Dallas Buyers Club reveals plans for Aussie pirates

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Dallas Buyers Club reveals plans for Aussie pirates

First-time downloaders may avoid fees.

The owners of the Dallas Buyers Club film say they will not necessarily pursue financial compensation from small-scale infringers who downloaded the film without paying.

The company was earlier this week successful in legally compelling iiNet and a number of other ISPs to hand over the names and residential address of around 4700 people DBC LLC says infringed the copyright of its film.

DBC LLC will now be allowed to send letters to the alleged infringers warning them against continuing behaviour.

But in a win for the ISPs - who were fighting for both the privacy of their customers and against bullying behaviour by content owners - DBC LLC will have to get the wording of the letters approved by a federal court judge.

The ruling was made to stop DBC LLC from engaging in the same behaviour as it did in the US, where it threatened internet users with legal action should they not agree to pay a hefty fee of in some cases tens of thousands of dollars.

In the company's first comments since its legal victory on Tuesday, vice president of royalties for DBC's owner Voltage Pictures Michael Wickstrom tonight told Triple J the company would be less aggressive against individuals in Australia.

He said the higher settlement offers made in the US were for those who were distributing the film unlawfully on a commercial scale.

"I don't feel the penalties should be so aggressive with the first-time offender who has downloaded one film," Wickstrom said.

"Something has to be done, a public notice to stop the infringement, and if it continues, there will be action like their ISP connection will be shut down.

"It's not always going to be a financial settlement."

When asked whether Australians who had downloaded or shared the film should be worried about getting a letter, Wickstrom said "yes".

"We're developing some kind of system that becomes a deterrent," he said.

DBC LLC and iiNet will appear back in court later this month to flesh out the legal orders regarding privacy, costs and the drafting of the letters.

The ruling comes as Australia's telecommunications industry submitted its voluntary code for combating copyright infringement to the media and communications regulator ACMA for approval.

If approved, the code would apply to around 70 of Australia's biggest internet service providers. It provides for an escalating notice scheme for fixed-line residential users who rights holders claim have infringed copyright.

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