Australian court hands copyright trolls their own asses

The studio behind "Dallas Buyers Club" will be able to demand that people caught downloading the movie without permission pay for the cost of a legit download, plus a small surcharge to cover the cost of getting their details through a court.

In April, the DBC studio obtained a court order against Australia's major ISPs, entitling it to force them to hand over the names, addresses and phone numbers of people it accused of downloading the movie without permission.

But DBC had planned to call these Australians and require them to disclose their annual earnings, then demand a "settlement" that included the cost of a legit download, a court-expenses surcharge, and a "license-fee" for having been part of a Bittorrent swarm, and "damages" for other copyrighted works they alleged had been downloaded, even works whose copyright the DBC studio had nothing to do with.

Without a way to extract massive damages from everyday Australians, the American studio behind DBC doesn't have much of a business-model for its copyright trolling. However, it may still press ahead — as a US entity with no Australian presence, it would be largely immune to sanctions should it ignore the Australian court's order.

"The idea that any court would assess DBC's damages on the basis that BitTorrent users who were going to share the Film over the BitTorrent network would have avoided infringement by approaching DBC to negotiate a distribution arrangement in return for a license fee is so surreal as not to be taken seriously," the judge writes.

"If such a claim were made in a proceeding for copyright infringement in this Court I am satisfied that it would be dismissed summarily without trial….as a case having no reasonable prospects of success."

In respect of (c) – trying to calculate damages based on OTHER infringements – the judge dismisses that too.

Dallas Buyers Club Ruling Devastates Copyright Trolling Down Under [Andy/Torrentfreak]