iiNet seeks details of P2P monitoring system in piracy case

ISP wants time to analyse the Maverick Eye software used to come with a list of IP addresses linked to unauthorised downloads of Dallas Buyers Club

iiNet today sought to delay a court hearing on a motion to force the Internet service provider to reveal details of customers associated with particular IP addresses.

The ISP is challenging an attempt by Dallas Buyers Club, LLC to obtain the details of iiNet customers associated with IP addresses that DBC claims downloaded copies of the 2013 US film Dallas Buyers Club.

iiNet along with Dodo, Wideband Networks, Amnet Broadband, and iiNet subsidiaries Adam Internet and Internode are listed as prospective respondents in the case.

The first directions hearing of the case was held this morning in the Federal Court in Sydney before Justice Perram.

iiNet has sought details of the software system — called 'Maverick' at today's hearing — used by DBC to generate a list of IP addresses involved P2P downloads of Dallas Buyers Club.

Those details have now been provided to the ISP but iiNet's lawyers say that it has not yet had time to digest the technical aspects of the system.

Prospective court dates in early and mid-December were too soon, lawyers acting on behalf of iiNet argued. "The consideration of the Maverick system ... may be able to be done in a couple of weeks — I just don't know," iiNet's lawyer argued.

iiNet began receiving letters from DBC in May 2013, but then there was a hiatus according to iiNet, demonstrating there wasn't a "screaming urgency" in the case. Scheduling conflicts for the lawyers involved would also hinder the ISP.

Lawyers representing DBC objected to further delays.

Justice Perram set February 5 and 6 next year for a hearing on DBC's motion to produce. Two further directions hearings will be held in coming weeks: One on the security for costs to be lodged by DBC for the trial and another on the potential cross-examination of a witness for the plaintiff from the German Maverick Eye anti-P2P firm.

"I should disclose, I have seen the film," the judge said.

DBC initiated the court action in October. iiNet has said it objects to so-called "speculative invoicing", which it says involves a rights holder attempts "sending intimidating letters of demand to subscribers seeking significant sums for an alleged infringement".

A number of lawsuits relating to unauthorised downloads of Dallas Buyers Club have been filed by the movie's studio, Voltage, in the US.

iiNet was previously embroiled in a copyright-related court case brought against it by a number of movie studios. The lengthy court process, which began in 2009 and concluded in 2012, resulted in a High Court victory for the ISP.

Reversing the outcome of that trial has been an explicit goal of Attorney-General George Brandis. The government has outlined a range of proposed changes to how online copyright enforcement functions in Australia in order to crack down on piracy.

Updated 13 November to clarify the role of iiNet in the case.

Follow Rohan on Twitter: @rohan_p

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