An Australian court has ordered a number of the country’s internet service providers to hand over personal info of users suspected of pirating a movie.
In what may be a very dangerous precedent, a US company has convinced an Australian federal court to compel internet service providers to hand over the names associated with 4,726 unique IP addresses that shared the film Dallas Buyers’ Club via BitTorrent.
The company, named Dallas Buyers Club LLC, asked the country’s ISPs to give them access to such personal info but the companies refused on the grounds of privacy. Now that a judge has given the US company this access, its lawyers will have to prove that copyright infringement has taken place.
Australia is generally viewed as a strong vector of piracy, thanks to delayed release dates and higher-priced content relative to the rest of the world. These failures of the content companies to adapt to a local market have led numerous users towards pirating movies, music and software.
Instead of fixing said failures, and reaping the rewards, companies seem much more happy to try and sue individual users that would prefer not to spend their time and money on courts but rather settle quickly. And thanks to this precedent, which might still be appealed by ISPs, it’s now easier than ever for them to do that.