The Beginning of the end of Piracy By Justin D. Hunt

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For years the Australian public have enjoyed the option to get media for free using downloading programs such as uTorrent or BitTorrent. This may not be the case much longer thanks to The Dallas Buyers Club.

Voltage Pictures, the parent company of the movie producers, hired German-based firm Maverick Eye UG to hunt down the IP address of anyone in Australia attempting to illegally download the movie between April 2 and May 27, 2014.

They found 4,726 IP addresses which they then demanded ISPs (Internet Service Providers) including iiNet, Dodo, Internode, Amnet, Adam and Wideband to hand over the details of the end users, which led to a court case when the ISPs refused. However, last month the Federal Court Justice, Nye Perram handed down a verdict in favour of Voltage. What’s more, on April 7 Justice Perram also ordered the ISPs to pay 75% of Voltage’s legal costs.

This means that studio companies now have an unprecedented power to stop pirates illegally sharing movies, as those who participated in sharing the movie can expect letters from The Dallas Buyers Club LLC. Fortunately, Justice Perram has stated as part of his original decision that any letters must first be viewed by him to prevent ‘speculative invoicing’, a process by which a copyright owner sends a threatening and intimidating letter to an individual demanding a large sum of money to avoid court.

As such, we may be seeing the end of an era where any movie, TV show or music album were free with just a few clicks and a little patience. This may be too late however to save the corporate giants that once dominated the market over the studios and record companies. Fortunately, it comes at a time when digital download providers such as iTunes and Netflix are on the rise in Australia. These services are much cheaper then what we had 15 years ago, but unfortunately for pirates, still not free.

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