Illegal Movie Downloads – Is it you?

Illegal Movie Downloads – Is it you?

All of us at some point know someone that has told us about illegally downloading a movie via an internet site. It seems unfair for those of us who pay full price through iTunes but most of us just figure that the younger generation are smarter than us. A new Federal Court case sheds some light on the rights of the movie makers as owners of the copyright and those pesky downloaders. What happens when they get caught and how do they get caught? It seems from the evidence in the Dallas Buyers Club Movie (DBC) and a group of Internet Service Providers (ISP), including IINet, Internode and Dodo, that the fight continues. On 14 August the Federal Court gave an indication of the compensation copyright owners can expect to claim in future copyright breach matters and how the illegal downloaders might expect to receive a bill. What happened here was a digital investigator found 4,726 IP Addresses from which the DBC movie was illegally downloaded and shared on “Bit Torrent”. The owner sought a Court Order requiring the relevant ISP to provide details of the owners of the IP Addresses. To get an Order like this they had to demonstrate a right to obtain relief against potential Defendants, namely the ISP account holders. The judge ordered the ISP to provide this information but DBC had to provide the letter of demand to the account holders. The concern here was an unreasonable demand for the level of damages suffered from the copyright infringement. In terms of the amount of money the owner of the copyright intended to claim, the...

Electronic Signatures – Binding or Not- Part 2

Last week we talked about different methods of electronic signatures and why the process is important for binding agreements. This time we round off the discussion about how best to achieve the signing by law What are the obvious legal risks? There is a risk that the identity of the person using the private key is not accurate, or at least may be subject to a legal challenge. This would be similar to a situation where a handwritten signature is required and a person fraudulently signs the contract. There is no practical way to verify the person’s identity with one hundred percent certainty using digital signature tools. Arguably the biggest failing with digital signatures and public-key cryptography generally, is that they are dependent on the private key being kept secret. If the private key is exposed, it is open for someone to dispute that they were indeed the person who “digitally signed” a document. If a targeted cyber-attack or data breach exposed a private key, then it would have a cascading effect on the enforceability of digitally signed documents which depend upon that key. Accordingly, some may argue that this is also true for more traditional methods of signing, although there is certainly still a commonly held belief that wet ink signing trumps digital signatures in security – this is largely due to the fact that a wet ink signing can be witnessed and verified by another person also signing by a wet ink signing. To help reduce this risk, there have been a number of additional verification and authentication techniques made available to users. Most digital signature software...

Electronic Signatures – Binding or not? Part 1

It is a strange thing to find yourself increasingly challenged by the pace of change, and none greater than the impact of technology. People live in a very different way, than say 20 years ago, when I started this business, and the way we communicate with each other is fundamentally altered. We are under real pressure to respond faster, process more efficiently and create a platform of client interaction that meets the “what’s in it for me” requirement. We live in a smaller global community, events and the means to communicate have become easily accessible and barriers of distance and time zones have been removed. The way we conduct business transactions is also affected and the bridging of the international barrier has meant much of the mindset has fallen away. People see no issue with downloading agreements from different jurisdictions and using templates for negotiations in many different circumstances. This is regardless of the legal technicalities concerning enforcement if the deal goes bad and great caution should be exercised. Consider the types of transactions affected, the purchase of foreign goods or services on-line, a merger or takeover by a foreign company, property investments by non-Australian residents, contracts for Information Technology and multi-jurisdiction commodity agreements.  These are all regularly negotiated and confirmed using electronic documents and communications. It is all very well to have documents downloaded, but how do parties effectively sign them? Are electronic signatures in fact legally binding, and can they be used as evidence in court? The law of contracts formed through electronic means is a tricky area, so consider the following legal issues about electronic signatures....

New Crilly Lawyers Client Survey

Apart from wishing everybody an early Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year, we would like to take this opportunity to invite you to complete a short survey.   We think that it is more important than ever that we canvas your views on the types of services that you want and your attitude to risk and value. Even though we have a detailed knowledge in the law, it is the specific tailoring of your requirements within that framework that we really want to target. As an example, we have moved far more towards a fixed fee for a set list of deliverable items as a scope of work. This makes it easier for us to identify the limits of the instruction and for our clients to understand exactly what it is they can achieve as an outcome. Ask us about our fixed fee client agreement and please complete the below survey which should really only take about two minutes of your time. Note that the first four surveys will get a free bottle of French champagne as a bonus. Thanks very much, we look forward to the opportunity to act of your behalf.   Please take the time to complete our survey below, we would love to hear from you https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CrillySurvey...

Intellectual Property and Technology Updates 2015

This is probably the area that has been of greatest interest to us this year. The notion of “digital assets” as part of a personal estate or business assets has become very significant. Most older documents do not deal with these specific rights, whether they be password access to key accounts, saving of data or documents or photos within the cloud, or the administration of those rights should a person die or become disabled.   In addition, we think that is now more critical than ever for clients in their business to register and preserve their good will trading name by way of trade mark and domain name. given the substantial increase in online trading activity these assets take on far greater significance in the ultimate sale of a business as part of an exit strategy than ever before. Ask us how to quickly and easily register a trade mark in your circumstances.   In terms of changes to technology, we all sign up far too easily to terms and conditions of use of software whether it is online or as a subscriber elsewhere. The full impact of accepting those terms and conditions really need to be understood in the context of a change in the business, particularly if there is the introduction of new stakeholders. Ask us how to review those terms and conditions and do a risk analyst of the security aspects of your data, as we see this is the key area of the future for business to identify and protect...

The Ever Changing Landscape of the Law – Commercial Law 2015

We note there has been a significant change to franchising regulations and legislation this year and we would urge all clients to avail themselves of a review of their documentation in that regard.   The privacy act and regulations are of major interest to those clients who have a turnover of $3million or more, or expect to do so in the near future. Given that most small to medium enterprises are driven by collection and management of data, it will be a bigger concern for business owners in the future. Ask us how we can assist you with an assessment of disclosure and authority under the privacy act to ensure that your business complies now and in the future.   We also urge clients to consider very carefully the commercial trading terms and conditions. This might be as varied as the services contract with customers or your end user license terms if you provide services online. We always urge clients to consider the warranty and liability clauses that might apply in the extent of which they are covered by insurance. It is certainly worth a one hour review to keep pace with changes in technology.   We also urge clients to review their advertising and marketing procedures for their business to ensure that they comply with the competition and consumer legislation. Again it is often just a simple one hour review that can identify major issues that could be easily rectified by change in...