Australian Court: ISPs are not Copyright Police

February 24, 2011 -

This is good news or bad news depending on your perspective and if you live in Australia: the Federal Court of Australia dismissed a case this week brought by the movie industry about the role of internet service providers in the fight against copyright infringement. This report on Ars Technica details the drama leading up to the court battle. Lawyers for industry argued that ISPs in the country must take action against file-sharers who are accused of infringement by copyright holders. The case was against ISP iiNet, and was an appeal of the original judgment in the matter, which also went against rightsholders. The appeal was heard by a three-judge panel.

In 2008, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) hired a company to monitor BitTorrent networks for infringement. The company compiled a list of iiNet IP addresses sharing allegedly copyrighted films and then sent the list on to iiNet, with a demand that it take action against subscribers using those IP addresses.

Leroy Parkinson of iiNet responded by telling the company to promptly direct its allegations to 'the appropriate authorities.' He also made note of several entries that didn't make a lot of sense that were included in the spreadsheet.

After several back-and-forth emails, Parkinson basically told AFACT direct his complaint to the proper authorities. Roadshow Films, whose movies were being shared, decided to sue iiNet on the grounds that the ISP was authorizing copyright infringement. After two hearings it seems the courts did not agree with its claims.

iiNet CEO Michael Malone said in a statement after the new ruling that the best defense against copyright infringement for movie companies is more legitimate outlets for content: "We urge the Australian film industry to address the growing demand for studio content to be delivered in a timely and cost effective manner to consumers and we remain eager to work with them to make this material available legitimately," he said.

Electronic Frontiers Australia congratulated iiNet and complimented the company for "putting up a strong defense against copyright owners in a context where—worldwide—Internet companies and legislators have buckled under industry pressure."

You can read an excellent blow-by-blow account of the ruling and the events that led to the court case at Ars Technica.


Comments

Re: Australian Court: ISPs are not Copyright Police

I'd imagine the kind of people who think this is bad news don't spend a lot of time reading GP.  Good job, iiNet.  I always knew Aussies were cool, deep down.  ;)

 
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james_fudgeNot only did we not write one, we didn't cover any of them either.09/18/2014 - 11:46am
KronoThe underlying suggestion most of the articles had that gamers supporting the issue were just the young men stereotype pissed off a lot of people, and sparked the #NotYourShield tag09/18/2014 - 9:41am
Krono@andrew Just two? The whole reason #GamerGate gained real traction was that 9 op-eds including arguments to that effect dropped in 24 hours: http://markdownshare.com/view/a524affd-e679-40be-8aa1-72058065dc2a09/18/2014 - 9:38am
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ConsterAh yes, nothing quite says "I take offense to being associated with an awful few" like siding with said awful few.09/18/2014 - 9:07am
Michael ChandraSo be smart, and if you want to be part of the good guys, separate yourself from the bad guys. Don't attack those upset you won't.09/18/2014 - 6:30am
Michael ChandraMeanwhile, Gamergate is tainted and wise people already use a different tag to defend decent arguments. Keeping it up is like going #KKK while arguing about PoC.09/18/2014 - 6:30am
Michael ChandraSo while claiming to be unfairly attacked for the actions of a selected few, you unfairly attack an entire crowd for the actions of a selected few? #notagamer #butahater09/18/2014 - 6:30am
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NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
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quiknkoldI'm not going to Sell Gamergate anymore. It can sell itself. But I will sell the integrity of the Gamer. That we are still good people, who create and donate to charitys, Who engage with those around us and just want to have a good time.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldpeople should not be harrassed and punished for the actions of a few. I've always welcomed and accepted everybody who wanted to join in. Who wanted to make them, or play them. I love good strong female protagonists, and want more.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldOne of the tennants of Gamergate is to stand up against Harrassment. That Gamers arent like those assholes. We can argue for days if the Sexism or Antifeminism or corruption is there or not, But the one thing I believe in and wear on my sleave is that09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
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quiknkoldManchildren who are awful people and that the Identity of the Gamer should die. This hurt me personally. I've always identified as a Gamer. Even in my childhood years, I was a Gamer. All my friends are Gamers. Its one of the core parts of my identity.09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
 

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