Internet service provider iiNet today successfully delayed the first hearing in its court battle against the owners of the Dallas Buyers Club movie, after claiming it needed time to analyse how the company collected the IP addresses of people it believes pirated the film.
Justice Nye Perram in the Sydney Federal Court today confirmed the case will be heard on February 17, which iiNet said would allow it time to digest the technical aspects of the 'Maverick' system Dallas Buyers Club uses to collect the IP addresses of those it alleges downloaded the film unlawfully.
iiNet counsel Richard Lancaster said the details of the system have been handed over by Dallas Buyers Club, but the ISP had not yet had time to go through them.
He said iiNet was not familiar with the 'Maverick' system, which is different to the software used by rights holders involved in iiNet's 2012 High Court battle with the Hollywood studios.
Dallas Buyers Club is understood to be using technology from German firm Maverickeye UG, which according to the company's website helps companies and rights holders detect and retrace copyright infringement.
"Maverickeye UG provides world-class surveillance of your intellectual property within the most prominent peer-to-peer networks (e.g. BitTorrent, Emule)," its website states.
"Highly sophisticated software along with Maverickeye UG‘s robust hardware infrastructure ensures quality, consistency and relevance of our data for the legal system. Our highly trained staff is able to identify, analyse, archive and document the illegal distribution of our clients copyrighted material."
Lancaster argued Dallas Buyers Club was clearly in no hurry to obtain the names and details of people it claimes to have downloaded the movie without paying, as it first sent notices requesting customer details to iiNet mid last year.
Dallas Buyers Club is attempting to use preliminary discovery applications to track down the identities of those it alleges have infringed its copyright by downloading and sharing the film.
iiNet has refused to comply with the applications, arguing that passing on the details would result in the the film company following in the path of its US owner, Voltage Films, by sending threatening letters or invoices to individuals to encourage them to settle out of court.
iiNet has spoken of its concern about the practice of so-called "speculative invoicing", which it says is "intimidating" and could result in infringers being incorrectly identified.
iiNet is not the only ISP to be targeted under Dallas Buyers Club's court action - iiNet subsidiaries Internode and Adam Internet are also named alongside providers Dodo and Amnet Broadband.
The court case will be iiNet's second significant battle with Hollywood following its three-year, landmark legal battle against a group of local and overseas movie studios that attempted to sue it after claiming it allowed its customers to infringe copyright.
Updated 14/11: to reflect change in hearing date.