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Dallas Buyers Club Strikes again – Copyright Lawsuit Hits Singapore

Dallas Buyers Club

Voltage Pictures, company behind the movie Dallas Buyers Club (DBC),  is becoming a familiar name in the copyright discussions around the world, especially in the Asia Pacific Region. DBC earned 3 Oscars, 3 Golden Globes, and did quite well in the box office. However, recent headline mentions are not about the film itself, but the copyright battle the film owners have embarked on in Australia and most recently – Singapore.

Timeline of copyrightn laws in australia

Voltage Pictures  conducted independent research and traced IP addresses of users who used Torrent Sites to download/ share copies of Dallas Buyers Club. Over 4700 IP addresses were identified in Australia and over 500 in Singapore. Next, Voltage asked local ISPs to pass on infringing IP address holder personal information. The majority of ISPs refused the initial request.

Note: Not all IP addresses would lead to an identifiable internet user. If the said person was using NordVPN service – their IP address would lead to the virtual tunnel server location, not the IP address issued by ISP.

Voltage Pictures recently gained a successful court ruling in Australia against the users they independently identified as infringing on film copyright and have illegally downloaded the movie / or shared it on P2P networks. The ruling forced the ISPs to hand over the information from the infringing users. ISPs are not doing so willingly and in turn are asking for $108,000 from DBC’s owners to gather the data on the 4700+ IP addresses and the account holders these relate to. This might buy some time, but reality is, ISPs might have to provide the requested data sooner or later.

The case has sparked broader debate in Australia about the general copyright law, forcing the debate on copyright policy reform.

With a successful federal court ruling in Australia- Voltage had started a similar pursuit in Singapore. Singapore’s Straits Times reports that Voltage had asked local ISPs for personal user details of IP address holders identified as DBC film pirates.

Ironically enough, Voltage pictures are themselves accused of copyright infringement on the upcoming film via Togo, the license holder for Godzilla.

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