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Author Topic: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)  (Read 78976 times)

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #30 on: July 15, 2015, 12:47:55 PM »
Two excellent postings from Whirlpool discussion forum (applicable to DBC LLC vs. Singapore as well):


Source: http://whrl.pl/RelXA8

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2015, 08:57:45 AM »
Another similar (but weaker) Speculative Invoicing case in the United Kingdom: TCYK LLC vs United Kingdom.


PDF: http://goo.gl/xU1NoG

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2015, 12:52:35 PM »
'Pay $5k for illegal download of movie'
8 August 2015 Irene Tham Tech Editor 

At least three local Internet users accused of downloading the film Dallas Buyers Club illegally have received letters demanding they pay $5,000 to the Hollywood studio that produced it.

Samuel Seow Law Corporation, which represents Voltage Pictures, sent the letters to the three after they wrote back in response to letters it sent out earlier this year. The Straits Times understands that the latest letters could also have been sent out to others who responded.

The first batch of demand letters went out in early April to 77 M1 Internet subscribers. Another batch was sent to hundreds of Singtel and StarHub users in June. Singtel subscriber Louis Lim, 42, who received the letter said he was told to pay $5,000 - even though he claims he did not download the movie.

"If I'm guilty as claimed, I'm sure the firm would have sued me in court and not merely told me to pay up," the events management consultant said.

He received his first letter from the law firm on June 21.

He replied in an e-mail stating that he did not download the movie but had rented out a room on his premises to four tenants.

Late last month, he received a second letter asking for details of the tenants as well as a "settlement sum" of $5,000 to avoid a protracted litigation.

One user who spoke to The Straits Times but did not want to be named said he had written back to make an offer of less than $1,000. This was rejected and the lawyers told him to pay $5,000, which he called "exhorbitant".

The Law Ministry told The Straits Times that it has received two complaints and 26 queries - for the first time in five years - about "speculative invoicing".

Speculative invoicing - a common practice in the United States and Britain - is the practice of rights holders sending letters to alleged intellectual property (IP) pirates to demand that they pay up to avoid being taken to court.

Law Minister K. Shanmugam clarified in Parliament in April that the act of sending a letter of demand "is not wrongful by itself unless it contravenes a lawyer's professional obligations". For instance, lawyers are not allowed to use threats of criminal proceedings to further civil claims.

Meanwhile, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore has advised Internet users to question the accuracy of the investigations carried out by copyright owners, and ask for more evidence if they feel they had been wrongly accused.

It has also recommended the price of a DVD of the movie in question as a possible settlement sum.

Market observers suggested that the hefty price tag of $5,000 is meant to deter future infringement, but some lawyers disagreed with the approach.

Mr Lau Kok Keng, IP lawyer at Rajah & Tann Singapore, said: "In the absence of proof of actual incurrence of damages and reasonable expenses, it would be difficult for the rights owner to justify requiring an infringer to pay damages of $5,000 just for downloading a single movie title."

When asked about the latest set of demand letters sent to Internet users, Mr Samuel Seow, managing director of Samuel Seow Law Corp, said: "We negotiate settlements on an individual basis with infringers, depending on various factors."

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/pay-5k-for-illegal-download-of-movie

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2015, 09:58:36 PM »
Australian court curbs penalties for illegal downloaders of the film Dallas Buyers Club
14 August 2015

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian court on Friday forced makers of the film Dallas Buyers Club to cap penalties for illegal downloaders, a ruling welcomed by Internet companies as a "knockout blow" to the controversial tactic of threatening pirates into paying fines.

The ruling puts Australia at odds with the United States, Britain, Canada and Germany where content owners have been allowed to send letters to suspected illegal downloaders demanding thousands of dollars to drop legal action, a measure known as "speculative invoicing".

In a lawsuit seen as a test of whether the practice will be allowed in Australia, where a third of adults admit to stealing online, the studio behind the triple Oscar winner, Voltage Pictures, wanted iiNet and five smaller Internet companies to hand over the addresses of 4,276 suspected offenders.

But in an unexpected setback, the Federal Court refused their request, saying it would only make the Internet companies hand over customer details if the producers promised to charge only the cost of buying a copy of the film.

The judge also ordered the Hollywood producers pay a A$600,000 (S$617,350) bond to ensure they keep the promise.

"It's probably a knockout blow for anyone who thinks they can successfully get into the speculative invoicing business in Australia," said Mr John Stanton, chief executive of the Internet industry group the Communications Alliance.

"It's hard to see how that type of activity can be viable in Australia if rights holders are confined to seeking damages equivalent to the purchase of the item in question and a contribution to legal costs."

Dr Michael Fraser, a professor of law at University of Technology Sydney and chairman of the Australian Copyright Council, said he expected the producers to pay the bond and charge the smaller fines since "they're out to make a point".

"It won't defeat piracy by itself but it shows a rights owner taking proceedings to protect their rights as they're entitled to do."

The court ruling bans Dallas Buyers Club producers from charging the Internet customers damages for the number of times each illegal downloader let someone else download the film from them, and for other content that downloaders might have stolen.

The court did not disclose the amount the producers sought from each suspected pirate except to say it was "substantial"and "plainly speculative invoicing".

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/australianz/australian-court-curbs-penalties-for-illegal-downloaders-of-the-film-dallas-buyers

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2015, 02:52:20 PM »
What now after the Dallas Buyers Club pirate claim is rejected as ‘surreal’?
August 17, 2015 12:25PM

THE makers of Dallas Buyers Club have been dealt a blow in their attempt to extract payment from people alleged to have downloaded illegal copies of the movie.

Voltage Pictures, which owns Dallas Buyers Club, has been trying to identify over 4,700 iiNet subscribers who it alleges downloaded illicit copies of the movie. Earlier this year, the Federal Court agreed that iiNet should hand over subscriber details, but warned that any letter sent to account holders must first be approved by the court to protect consumers from abuse of the legal system.

In a win for consumer protection, the Federal Court has now rejected Voltage’s draft letters, criticising Voltage’s attempts to avoid explaining what fee it would demand.

Voltage had told the Court it would ask account holders for a settlement figure that included:
  • the purchase price of a single legitimate copy of the film; plus
  • another fee for sharing the film to other BitTorrent users (an extremely large amount that would be a multiple of the total number of people to whom the subscriber may have transmitted small parts of the film); plus
  • a punishment for any other infringement of the copyright in any other, unrelated, content that subscribers admit to have illicitly downloaded; plus
  • an amount that would cover the cost of tracking down users associated with infringing downloads.

The Court accepted that Voltage could ask for the costs of a single copy of the film and an appropriately proportioned fee to recover its legal costs so far.

But Justice Nye Perram rejected Voltage’s attempts to multiply these fees, potentially thousands of times, for every other user in the BitTorrent swarm. His Honour also rejected Voltage’s attempt to claim money for other infringements consumers may have admitted to.

Ultimately, Justice Perram refused to allow Voltage to send the letters in their current form. Voltage will still be allowed to send letters in the future, but only if it promises to limit the damages it is seeking to a more reasonable amount. It will have to back this promise up with a $600,000 bond payment to the court.

Consumers who have illicitly downloaded Dallas Buyers Club could still be liable for damages, but the figures requested are more likely to be closer to a hundred dollars than a few thousand. The exact amounts Voltage are prepared to settle for remain confidential for now.

The court fights back against ‘speculative invoicing’

The judge was keen to protect consumers from so-called “speculative invoicing”, where copyright owners send offers to settle claims for grossly disproportionate amounts. These demands can be extortionate: the letters typically threaten consumers with an expensive lawsuit if they don’t pay up.

Voltage Pictures has already been heavily criticised internationally for its speculative invoicing practices. It has filed massive copyright infringement suits in the US — including one naming nearly 25,000 defendants for infringing copyright in its previous film, The Hurt Locker.

The goal of these lawsuits is not necessarily to actually prove infringement in court, but to convince defendants to settle out of court, usually for sums of more than US$2,000.

The United States’ system is open to this kind of copyright trolling, because under US law, copyright owners do not have to prove that they have actually suffered any loss from the infringement. They can ask the court to award any amount from US$750 up to US$150,000.

In Australia, unlike in the US, copyright owners are only entitled to an amount that is proportionate to the fee a consumer should have paid. Only in cases of flagrant copyright infringement are courts allowed to award higher damages to either punish consumers or deter others from infringing.

Speculative invoicing pressures consumers to settle for amounts that can be wildly disproportionate to the harm they have caused. It’s an unfair practice that abuses the legal system.

It also causes real problems for consumers who are wrongly accused and face the difficult choice between an expensive legal battle or simply paying up to make the problem go away.

People, not criminals

For years now, we have seen some copyright owners demand exorbitant sums of money for downloads of music or movie files that would have cost A$30 or less to legitimately purchase or hire.

In this case, Justice Perram refused to allow copyright owners to demand substantial sums of money based on completely imaginary scenarios where users would negotiate a licence to share the movie over BitTorrent. His Honour called this “so surreal as to not be taken seriously”, and said any claims for payment must be firmly grounded in reality.

In this decision, we see internet users being treated as actual people instead of assumed criminals. This is important. So long as users are painted as faceless pirates, it is easy to justify the excessive fees demanded by copyright plaintiffs. A more realistic vision of users as ordinary consumers means that copyright payments must be more realistic too.

Looking ahead to reform

This case sets an important precedent for the future. Australian ISPs are close to agreeing to a new Industry Code that will make it easier for copyright owners to track down alleged copyright infringers.

This decision means Australian courts will be careful to scrutinise future claims made by copyright owners seeking to identify internet users associated with infringing downloads. It means consumers are protected from extortionate demands made by copyright owners.

Hopefully, the decision will help copyright owners focus on finding ways to offer Australians with quick, convenient, and reasonably priced ways to pay for content, rather than seeking to make money through litigation.

Even Voltage admit that copyright infringement is less about consumers and more about outdated distribution models. In an interview on Triple J earlier this year, Michael Wickstrom, Vice President of royalties and music administration at Voltage Pictures, said:

[…] the problem starts with the US distributors, because they purchase it for the US and everything else is driven around the US release date. I feel that if all the distributors were granted a day and date release, this would not be happening.

When we can have realistic release dates, I don’t think that the piracy numbers will be as much.

Time and again, Australians have shown they are willing to pay for reasonably priced and accessible content. Copyright owners who try to extort money from downloaders are going about this the wrong way.

This article originally appeared on the Conversation, where Kylie Pappalardo and Suzannah Wood also contributed.

Source: http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/what-now-after-the-dallas-buyers-club-pirate-claim-is-rejected-as-surreal/story-fnjwneld-1227486627107

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2015, 10:37:28 AM »


1. Round 3 (September 2015) has started. Here we go again >-(

2.  For those affected and need to know some updates from those victims who are in the Round 1 and Round 2, you may read the summarised postings here:  http://goo.gl/Lyz3x4

3. Victims in this Round 3 may choose to be part of our DBC-SG Private Support Group by:
(a) Following the steps outlined in this posting: http://dhz.us/-/dbcver
(b) Note that the step 5 and 5(ii) within the dbcver link is mandatory now

4. If you need real-time help, refer to DBC-SG Support Group Chat: http://dhz.us/-/dbchat

5. For victims (and now beneficiaries) of the DBC-SG Round 1 (April 2015) and Round 2 (June 2015) who are currently in the DBC-SG Private Support Group, please note that I have asked those affected in Round 3 but is going to DIY to reach out to you by posting in this thread (which is 'DBC-SG Public Support Group'). You are strongly encourage to reply them in private, ie. via the "Private Message" feature in this forum as SSLC scouts may drop by once in a while.

« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 03:02:56 PM by greentara »

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2015, 11:08:48 AM »

Offline yunim4991

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2015, 08:34:59 PM »
Hi everyone,

Can anyone who has benefited from Round 1 & 2 provide me with some advice on what to do next? I have just received the letter yesterday and I have to reply them in 3 days time. Anyone who can advice me on the reply please PM me. 

Thank you in advance.

Offline HWZ Caroline

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #38 on: October 02, 2015, 05:25:01 PM »
Yunim4991 and jeff89, please have yourself verified by Dr. Green. Advice is confidential to verified affected parties as this is part of the defence against speculative invoicing.

Kindly follow instructions in this link: dhz.us/-/dbcver

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2015, 06:33:40 PM »
"Copyright End User Infringement Workshop: A view from both sides of the fence" held on 11 July 2015

Synopsis: "What happens when innocent end users are accused of copyright infringement? Are the methods of targeting infringers accurate? Are the tactics used by copyright owners ethical? How can we protect both intellectual property and innocent internet users at the same time?

Many of these questions have been raised by the controversial actions of copyright owners (in properties such as the Dallas Buyers Club film) in enforcing their rights against end users that they have accused of infringement.

All these questions and more were covered in the new workshop on Sat 11 July 2015 : “Copyright End User Infringement: a view from both sides of the fence”

The panel of experts came from the fields of technology law, intellectual property and digital forensics, including
  • Isabella Ho, Director Legal at Razer
  • Byron Xavier, Corporate and Intellectual Property attorney, Xavier & Associates LLC
  • Wong Siew Hong, Intellectual Property Litigation partner, Eldan Law LLP
  • Darren Cerasi, Director of I-Analysis, expert in Digital Forensics, eDiscovery and Data Recovery

This cross-disciplinary panel took the audience through a hypothetical case study that shows both sides of a copyright infringement case."

Source: http://isoc.sg/new-workshop-copyright-end-user-infringement-a-view-from-both-sides-of-the-fence/

Seminar Information
Date and Time: 9.30 am – 12.30 pm on Sat 11  July 2015
Venue: Intelli.Asia Group, Level 3, 146 Robinson Road
Admission was Free for ISOC Members and early birds.


Offline Theshaman

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2015, 04:44:06 PM »
Received the letter and need some advice.. Can anyone help?

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2015, 07:09:21 PM »

Offline greentara

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #42 on: October 14, 2015, 07:14:51 PM »
For those who have received the SSLC letter, you have at least 4 options to consider:
  • Option 1: To join the DBC-SG Private Support Group: Verification is mandatory, see http://dhz.us/-/dbcver
  • Option 2: For those who prefer to DIY, you may join the DBC-SG Public Support Group where no verification is necessary, just need to register for an account here http://dhz.us/forum/index.php?action=admin;area=regcenter;sa=register and seek help from the beneficiaries/victims from the earlier rounds
  • Option 3: Another DIY option is to participate and get help from the Hardwarezone forum, specifically: http://goo.gl/7OBwlx
  • Option 4: Seek out other competent IP defense lawyer for advice (most lawyers charge $75 to $150 for each correspondence with SSLC, more if the reply from SSLC is complex to digest).

« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 10:35:07 PM by greentara »

Offline Nervous123

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #43 on: October 19, 2015, 10:34:37 PM »
The video posted above is great. I recommend it. It certainly gives me a lot of information to understand the whole thing and I am now much calmer and more informed than before.

Offline flyingace

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Re: 2015 Dallas Buyers Club - Singapore (Public Support Group)
« Reply #44 on: October 23, 2015, 01:03:31 AM »
I am required to respond very soon... how should i respond?
« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 11:55:12 AM by flyingace »