Media release

iiNet’s fight for customer’s rights v
Dallas Buyers Club LLC

7 April 2015

iiNet’s stance against Dallas Buyers Club LLC has ended in a positive result that will see significant safeguards put in place to protect Australian customers, with discovery being granted under strict conditions.

Dallas Buyers Club LLC - the owners of rights in the film of the same name - applied to the Federal Court for iiNet and a number of other providers to reveal details of people they suspect of infringing copyright on their film.

David Buckingham, iiNet's Chief Executive Officer, said that fighting the matter in Court has shone the spotlight on the practice of speculative invoicing that has occurred around the world on this film.

"The result is pleasingly what we expected. By going through the process we've been able to ensure that our customers will be treated fairly and won't be subjected to the bullying that we have seen happen elsewhere," said Mr Buckingham. "We're very happy with Justice Perram's judgment and his balanced approach to both the studio’s and consumers' rights."

Under the ruling iiNet will be obliged to hand over the name and physical address details of customers whose internet (IP) address details have been supplied. The studio may only use the details to sue customers, something we think is unlikely to occur.

"Letters issued by the rights holders will be reviewed by the Judge to ensure they are not threatening - providing a significant safeguard for our customers. As a result, the ruling will put a major dent in the process and business case behind speculative invoicing, since the financial returns could be outweighed by the costs of legal action." Justice Perram supported this view with his comment, "It may well be that for single instances of infringement the damages are likely to be modest and quite possibly limited to the forgone licence fee that would have been paid, had the film been lawfully downloaded".

The ruling is likely to be superseded by an industry code notice scheme being developed by the Communications Alliance in conjunction with rights holders.

"We have worked closely with the Communications Alliance at the request of the federal government, to develop a code to educate people to the alternatives to piracy while protecting the privacy of our customers."

iiNet has a long history of standing up for the rights of their customers and while they do not support or condone copyright infringement, they’ve encouraged the fair and timely distribution of quality content.

"We are big advocates of legitimate content being made available to the Australian market at the same time as it’s released in other parts of the world, and for a reasonable price. Our partnerships with Fetch TV and Netflix demonstrate our strong commitment to make this happen," said Mr Buckingham.

To find out more about iiNet, visit www.iinet.net.au.

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About iiNet

iiNet is Australia's second largest DSL Internet Service Provider and the leading challenger in the telecommunications market.

We're committed to making it simple for all Australians to connect across both our own network and the National Broadband Network (NBN). Our vision is to lead the market with services that harness the potential of the Internet and then differentiate with award-winning customer service.

iiNet has a proud history of delivering awesome customer service, which has won us dozens of awards, including a silver medal at the Contact Centre World Awards in 2014.

We employ more than 2,500 enthusiastic staff across three countries - 80 per cent of whom are employed to directly service nearly one million customers. We maintain our own broadband network and support over 1.8 million services nationwide.

A lot has changed since iiNet was founded in a suburban garage in 1993 and the broadband landscape continues to evolve. What hasn't changed is our passion for the transformative benefits of the Internet and our commitment to helping Australians connect better.

To learn more about iiNet and its long history of being a challenger in the Australian telecommunications market, click here.