Dallas Buyers Club targets wholesaler iseek in new piracy case

Anti-piracy litigant Dallas Buyers Club LLC is targeting broadband wholesaler iseek to find out which of its retailers' customers downloaded illicit copies of the film of the same name.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Dallas Buyers Club LLC is continuing to chase Australians alleged to have downloaded infringing copies of the Oscar-winning film Dallas Buyers Club, this time targeting Brisbane-based datacentre and wholesale broadband provider iseek.

In a court filing dated January 28, 2015, Dallas Buyers Club LLC has indicated that it is applying for discovery, and has filed an affidavit and an expert report.

The action is similar to that initiated against iiNet and several other retail ISPs last year. The company is seeking to obtain customer details for IP addresses that were tracked by Maverickeye UG on torrents for the film.

iiNet and the other ISPs involved in that case will fight against Dallas Buyers Club's attempts to obtain customer details in court hearings on February 17 and 18. iiNet has warned that the company will use those details to send out so-called "speculative invoices" to customers if it obtains their details.

In other jurisdictions, the company has sent out invoices demanding thousands of dollars in compensation, or warned that they risk facing court action from the firm.

The move to target iseek is unusual, because the company is a wholesale broadband provider and does not have any direct retail customers. It is understood that the application will likely identify a reseller of broadband services, and potentially that reseller's end customer if that customer has a static IP address.

ZDNet understands that unlike iiNet, iseek is not opposing Dallas Buyers Club's application for customer details, but has opted to go down the path of discovery in order to ensure that the Privacy Act is not breached in handing over the details to Dallas Buyers Club.

iseek first received notices from Dallas Buyers Club in March last year, at the same time the firm targeted iiNet and the other ISPs. The company has yet to target larger ISPs Telstra, Optus, and TPG.

The first directions hearing for the iseek case is set down for February 23, almost a week after the iiNet case will be heard.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull admitted late last year that the government's legislation for two-year mandatory data retention would not prevent companies like Dallas Buyers Club LLC from accessing customers' data through court orders that the telcos would be forced to store on behalf of law enforcement.

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