  4. #4
    Registered User samtkt2000's Avatar
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    I never heard of the movies before and it feel like boring

    Maybe they need a free cash. They nap for those download online so how about those get a pirated copy disc at MY market? should not be problem right since they are not downloaded.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by sgslug View Post
    never heard of the movie...

    I hope M1 and starhub lawyers really did bother...

    coz if singtel wins, those two have to go into damage control...

    ...this will actually help singtel's market share alot, if they win... ... ... ***innocent thoughts***
    it's actually quite a good movie but that's not the point. lol
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  6. #6
    Dallas Buyers Club downloads: M1 passed customer details to law firm on court order

    POSTED: 08 Apr 2015 09:19
    UPDATED: 08 Apr 2015 10:10


    The Singapore telco says it was acting on an order from the High Court, which has also been received by StarHub. Similar action against alleged illegal downloads is being sought in Australia and the US.



    A scene from Dallas Buyers Club.


    SINGAPORE: Following a court order, M1 said it has disclosed customer information to a local law firm over alleged illegal movie downloads.

    In response to queries from Channel NewsAsia, an M1 spokesperson said on Wednesday (Apr 8) that it disclosed customers’ names, NRIC numbers and addresses to Dallas Buyers Club LLC following a High Court order in January.

    The telco was responding to reports that customers who allegedly made illegal downloads of the movie Dallas Buyers Club had received letters asking for compensation. The letters reportedly claimed that M1 had received a court order to reveal subscribers’ information to a law firm representing Dallas Buyers Club LLC.

    “M1 did not provide personal data of the affected customers to Dallas Buyers Club LLC when it first requested for the information,” a spokesperson for the telco told Channel NewsAsia on Wednesday.

    “Dallas Buyers Club LLC subsequently applied for a hearing at the High Court. After hearing the parties, the Assistant Registrar of the High Court granted an order compelling M1 to disclose the names, NRIC numbers and physical addresses of the affected customers.

    “M1 has accordingly complied with this order."

    STARHUB 'IN PROCESS OF COMPLYING'

    Separately, StarHub on Wednesday told Channel NewsAsia that it had also received the High Court order.

    “We have received a High Court order to provide details of some customers based on particular IP addresses, and are in the process of complying with this court order,” said Ms Caitlin Fua, Assistant Vice-President of corporate communications at StarHub.

    On Monday, internet service providers in Australia were forced to hand over the personal details of almost 5,000 users who were alleged to have shared the movie on online file-sharing networks such as BitTorrent. Similar action is being sought by Dallas Buyers Club LLC in the United States.

    The movie, made on a US$5 million budget, won Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Makeup at the 86th Academy Awards in 2014.

    - CNA/xq
    Source:
    Dallas Buyers Club downloads: M1 passed customer details to law firm on court order - Channel NewsAsia

  7. #7
    Dallas Buyers Club ruling: iiNet must hand over names of downloaders
    iiNet and other internet service providers lose bid to keep secret the identities of those who used file-sharing networks to download film



    Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club Photograph: Anne Marie Fox/AP

    Australian Associated Press

    Tuesday 7 April 2015 04.46 EDT

    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 4,700 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 4,726 IP addresses,” 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,” Perram said.

    Detailed orders will be hashed out when the case returns to court on 21 April.

    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.”
    Source: Dallas Buyers Club ruling: iiNet must hand over names of downloaders | Film | The Guardian

  8. #8
    LOL. Pirates get what they deserve.

    DF

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by DragonFire View Post
    LOL. Pirates get what they deserve.

    DF
    it's only torrents pirates. lol
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  10. #10
    Singtel receives court order to release some 150 customer details

    Published on Apr 8, 2015 3:59 PM


    Out of more than 500 people who allegedly downloaded Oscar-winning film Dallas Buyers Club illegally over the Internet, more than 150 subscribed to Singtel. - PHOTO: ST FILE

    By Irene Tham

    SINGAPORE - Out of more than 500 people who allegedly downloaded Oscar-winning film Dallas Buyers Club illegally over the Internet, more than 150 subscribed to Singtel.

    In a statement this afternoon, Singtel said that it has now been issued a formal court order, which compels the Internet service provider (ISP) by law to disclose the identities of those subscribers.

    The ISP must release the information by the end of this month to the film's rights holder Dallas Buyers Club LLC, which is represented here by local law firm Samuel Seow Law Corp.

    The film company has apparently identified more than 500 Singapore Internet protocol (IP) addresses from subscribers of the three major ISPs - Singtel, StarHub and M1 - where the movie was downloaded illegally.

    In October last year, Singtel received a letter from Dallas Buyers Club's lawyers, alleging that some of Singtel's subscribers had illegally downloaded the film. It asked for the identities of some 150 subscribers.

    Singtel said it "refused to provide them such information as we believed we had a duty to protect the confidential information of our customers".

    When the matter went before the courts late last year, Singtel appointed external counsel. "At court our lawyers highlighted our legal obligations to keep our customers' information confidential and requested the court to consider if the evidence provided by the Dallas Buyers Club was sufficiently detailed and clear to support their claims of infringement for purposes of compelling Singtet to disclose our subscribers' identities," the ISP said.

