Feeds

AFACT escalating threats against ISPs: reports

Talk loudly and carry a bigger stick

The essential guide to IT transformation

Australia’s “copyright versus the Internet” battle, which had become quiet as rights-holders prepared their High Court appeal against the iiNet trial decision, has flared in fine style, with rights-holders’ rep the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) escalating its threats against Internet service providers.

According to The Australian and Delimiter, AFACT is writing to ISPs demanding that they respond to its demands for actions within seven days.

With fine impartiality, the letter has been sent not only to Telstra and Optus, but even to ISPs whose customer agreements are more favourable to AFACT’s position, including Exetel, which already has provisions for issuing warnings and even disconnecting customers.

The rights-holders’ attack dog has so alienated Exetel that its boss has shown the letter to media, and describes the letter as “bullying”. The letter sets a deadline for this week for recipients to respond, and relies on comments made in the minority judgment in the most recent appeal in the iiNet case.

In the Roadshow Films Pty Limited v iiNet Limited appeal, the majority judgment dismissed the rights holders’ action against the ISP.

However, Justice Emmet wrote that the case may have succeeded, had rights-holders followed an acceptable procedure. This is described in paragraph 210 of the judgment, and can be summarized as requiring:

1. The ISP has been advised of the particulars of an infringement.

2. The rights-holder has requested specific action (including informing the customer of the allegation; inviting the customer to refute the allegation; a warning that service will be suspended if no response is received; a warning that if infringements continue the service will be terminated; and finally, termination of the service).

3. The evidence provided to the ISP should be “unequivocal and cogent” and presented in a way that allowed the ISP to independently check the assertions.

4. Provisions to reimburse the ISP for the cost of investigation, and indemnification against lawsuits from customers whose services are terminated by mistake.

In other words, the copyright holder can’t just throw accusations at ISPs and leave them to work out the truth of the matter: they have to put skin in the game.

El Reg comment: If you’re in the mood for an entirely unfounded speculation, here’s one: the news from barristers working on AFACT’s High Court appeal hasn’t been promising.

If its barristers had driven trucks through holes in the Federal Court appeal judgment, there would be no need for a parallel campaign. AFACT and its backers would need do nothing but sit back and wait for their next day in court, knowing that their position would be impregnable once the win was in hand.

In launching a pre-emptive campaign based on a minority verdict, AFACT invites the belief that the current advice from its barristers is “save what you can”. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.