Matthew McConaughey’s 'Dallas Buyers Club' drops two-year lawsuit against iiNet ‘pirates’

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Matthew McConaughey, best actor winner for his role in "Dallas Buyers Club," poses with his Oscar backstage at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014. Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

The copyright holders of "Dallas Buyers Club" (DBC) have dropped their two-year-long piracy court case against nearly 5,000 iiNet customers who illegally downloaded the film, starring Matthew McConaughey, between 2013 and 2015.

Marque Lawyers, the firm representing DBC, confirmed yesterday that they would not be pursuing further legal action following the block of its final bid against the Internet service provider last year.

In December 2015, Justice Perram of the Federal Court rejected DBC’s request to be provided with the personal contact details of the offending customers in order to seek financial compensation.

Justice Perram had set the deadline for DBC’s appeal against his ruling for Thursday at noon, however the film’s copyright holders have finally decided to end their battle against iiNet.

"It's certainly a disappointing outcome for them,” Michael Bradley, a managing partner at Marque Lawyers, told ITNews.

“It doesn't do anything to mitigate the infringement that's going on - it's not a particularly satisfactory outcome from that point of view.”

Dallas Buyers Club is set in 1985 and follows the story of Dallas man Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) after he is diagnosed with AIDS.

After being given only 30 days to live, a desperate Woodroof discovers an HIV treatment undergoing clinical trials, and joins with other patients to illegally acquire the drug.

McConaughey won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture for his portrayal of the racist and homophobic Ron Woodroof in 2013.

DBC’s lawyers were originally seeking claims for “punitive damages”, including the cost of a single copy of the film and “an amount based on each person who had accessed the uploaded film”.

However, after ruling that the requested damage costs were unrealistic, Justice Perram argued that “some finality” must be brought to the proceedings.

Given that DBC failed to appeal the decision before the deadline, the case has now been officially terminated.

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