    The 2013 film is based on the true story of an American's quest to treat HIV in the mid-1980s. It won three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Matthew McConaughey and Best Supporting Actor for Jared Leto.

    Over the weekend, Samuel Seow Law Corp started sending letters to Internet users here asking for a written offer of damages and costs within three days of receiving the letter. It is not known how many have responded to the letter.
    Source: Singtel receives court order to release some 150 customer details - Singapore More Singapore Stories News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

  11. #11
    In A ***** of Hypocrites. skulltre's Avatar
    Join Date
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    So does this mean subscribers should switch to other ISP?
    http://forums.vr-zone.com/signaturepics/sigpic44280_3.gif

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by DragonFire View Post
    LOL. Pirates get what they deserve.

    DF
    Only stupid pirates. There are other untraceable ways to download something.

  13. #13
    Self-Proclaimed Crazy :D ThreeM's Avatar
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    Technically, i suppose, if the defendant wants to defend themselves in this case. It is also highly probably they could win leh.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by DragonFire View Post
    LOL. Pirates get what they deserve.

    DF
    Yeah ... just for pirating thrash and worthless things .... they deserve it.
    礼义廉耻,国之四维。四维不张,国乃灭亡。

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  15. #15
    Dallas Buyers Club case: Uphill task to sue users, say lawyers
    Hurdles include identifying actual offender, costly suits



    Published on Apr 9, 2015 8:11 AM


    A cinema still from the movie Dallas Buyers Club starring Jared Leto (left) and Matthew McConaughey. -- PHOTO: SHAW

    By Irene Tham Technology Correspondent

    The copyright owner of Oscar-winning film Dallas Buyers Club may have an uphill task suing consumers here for having allegedly downloaded the movie illegally online, say lawyers.

    The biggest challenge is to identify the actual people who had infringed the film's copyright. Another reason cited is the high cost of a civil suit.

    A company of Hollywood producer Voltage Pictures, which owns the film rights, identified more than 500 Singapore Internet protocol (IP) addresses, from subscribers of the three major Internet service providers (ISPs) - Singtel, StarHub and M1 - where the movie was downloaded illegally.

    Voltage's company Dallas Buyers Club LLC has obtained a Singapore High Court order to compel all three ISPs to release the details of subscribers linked to the IP addresses in question.

    "But the rights holder also needs to establish a link between an impugned IP address to a person," said lawyer Bryan Tan, a technology partner at Pinsent Masons MPillay.

    Establishing the link is tough because families share the same Wi-Fi connection, and as such, have the same IP address. Some Wi-Fi connections are also not secured and are freely accessed by anyone. "It is unclear whether the law will presume liability for the Internet account holder," said Mr Tan.

    Starting a class action suit is also a costly affair, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, for rights owners.

    "The cost is dependent largely on how many people are defending and the defence raised," said intellectual property lawyer Cyril Chua of ATMD Bird & Bird.

    Dallas Buyers Club, whose parent company Voltage has been on a global anti-piracy rampage, is represented by local law firm Samuel Seow Law Corporation here.

    In October last year, Singtel received a letter from Dallas Buyers Club's lawyers, alleging that some of Singtel's subscribers had illegally downloaded the film. It asked for the identities of some 150 subscribers.

    Singtel said it refused to provide the information to protect customers' confidential information. Even in court, Singtel said its lawyers questioned if the evidence provided by Dallas Buyers Club was "sufficiently detailed and clear" to support its claims of infringement.

    Dallas Buyers Club also made similar "pre-action discovery" applications at the High Court to force StarHub and M1 to release customer details.

    The film company succeeded in its application against all three ISPs.

    Over the weekend, Samuel Seow Law Corporation sent out its first batch of letters to Internet users here asking for a written offer of damages and costs within three days of receiving the letter. It is not known how many have responded to the letter.

    "Most cases of this nature are settled without commencing a court action or prior to a court assessment of damages," said Mr Lau Kok Keng, intellectual property lawyer at Rajah & Tann Singapore.

    Court proceedings are usually not pursued in cases of small-scale downloads as the real value of the infringement is only the price of a licensed movie download or a DVD, plus legal fees and investigation costs, he added.

    Alternatively, copyright holders can claim statutory damages, which can go up to $10,000 per title per person, under Singapore's Copyright Act.

    "It is awarded in circumstances where the rights owners cannot prove actual losses," said Mr Chua of ATMD Bird & Bird. But these damages have not been awarded against consumers so far, he added.

    A civil suit, if pursued by Dallas Buyers Club, could set the precedent for more of such lawsuits. But the consumer backlash may deter many from taking this route, said digital media lawyer Matt Pollins at Olswang.

    "Piracy is an emotive issue and if a large portion of the Internet community takes exception to you suing consumers, then that can be quite damaging for your brand," Mr Pollins said.

    "It is for this reason that the Recording Industry Association of America announced in 2008 that it would stop suing consumers directly."

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    Source: Dallas Buyers Club case: Uphill task to sue users, say lawyers - Singapore Courts & Crime News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

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