Home Your Tech Entertainment iiNet’s legal battles club: Acquired Illegally Downloaders Syndrome?
iiNet’s legal battles club: Acquired Illegally Downloaders Syndrome? Featured

iiNet and its battle with the Dallas Buyers Club has seen iiNet potentially infected by the Hollywood Internet Virus (HIV), which can lead to a full-blown case of AIDS: the Acquired Internet Downloaders Syndrome.

IN A WORLD where pirates use Internet Service Providers to gather booty from the high torrent seas, where Hollywood movie makers are ransacked of their digital wares, one man, one judge stands ready to adjudicate - and it’s not Bruce Willis.

No, it was Justice Nye Perram, whose directions hearing in the NSW Federal Court of Australia started at 9.30am, in a “First Directions” case listed as “DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, LLC v IINET LIMITED”.

Technical details of the case can be seen at the ComCourts website here.

From various reports online today, the legal battle between iiNet and Dallas Buyers Club LLC has several more hearings to go, with more information sought on various aspects of the case and the first true hearing not actually set to happen until February 2015, showing how slowly the wheels of justice often turn.

We last wrote about iiNet and its battle with Dallas Buyers Club LLC in an article entitled “iiNet Downloaders club - not that kind of club?” here. 

The makers of the Dallas Buyers Club movie have reportedly used the Maverick Eye system to determine users who have allegedly illegally downloaded copies of the Academy Award Winning film using Torrent networks.

Maverick Eye’s site says that “User (sic) think that they are invisible when committing those crimes over the internet. Maverickeye UG makes it possible to detect as well as retrace copyright infringements. With highly sophisticated software technology, Maverickeye UG can provide technical evidence to illegal acts on the internet.”

The site info continues: “The high efficient services of Maverickeye UG help companies and rights holders to be protected from abuse of their works and trademarks in the digital world at the same time there is a creation of a new awareness in the worldwide dealings with intellectual property.”

According to The Australian, the first hearing will not happen until February 5 or 6 in 2015, although the dates could change.

The paper also reports a directions hearing will happen on December 5 where the court will hear more information about the Mavericks Eye process, with CNET’s report suggesting iiNet was “not familiar” with Maverick Eye, and needed more information about the system.

In case you think anyone in the case is hard of hearing, there’s yet another hearing due for November 17, according to The Oz, whereby iiNet wants Dallas Buyers Club LLC to put up $100,000 in case the movie makers lose their case against, with The Oz reporting the Club LLC only wants to put up $30,000.

Given iiNet’s strong stance against caving in to legal claims, we can be certain its lawyers will put up a very strong fight, while also causing iiNet to perhaps wonder how it can not only protect its users from having identities divulged.

If user identities are forced from iiNet, its users who will presumably be alleged to be illegal downloaders are likely to receive letters of demand from Dallas Buyers Club LLC lawyers for amounts that could be in the thousands of dollars, as we examined in our previous article

If the action against iiNet is successful, anyone whose Internet service provision account has been used for downloads may start being targeted by IP owners from various parts of the world, and it could end up a feeding frenzy of claims and counter claims.

Were that to happen, even Jack Sparrow might find difficulty in getting himself out of that kind of mess, while presumably sending a lot of business to various VPN services that claim to hide the true identity of torrent users.

The outcome is yet far from clear, but Season 2 of the iiNet Saga: Hollywood Strikes Back - Return of the Lawyer will showcase whether the attack of the downloaders is but a phantom menace, or whether the force of the legal system has truly awakened.

Finally, there's always the option of legal downloads, which will put ISPs through a lot less pain. You might have to wait a bit longer to watch the movies you want to watch, but they'll become availble on legal services such as Presto, which we covered here


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.


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