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2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)

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Background to this Support Group

Studio demands compensation from more than 500 people here who downloaded movie
Published on Apr 7, 2015 9:16 PM
By Irene Tham

MORE than 500 people in Singapore have allegedly downloaded Oscar-winning film Dallas Buyers Club illegally over the Internet, and now they may have to face the music.

United States company Dallas Buyers Club LLC, which owns the film rights, wants compensation.

Acting on its behalf in Singapore - as part of its global campaign - is local law firm Samuel Seow Law Corporation.

The film studio has apparently identified more than 500 Singapore Internet protocol (IP) addresses, from subscribers of the three major Internet service providers (ISPs) - Singtel, StarHub and M1 - where the movie was downloaded illegally.

Over the weekend, the law firm reportedly started sending letters to Internet users here asking for a written offer of damages and costs within three days of receiving the letter.

It is not known how many have responded to the letter.

The 2013 film is based on the true story of an American's quest to treat HIV in the mid-1980s. It won three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Matthew McConaughey and Best Supporting Actor for Jared Leto.

Intellectual property lawyer Cyril Chua of ATMD Bird & Bird said the film studio may sue a few individuals here to scare people into paying the settlement fee, which is not made public.

Lawyer Bryan Tan, a technology partner at Pinsent Masons MPillay, said those who received the letters of demand should seek legal advice. "There are penalties for infringers if this goes all the way," he said.

Lawyer Samuel Seow reportedly said its client, Dallas Buyers Club, "fully intends to protect and defend their copyright in the movie and shall take all necessary actions to protect the same".

The Straits Times understands that the film company had asked for subscriber details from the ISPs last year, but failed.

It then made a "pre-action discovery" application at the High Court earlier this year to force the ISPs to release customer details.

M1 was the first to comply with the court order in January to release the names, IC numbers and addresses of subscribers linked to the IP addresses in question. StarHub, which also received the court order, said it is in the process of complying with it.

Singtel said it has yet to receive a court order.

MyRepublic and ViewQwest said they did not receive any request for subscriber details.

Dallas Buyers Club is also going after about 4,700 Internet users in Australia, after securing a landmark court judgment yesterday that compels ISPs there to hand over customer details.

In the US, more than 1,000 users are being sued.


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1. There is a separate section within this forum that is ONLY open to the 500+ people (Affected Parties or AP) who have received the letter from Samuel Seow Law Corp. "PRIVATE: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore Support Group":,13.0.html

2. However if you are not one of the 500+ people but have useful & constructive information or suggestions for them, you may post it here or any of the related DBC related threads in HWZ.

3. Newly registered users who wish to be included in the DBC-SG Private Support Group would need to be verified first and I will be personally doing this verification.

To verify that are indeed one of the 500+ people (or family members / relatives) who have received the letter, you need to prepare these materials:

* (a) a scan pdf/photos of the 2-4 pages of registered letter from SSLC (showing your full name, partial address & partial NRIC/EP/WP/DP number), and
* (b) a scan pdf/photos of the several pages of 'Order of Court + Annex' from DBC to your Telco
* (c) a scan copy/photo of the envelope front cover of the registered letter (showing your full name and partial address), and
* (d) a scan pdf/photos of your NRIC/EP/WP/DP card, both sides (showing your full name, partial address & partial NRIC/EP/WP/DP number), and
* (e) if available, a scan pdf/photos of counter-offer letter from SSLC/DBC (eg. one where they make you an offer ranging between S$3,000 to S$6,000), and
* (f) your registered username in the forum (so that I can give you the access rights to the private support group).
4. Assemble the above materials 3(a) to 3(e) into a single .ZIP file [Filename format: Name(ForumUsername).zip] and email it to me at for verification and approval into the private DBC-SG Support Group. Note that if you have sent incomplete materials, you are still required to resent 3(a) to 3(e) into a single .ZIP file in your subsequent email, rather than in bits and pieces.

5. 13 July 2015 Update: Till now, verified affected parties (less than 45) are NOT required to pay a single cent to benefit from the 1st and 2nd crowdfunds. Having spoke to the IP defense lawyer, I was advised by him that this scheme is not sustainable especially in view that it is highly probable that majority of the 500+ subscribers have yet to receive the demand letter. Moving forward, this is the updated plan, there is a fee of USD150. However, if the subscriber is a full-time student or is unemployed, then you may contribute only USD9 (with supporting documentation such as Student ID & CPF recent 15 months transaction records). The fee enables:

* (i) Full access to the DBC-SG Private Support Forum, and
* (ii) the fee are publicly collected via the on-going DBC-SG Crowdfunding Campaign: (there is no end/closing date for now), and
* (iii) the Usage of the DBC-SG crowdfund is published here:
* (iv) access to a competent and qualified IP Defense lawyer to handle SSLC on your behalf, and
* (v) access to a competent and qualified Computer Forensic expert (working on a pro-bono basis in the background and may act as a Court Forensic Expert Witness when the occasion arise); and
* (vii) access to all the collective funds from Round 1, 2 and ongoing round(s) to cover your legal fees (with the appointed IP defense lawyer).
When you make your contribution, you may click on the 'Hide my name on the campaign page' checkbox at the bottom of the page and your name will be hidden from the public.

By default, the Indiegogo platform sends me an email whenever there is a new contribution with your name and thus I will be able to activate your private forum membership within the next 24 hours.

For the record, 100% of the crowd funds go to the IP defense lawyer and I am only a pro-bono administrator of the crowd funds. Public accounting of the DBC-SG crowd funds can be found in this thread:

Dr. Green.

NB1: Partial address includes (a) Blk number (b) Street address and (c) Postal code - you may blur out your unit number
NB2: Partial NRIC/EP/WP/DP number includes just the last 5 digits of your NRIC/EP/WP/DP number - you may blur out other information such as birth date, blood type, photo, etc.

Accessible only to AP:,38.msg141.html#msg141

Accessible only to AP:,39.0.html

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