From the article:
In the US similar orders have led to customers receiving legal letters
alleging they could be liable for payments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars
unless they agree to out of court settlements, sometimes worth close to $10,000
My question is, how the copy right holder expects to justify $10k damages from an individual who downloaded the film?
Actual damages must be reasonable. Punitive damages must match the degree of intent.
So, if I download a movie, instead of buying the DVD, then what do I owe the copy right holder? His share of the royalties from a DVD which is already in the bargain bin? $1?
And what amount of profit could I intend to make, by allowing the data to be accessed by another user? With out intent to profit, punitive damages may be nominal, or non existent. Such damages are remote, and would not apply.
The copy right holder must go after the original source, not the end receiver, if they expect to collect any amount worth more than the cost of the paperwork.
I also think that the Justice is well aware of the precedents that could be set by his decision.
. . . Justice Perram stopped short of giving . . . . a license to start billing users whose computers were used to download or distribute their movie. . . .
. . . the rights holder would be prevented from making the ISPs’ customers details public . . .
. . . . any letters the company sent would first need to come across his desk . . .
"They are to submit to me a draft of any letter they propose to send to account holders associated with the IP addresses which have been identified," he said.