Telstra, Optus users safe with Dallas Buyers Club downloads

ONLINE pirates on the Telstra and Optus networks can breathe easy for now, while those downloading illegal copies of movies over iiNet and smaller providers may soon receive an invoice for up to $5000 if an unusual legal case in the Federal Court is successful.  

The copyright owner of the Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club has brought its fierce legal battle against online pirates to Australia in the way of a legal "preliminary discovery", hoping the court will force internet providers to cough up the names and details associated with IP addresses it says infringed its copyright.   

Dallas Buyers Club LLC - the film rights holder - is seeking user details from iiNet, its subsidiaries Adam Internet and Internode, as well as Dodo and Amnet Broadband, but not Telstra or Optus. If granted, the action - seldom used in copyright cases - could be the first step in further lawsuits.  

An Optus spokeswoman said the telco was not part of the proceedings. It is understood to have received a letter from the same lawyers demanding details of subscribers, but declined to reveal them without a court order and received no further correspondence.  

A Telstra spokeswoman said it was not contacted by Dallas Buyers Club and had no opinion on why it had been excluded from the sweep.