This is the second part to the Dallas Buyers Club (DBC) LLC in Japan article. Here are the documents/translations I have received from a couple of people (Thank you). DBC_Japan_POA Japan_ISP_Page1 Japan_ISP_Page2_3
First, for my new readers (in Japan and elsewhere), I want to make it clear that I do not condone copyright infringement and suggest that if it is happening on your home/network, the activity should stop (and not start back up). Saying that, I certainly do NOT condone the actions of the Copyright Troll (DBC & others), which I see as a disgusting business model to legally extort money from people under the threat of a law suit (my opinion).
If you are one of the affected ISP subscribers – I suggest you take steps to stop the infringing activity by you, family members, roommates, or unknown personnel. I would document any unusual network activity you observed, as well as unknown/unauthorized computers that have used your network (if possible) during the period of alleged infringement. If you were running your WiFi Internet connection “Open,” I suggest you secure it with a password and don’t freely give it out.
The translated documents are an ISP Disclosure Request Form and an Inquiry Demand Form from DBC. The Inquiry Demand Form tells the ISPs that the copyright of DBC was violated and the attorney representing DBC in Japan (Hiroki Kawagishi), is requesting the identities of the ISP subscribers who were assigned the public IP address they recorded as infringing on a certain date/time. The stated reason for the request is to stop the infringement and to seek a settlement. The Disclosure Request Form informs the ISP subscriber that in accordance with Japanese law (Compensation-Law), a copyright holder is requesting your personal information based on an allegation of online copyright infringement. The ISP is asking the ISP subscriber for permission to release the following information (what Troll DBC is asking for).
- ISP subscriber name (who pays the ISP bill)
- ISP subscriber address
- ISP subscriber email addresses
- IP address used by the ISP subscriber (They already have this…)
- Cellular phone internet connection user discernment code that is linked to the violated data (not sure about this)
- SIM Card discernment number and information that has been transmitted through the cell phone internet services (Unknown…)
- Year, Month and Day /Time List of the violated information transmission (I assume they already have this…)
The ISP does note that even if an ISP subscriber does not consent to the release, the ISP may disclose this information in accordance with the law. They also ask the ISP subscriber to state a reason for non-consent. I would certainly make the non-lawyer suggestion that any ISP subscribers receiving this request NOT consent. Even if Troll/DBC is going to get the information, I would not make it easy for them. Here are some possible reasons for non-consenting ISP subscribers (“IF”applicable to you):
- I didn’t download/share the movie in question.
- I have not used any file sharing programs, such as BitTorrent to download/share the movie in question.
- At the time of the alleged infringement, I ran my WiFi Internet connection “Open,” and other people have used it. I do not know who downloaded/shared the movie in question. I have since secured my WiFi Internet connection and have ensured no infringing activity is occurring.
- I object to the release of my personal information based on the fact that the foreign entity, Dallas Buyers Club LLC, is what is known as a “BitTorrent Copyright Troll.” DBC is currently engaged in a large-scale abusive litigation campaign in the USA, where it has filed over 100 copyright infringement law suits (over 3000 people are affected) in which they threaten legal actions against ISP subscribers who do not pay a settlement demand of thousands of dollars. DBC has recently expanded its operation into Japan and makes only threadbare claims of infringement to obtain ISP subscriber/sender information to attempt to force settlements.
- In accordance with Article 4, Clause 3, of the Law Concerning the Limits of Liability for Damages of Specified Telecommunications Service Providers and the Right to Request Disclosure of Identification Information of the Senders, Dallas Buyers Club LLC, is prohibited from using “Sender” information (ISP subscriber) to “defame” or “disturbing tranquility of life.” Based on the well-established history of DBC law suits in the US, this is exactly what DBC will do in Japan. DBC will use the sender’s information to forward a settlement demand letter for thousands of Yen based only on the fact that the ISP subscriber pays the bill. DBC has conducted no additional investigative steps to try to determine if the ISP subscriber was the actual infringer. DBC has demonstrated this in the US and will threaten further legal action unless the ISP subscriber pays a settlement. As the legal costs of defending against such an allegation are more than simply settling, some innocent people will settle. According to one US lawyer representing copyright holders (Mike Meier), “roughly 30% of names turned over by ISPs are not those who actually shared or downloaded the videos.” This fact has not stopped DBC from sending settlement demand letters to ALL US ISP subscribers they can identify – claiming that they are the infringer and need to pay a settlement of thousands of dollars.
Now there is no guarantee that the ISP subscriber information will not be released, but I feel this is better than doing nothing at all. As the Japanese ISPs do not know the Trolls, they may find it is easier for them to simply give up the information and not fight. This may change if over time the number of Troll requests for ISP subscriber information increases. Time is money and the ISPs may start to feel the effect in terms of increased costs and loss of employee man-hours in handling these requests. If Japan works out to be a Troll-friendly location, I would expect an increase in activity after the Trolls/Anti-Piracy Management Company (APMC) find new clients (Copyright owners of movies, TV shows, etc.) in which Japanese IP addresses are downloading/sharing. As this is a business model designed to make money cheaply and easily under the guise of copyright protection, it does have the potential to explode in Japan.
Now I have not seen anything that shows any copyright infringement law suits have been filed by DBC in Japan. The current activity appears to be the initial Troll actions to obtain ISP subscriber information as easily as possible. I suspect that some sort of settlement demand letter to the ISP subscribers will be the next step. One thing I did note in the previous section about Japanese copyright law is that in accordance with Article 4 Clause 3 of the Law Concerning the Limits of Liability for Damages of Specified Telecommunications Service Providers and the Right to Request Disclosure of Identification Information of the Senders, the Troll is prohibited from using the ISP subscriber information to “defame” or disturb the “tranquility” of the ISP subscriber. This could get the Troll in trouble.
(3) Any person who received disclosed identification information of the sender in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (1) shall not, by indiscriminately using said identification information, unduly commit any act defaming said sender or disturbing tranquility of life.
So now we wait and see what the involved parties do. For those of you involved, please send me copies of the settlement demand letters when they start to arrive. I will make sure they are redacted and no personal information is disclosed. I’m not sure if DBC will take anyone to trial, but I really doubt it based on their previous history in the US.
DieTrollDie :) “Guard your honor. Let your reputation fall where it will. And outlive the bastards.” [Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign]