Feeds

iiNet wins High Court trial

AFACT says decision exposes 'failure of copyright law'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Updated Big Content has lost its appeal against the Federal Court's decision that iiNet did not infringe copyright when it ignored allegations of theft by its customers sent to it by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

The judgement summary (PDF) offers two reasons for the decision.

The first is that “iiNet had no direct technical power to prevent its customers from using the BitTorrent system to infringe copyright in the appellants' films. Rather, the extent of iiNet's power to prevent its customers from infringing the appellants' copyright was limited to an indirect power to terminate its contractual relationship with its customers.”

The second reason the court advanced is that “the information contained in the AFACT notices, as and when they were served, did not provide iiNet with a reasonable basis for sending warning notices to individual customers containing threats to suspend or terminate those customers' account”

That court therefore concluded that “... it could not be inferred from iiNet's inactivity after receiving the AFACT notices that iiNet had authorised any act of infringement of copyright in the appellants' films by its customers.”

iiNet CEO Michael Malone tweeted that his company has won the case against it in Australia's High Court. More to come as details emerge, after earlier saying he was "waiting nervously" for the decision.

AFACT has issued a statement in which it says the decision "exposes the failure of copyright law to keep pace with the online environment ..."

AFACT Managing Director Neil Gane therefore called for legislative change. “Both judgements in this case recognise that copyright law is no longer equipped to deal with the rate of technological change we have seen since the law of authorisation was last tested. They both point to the need for legislation to protect copyright owners against P2P infringements,” Gane said.

“The Judges recognise the significant rate of copyright infringement online and point to the fact that over half the usage of iiNet’s internet service by its customers (measured by volume) was represented by Bit Torrent file sharing which was known to be used for infringing activities,” he said.   “Now that we have taken this issue to the highest court in the land, it is time for Government to act.

Gane also said that in the "three years since the case commenced, legislators, regulators and courts around the world have mandated that ISPs must play a central role in preventing online copyright theft. Fortunately, many ISPs have come to the conclusion that being involved in online copyright protection is in their commercial interests. ISPs are becoming increasingly dependent on monetising legal content and therefore protecting its value.” ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?