So, you downloaded Dallas Buyers Club on a quiet night at home for the sole purpose of glimpsing Matthew McConaughey’s chiselled abs and now you’re wondering whether you’re going to jail? You’re not alone.
The long-threatened legal stance against rampant internet pirates has finally hit our shores, with the Federal Court delivering the blow that could put an end to free (and illegal) movies.
And we want to know, are we in trouble?
In the landmark judgment, the Court has ordered a number of Australian internet service providers to hand over the contact details of thousands of account holders who illegally shared the 2013 blockbuster so they can be pursued for compensation.
This means that around 4700 Aussie account holders are now nervously checking their mailboxes for a letter threatening legal action unless large sums are forked out for the copyright breach.
So, even more upsetting than discovering the movie you downloaded for some hard-core McConaughey-perving actually featured an emaciated scarecrow with a handlebar moustache instead, is the fear you may now be slapped with a fine of up to $9000.
The fear has sent many many Australians into a spin. They’ve got a lot of questions (namely, do I really have to pay $9000 for that shitty movie?) but and we have answers.
If I downloaded Dallas Buyers Club, am I going to jail?
The good news.
It appears the ground-breaking ruling only applies to people who have been making the movie available for others to download, rather than just downloading it themselves (though that is still illegal, you naughty pirates!).
iiNet’s former chief regulatory officer, Steve Dalby, told Fairfax Media Hollywood studios would find it tough to prove exactly who downloaded the Academy Award winning film. “Remember that the letter is not proof and is only an allegation,” he said. “They can’t detect downloaders so if I downloaded it but never shared it I wouldn’t be concerned about it.”