Singtel receives court order to release some 150 customer details

Singtel receives court order to release some 150 customer details

SINGAPORE - Out of more than 500 people who allegedly downloaded Oscar-winning film Dallas Buyers Club illegally over the Internet, more than 150 subscribed to Singtel, The Straits Times reported on Wednesday.

According to a statement from the Internet Service Provider (ISP), it has been issued a formal court order to disclose the identities of those subscribers, and must do so by end of this month.

Here is the statement in full, according to a Singtel spokesperson:

"In October 2014, Singnet received a letter from Dallas Buyers Club LLC's lawyers, alleging that some of Singnet's subscribers had illegally downloaded the film Dallas Buyers Club and requested that we provide the identities of some 150 plus of our subscribers. Singnet refused to provide them such information as we believed we had a duty to protect the confidential information of our customers.

"When the matter went before the courts, Singnet appointed external counsel to represent us. At court our lawyers highlighted our legal obligations to keep our customers' information confidential and requested the court to consider if the evidence provided by the Dallas Buyers Club was sufficiently detailed and clear to support their claims of infringement for purposes of compelling Singnet to disclose our subscribers' identities.

"Singnet has now been issued a formal court order which compels Singnet by law to disclose the identities of those subscribers. Singnet must provide the information to DBC LLC by the end of April 2015."

Local law firm Samuel Seow Law Corporation is acting on behalf of the United States company Dallas Buyers Club, which owns the film rights.

The firm has apparently identified more than 500 Singapore IP addresses - from subscribers of the three major Internet service providers (ISPs) Singtel, StarHub and M1.

Over the weekend, the law firm reportedly started sending letters to Internet users here asking for a written offer of damages and costs within three days of receiving the letter.

It is not known how many have responded to the letter, The Straits Times reported.

candicec@sph.com.sg

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