Feeds

ISPs facing global clamp down on piracy

Service providers told to up their game in spite of court win for Oz ISP

The essential guide to IT transformation

Why the iiNet case matters

The iiNet case commenced in 2008, when the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), a body that numbers Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Walt Disney Pictures, Sony Pictures and Paramount among its members, commissioned a company to investigate iiNet users' online behaviour.

The investigation saw a customised BitTorrent client used to track behaviour and AFACT used the data gathered through this method to compile substantial dossiers describing alleged copyright infringement that it sent to iiNet every week for more than a year.

iiNet did nothing with these dossiers, but did suggest to AFACT that handing them to the Police sounded like a good idea.

AFACT eventually decided to initiate legal action, which it said was the only sensible thing to do given iiNet's intransigence.

That action was widely interpreted as bullying, as when the case reached Australia's Federal Court in 2009 iiNet was a junior telco. While it may have had nearly half a million subscribers, that was well short of the several million enjoyed by Australia's two dominant telcos, Optus and Telstra. The latter owns a third of Australia's sole pay television provider, making a legal battle with Hollywood commercial poison. The former also distributes content, even if it too is embroiled in copyright controversy.

The case was therefore assumed to be a case of deep-pocketed content players picking on someone without the ability to muscle up in a protracted legal battle, in the hope of scoring a precedent it could use elsewhere.

That tactic has now backfired three times, as iiNet won the original case and two AFACT-initiated appeals. The latest failure, in Australia's High Court, cannot be appealed.

AFACT is now painting the decision as proof Australia's Copyright Act needs revision, an idea the Court itself mentions in the judgement, which says “The history of the [Copyright] Act since 1968 shows that the Parliament is more responsive to pressures for change to accommodate new circumstances than in the past. Those pressures are best resolved by legislative processes rather than by any extreme exercise in statutory interpretation by judicial decisions.”

Big Content may get the precedent it wanted after all. ®

With Simon Sharwood

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
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'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.