August 14, 2015 | Moira McKenzie

The Federal Court today ruled that unless Voltage Pictures and Dallas Buyers Club LLC pay a $600,000 bond, they will not be able to obtain the names and addresses of the Australians accused of illegally downloading the movie.

In April, the Federal Court ordered ISPs to hand over the personal information linked to the infringing IP addresses but specified that court approval would have to be obtained regarding the content of the letters requesting payment.  Today, Justice Nye Perram reviewed the draft letters and ruled that they were unsatisfactory and demanded more from recipients than was reasonable.

The large bond requirement is aimed at deterring Dallas Buyers Club LLC from undertaking speculative invoicing, demanding large sums of money from alleged pirates to avoid being sued for copyright infringement.  The decision makes it unlikely that any alleged pirates will receive letters of infringement and their information will remain confidential in the hands of the ISPs.

Justice Nye Perram commented that although the illegal downloading is a breach of copyright, he would not give the information to Dallas Buyers Club LLC if they propose to use it to ‘throw stones at the infringers’ windows’ because ‘breaking a window has nothing to do with the exercise of a right to obtain relief’.

Click here to read the judgement.