JOURNAL OF BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP & THE LAW
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Film Piracy: Surfing the Internet for Free Content Provides Little Bounty for the Collective Economy

Film Piracy: Surfing the Internet for Free Content Provides Little Bounty for the Collective Economy

This Note focuses on the protection of a copyright holder against infringement in the form of film piracy. It centers on the recent litigation surrounding Dallas Buyers Club, a biographical film articulating the life and events surrounding an AIDS patient, diagnosed in the mid-1980s, who pursued experimental treatments by smuggling pharmaceuticals into the United States. In 2013, more than 4,700 Australian Internet users allegedly downloaded the film within the span of one month. In August of 2015, an Australian federal court declared that the studio behind the film would need to post a $600,000 bond before it could send letters to thousands of Australian Internet users demanding damages. The decision creates a hurdle for studios and production companies, which have been accused of “speculative invoicing.” This Note uses Dallas Buyers Club as a starting point to discuss the effects of film piracy and the issue of speculative damages as they pertain to 17 U.S.C. § 504, which addresses damages and profits surrounding copyright infringement. Moreover, this Note addresses the overall depreciation of the international economy resulting from a lack of efficient enforcement of copyright law, which stifles tax revenue and job creation.

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