Feeds

Wikileaked cable: AFACT was MPAA’s cat’s-paw

Pope turns out to be Catholic

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A second cable discussing the “world+dog vs. iiNet” court case has emerged on Wikileaks, confirming the widespread suspicion in Australia that Hollywood was behind both the action and the choice of target.

Running just slightly ahead of the last one, this cable was actually classified (“Confidential”, the lowest tier in US secrecy classifications); and of interest is its confirmation that the “prime mover” in the case was the Motion Picture Association of America.

The cable, attributed to US ambassador to Australia at the time Robert McCallum, states that “despite the lead role of AFACT … this is an MPAA / American studios production.”

However, the MPAA and its international operation (the Motion Picture Association, dropping the second “A” into the discard pile) lacked any Australian presence, so AFACT filed the case as “MPAA’s Australian subcontractor”. The cable reports that the MPAA also wanted to avoid any perception that this action was just “Hollywood ‘bullying some poor little Australian ISP’.”

A scan of headlines from the time shows how unsuccessful this exercise in perception management turned out to be: Australian news outlets have identified AFACT as acting on behalf of Hollywood since 2009.

Moreover, the cable confirms what iiNet and others have long suspected: Hollywood’s choice of target reflected iiNet’s Goldilocks status. iiNet was just right: Telstra is large, loud, litigious, and possessed of significant lobbying experience; too small a target, and the case risked inviting the “bullying” perception that the MPAA was keen to avoid.

And why Australia? The cable cites Mike Ellis, president of the MPA’s Asia Pacific operation, as saying that the case would be “closely followed” in other Commonwealth countries – in effect, the MPA and MPAA was hoping that a precedent in Australia would serve as a lever to use on other Commonwealth countries.

“We will watch this case as it unfolds”, the cable says, “for its IPR implications and also to see whether or not the ‘AFACT vs. the local ISP’ featured attraction spawns a ‘giant American bullies vs. little Aussie battlers’ sequel.” ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.