AFACT to claw back iiNet court costs

AFACT to claw back iiNet court costs

Summary: The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has commenced court proceedings to recoup some of the costs of its recent copyright court loss against internet service provider iiNet.


The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has commenced court proceedings to recoup some of the costs of its recent copyright court loss against internet service provider iiNet.

Earlier this month, Federal Court Justice Dennis Cowdroy awarded all court costs to iiNet when he found that the ISP could not have authorised its customers' file sharing. iiNet today reported that total court costs incurred to date was $5.7 million.

AFACT has stated its intention to retrieve costs for portions of the case which iiNet had either conceded during the court battle or had been rejected by Cowdroy.

AFACT spokesperson Rebecca Tabakoff pointed out that iiNet had early in the proceedings conceded that its customers had shared — or more specifically uploaded via file-sharing clients such as BitTorrent — copyrighted material that was owned by AFACT's members. She said this was one area of the case AFACT would attempt to recoup costs that were awarded to iiNet.

"[iiNet] spent a lot of time in the lead up to the trial not conceding that their customers had infringed copyright," she told "The judge awarded all costs against applicants but iiNet was not successful on all fronts."

iiNet had also had a line of defence rejected by the judge — that even if the court found iiNet had authorised its customer's breaches, sections of the Telecommunications Act dealing with customer privacy would have prevented it from following AFACT's request that the ISP forward its breach notifications to customers. AFACT would see if it could also get costs back in that area, according to Tabakoff.

However, she said these two arguments were not an exhaustive list of portions of the case it would fight to recoup costs for.

Cowdroy had also, for example, rejected iiNet's argument that Section 112E of the Copyright Act would have prevented a finding of authorisation. Broadly speaking, the section states that carriers that provide facilities to communicate are not taken to have authorised any infringement just because someone used it that way.

A directions hearing has been set in the Federal Court for 25 February — the date that AFACT must lodge an appeal if it decides to take the matter to the High Court. The company has not yet decided if it will take that action.

Topics: Telcos, Government AU, Legal

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Petty

    That seems rather petty to me....
  • Keep the bill running ...

    Hopefully the breakdown of any legal time will show minimal effort spent on those points not able to be claimed ... and then add on a huge charge for time itemisation.

    Should send AFACT a lesson - trying to take on iiNet as a fish too small to fight, but big enough to pay ... or so they thought.

    Funny, for a company represent media & spin they sure got this wrong from a public support POV.
  • ....

    Once again just goes to show how F'ed up our laws are and the world in gerneral.


  • Oh Well

    Basic rule of law practice. Take on the smallest guy you think you can win against, so that you put them out of business even if they do win, and scares the bejeezus out of the big guys so they pay up. The last person you ever take on is someone with equally deep pockets. This just shows why they went after them instead of Telstra or Optus.
  • AFACT even try to scam their way out of their own responsibilities

    Yeah lie, cheat and scheme to force your market monopoly upon everyone - and when it blows up in your face - run away crying, "Oh it's not fair - we shouldn't have to pay".

    Weasels..... kick them out the front door - all the way to the gutter where they belong.
  • I'm not a genius but..

    Acording to the AFACT press release:

    "Australia’s copyright industries are the 3rd largest contributors as a percentage of GDP
    in the world, second only to the US and UK.

    In 2006/07 they contributed 10.3% GDP to Australia’s economy [up 66% since 1996],
    represented 8% of our employment and generated 4.1% of total exports.

    The film and TV industry in Australia alone contributed $4.4 billion to GDP and supports
    50,000 jobs, including small businesses under threat from movie and TV piracy, and
    independent cinemas, video rental stores and film and television producers across the

    I'm not sure how 50,000 jobs in areas not even related to AFACT could amount to 8% of employment in Australia.

    And don't get me started on GDP.. if only our politicians were as good at delivering these results!
  • Wow...

    It's not like we needed any more reason to hate AFACT, but it sure is nice of them to give us more. I can see censure coming for them wasting the Court's time with frivolous actions.
  • Not bad

    They're not doing too badly, then, considering everything they must be losing due to "piracy". Imagine if they "fixed" the problem... they'd have to be up around the 100% mark!!

    Well they HAD to lose at some point!
    They (and their predessors AFVSO) have used legal proceeding to crush many small operators without the financial muscle to fight them.
    They don't deserve
  • The RIAA and MPAA even scam thir own.

    AFACT - they are so crooked even their bogus PR campaign is a lie. [] [],0,4051564.story []
    Jahm Mittt