Letter sets out Dallas Buyers Club demands

As revealed in court yesterday, the Dallas Buyers Club rights holders don’t intend to include a dollar figure in letter sent to alleged downloaders

Despite an attempt by lawyers representing Dallas Buyers Club LLC to keep them confidential, a draft letter and telephone script reveals how the owner of 2013 movie Dallas Buyers Club intends to push for alleged pirates to settle with the company.

The letter and phone script will be used when contacting people whose IP addresses were allegedly linked to illicit downloads of the movie.

Yesterday lawyers representing DBC LLC requested that the court keep private details of the drafts, arguing that if the final versions differed to the drafts then people contacted by DBC LLC could be confused.

The judge presiding over the court battle, which has involved DBC LLC seeking the details of customers of a number of ISPs including iiNet, declined to supress the evidence.

Computerworld Australia has a request pending with the court to obtain access to the letter and script. However, Mashable today published drafts of the letter and phone script it obtained.

The draft letter sets out DBC LLC’s use of German company Maverick Eye to obtain the IP addresses involved in uploading and downloading the film using BitTorrent.

“An IP Address is a unique number sequence that can identify the ‘address’ of an account holder who has access to the Internet via, and an account with, an internet service provider (ISP),” the letter states.

The letter states that DBC and parent company Voltage Pictures “consider that the accessing and use of the BitTorrent Network is a planned and calculated means by which people knowingly obtain movies and music illegally.”

The letter includes details of the court order granting preliminary discovery.

If the recipient of the letter denies downloading the film the letter asks for a response including “details of the person whom you believe engaged in Piracy”.

If the recipient doesn’t name another person, it warns of potential court proceedings.

If the recipient admits to illicitly downloading the film, the letter says that DBC will settle with them as long as they delete any unauthorised copies of the film, sign an undertaking that they will no longer engage in infringing DBC’s copyright and contacts the company to discuss a financial settlement.

The company indicated in court yesterday that it did not want to include a dollar amount in the letter. Instead how much it will be willing to settle for will be based on a number of factors.

As outlined in court, the draft telephone script includes questions about the letter recipient’s annual income and use of BitTorrent, both of which will be factors when it comes to working out a settlement.

The method that the company will use to determine how much it will seek from an individual subscriber is likely to remain secret.

At the request of Justice Perram, who is presiding over the case, DBC LLC will submit the methodology to him and to the ISPs' lawyers. Details of the methodology will be suppressed, however.

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