|Dallas Buyers Club Pirate Agrees to Pay $14,000, But Why?
Posted: 12 Nov 2014 12:55 PM PST
Movie studio Voltage Pictures is no stranger to suing BitTorrent users.
The company has pioneered mass-BitTorrent lawsuits in the United States and is estimated to have made a lot of money doing so.
Most of these cases end up being settled for an undisclosed amount. This is usually a figure around $3,500, which is what the company offers in their settlement proposals. However, this week we stumbled upon something bigger.
A few days ago a federal court in Oregon handed down a hefty judgment against a person who shared a copy of Dallas Buyers Club via BitTorrent. The order is a so-called consent judgment, the terms of which are agreed by both parties, for the sum of $14,000.
“A Money Judgment in favor of plaintiff Voltage Pictures, LLC and Dallas Buyers Club, LLC and against defendant DOE-184.108.40.206 is awarded the sum of $14,000.00. This figure includes costs, fees and damages,” the order (pdf) reads.
The amount is unusually high for a consent judgment especially since the defendant, who remains anonymous, hired a proper attorney. If others get the option to settle for $3,500 or less, why would this person agree to pay four times as much?
It’s safe to assume that the defendant in this case never got the option for a cheaper settlement and a good look at the original complaint may explain why. As it turns out, the movie makers collected a whole lot more dirt on the defendant.
In an attempt to beef up their case, the movie studio compiled a list of 118 titles (pdf) that were shared by the defendant’s IP-address. This includes several TV-show episodes including Game of Thrones, as well as popular movies, software and music titles.
“As can be seen from Exhibit 1, defendant is a prolific proponent of the BitTorrent distribution system advancing the BitTorrent economy of piracy,” they wrote in their complaint.
First page of exhibit 1
This is not the only consent judgment won by Dallas Buyers Club recently. In a similar case in Oregon the company obtained $7,500 from another avid BitTorrent user who shared more than hundred other titles as well.
Apparently, Voltage and Dallas Buyers Club LCC have found a rather effective way to increase settlement fees. TF asked Dallas Buyers Club’s attorney for a comment on the varying amounts, but we have yet to hear back.
In any case, pirates are warned: Anything you download or share may be used against you in a court of law.