Have you been a naughty person online? Maybe you downloaded a little something you shouldn’t have once or twice? Maybe you’re really bad and do it on the reg.
Well Aussie film distributor, Village Roadshow, has had enough of your shit and is now looking to sue individual content pirates. That’s you.
At the company’s half-yearly financial results presentation to investors, they announced a five-point program for stopping piracy. Sounds ominous.
Along with the piss-weak blocking of popular torrenting websites like The Pirate Bay, they would also like to work with Google to make sure page rankings for piracy websites are demoted. They also want to ensure the availability of legal alternatives and push a “major PR campaign” to educate users.
During the presentation, Village Roadshow referenced the aforementioned site block as a roaring success, despite the extreme ease with which it can be circumvented. A total of 61 domain names have already been blocked by ISPs, with a further 40 websites in their targets.
But in the wake of the Dallas Buyers Club clusterfuck, it’s fair to say pirates have been undeterred.
For those with terrible memories, the makers of Dallas Buyers Club pursued nearly 5,000 Australians who had illegally downloaded the film with a dodgy scare-tactic called speculative invoicing.
The aim was to squeeze unfair amounts of compensation out of them with the threat of legal action, but the Federal Court saw this as “wholly unrealistic” and would only allow the company to recoup the cost of purchasing the film legally.
Dallas Buyers Club decided that it wasn’t worth their effort and left it right there.
Knowing just how shitty this worked out for DBC, why the heckin’ frick would Village Roadshow want to do the same thing? Intellectual property lawyers reckon the publicity from the case will drive people away from the pirate’s life.
They’ll keep the monetary recovery amount low to get it through the courts, but the aim isn’t cash, it’s to scare the living shit out of illegal pirates.
Will it work? Hard to say. Would you be scared if you received a letter demanding a semi-reasonable amount of money?
Either way, VPN stocks are looking pretty enticing right about now.
Photo: Motion Picture Association.