iiNet today achieved a small win in its Federal Court fight against the owners of the film Dallas Buyers Club, convincing a judge to let it cross-examine the technical consultant who provided the film's owners with a list of IP addresses to target.
The pair ended up in court in October after iiNet refused to comply with preliminary discovery applications used by Dallas Buyers Club to track down the identities of those it alleges have infringed the copyright of its film.
The ISP today successfully convinced the Federal Court to allow it to cross-examine the technical consultant who provided DBC with details of IP addresses that he believed were involved in trading illegal copies of the movie.
Lawyers representing Dallas Buyers Club argued that the Stuttgart-based technical consultant would not have enough impact on proceedings to warrant making him travel all the way to Australia for cross examination.
But Justice Perram accepted arguments by iiNet’s lawyers that the accuracy of the process used by the consultant to collect the addresses warranted scrutiny.
“You’ve got a problem if the numbers are wrong,” Justice Nye told Dallas Buyers Club lawyers.
Dallas Buyers Club has been using the IP addresses as a basis to pursue the preliminary discovery applications, and has asked the court to order iiNet and a number of its subsidiaries to hand over details of account holders associated with the IP addresses DBC's consultants have collected.
iiNet has chosen to fight the application in a bid to protect its customers from what it sees as unfair and bullying legal tactics.
In the US, Dallas Buyers Club’s US owner, Voltage Films, has sent threatening letters to scores of individuals claiming the alleged infringers were liable for fines up to $US150,000 unless they settle with the company.
The court has down a date to hear the application February 17.