ViewQwest: 500 Singaporeans being demanded for compensation from Oscar winning movie

1If you think you are safe to illegally download via torrents, think again. Latest news from Straits Times mention that more than 500 people in Singapore have allegedly downloaded Oscar-winning film Dallas Buyers Club illegally over the Internet, and now they may have to face the consequences. The law is really clamping on torrents as mentioned in the news since last year.

United States company Dallas Buyers Club LLC, which owns the film rights, wants compensation.

Acting on its behalf in Singapore – as part of its global campaign – is local law firm Samuel Seow Law Corporation.

The film studio has apparently identified more than 500 Singapore IP addresses – from subscribers of the three major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Singtel, StarHub and M1 – where the movie was illegally downloaded.

Over the weekend, the law firm reportedly started sending letters to Internet users here asking for a written offer of damages and costs within three days of receiving the letter. It is not known how many have responded to the letter.

The 2013 film is based on the true story of an American’s quest to treat HIV in the mid-1980s. It won three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Matthew McConaughey and Best Supporting Actor for Jared Leto.

Intellectual property lawyer Cyril Chua of ATMD Bird & Bird said that the film studio may sue a few individuals here to scare people into paying the settlement fee, which is not made public.

Lawyer Bryan Tan, a technology partner at Pinsent Masons MPillay, said that those who received the letters of demand should seek legal advice.

“There are penalties for infringers if this goes all the way,” he said.

So a word of caution to all, please support the movie industry by purchasing original content. A cheaper alternative is to stream genuine content from Netflix or Hulu Plus. Thanks to ViewQwest, Im starting my streaming journey of genuine content. You can make the change too!

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