AFACT to take iiNet case to high court

AFACT to take iiNet case to high court

Summary: The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) announced that it will continue its legal battle against internet service provider (ISP) iiNet over copyright infringement, seeking leave to appeal its case to the High Court.

SHARE:
5

The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) announced that it will continue its legal battle against internet service provider (ISP) iiNet over copyright infringement, seeking leave to appeal its case to the High Court.

The court case started back in November 2008 when 34 parties represented by AFACT, including Australian and US film companies and the Seven Network, lodged a high-profile copyright infringement and internet content piracy case against iiNet. The hearing of the case commenced in the Federal Court a year later, in October 2009. iiNet won that case, with Justice Dennis Cowdroy ruling that iiNet had not authorised its customers to infringe on copyright.

In February, two judges of the Federal Court dismissed an appeal by AFACT. However, AFACT today announced it was ready to appeal to the High Court.

AFACT executive director Neil Gane spoke on behalf of the film companies he represented, saying that they would try to overturn the Federal Court's ruling.

"The Full Federal Court unanimously found that iiNet had the power to prevent the infringements of its users from occurring and that there were reasonable steps it could have taken, including issuing warnings," he said.

At the last appeal, two out of three judges of the Federal Court said iiNet did not authorise the infringements; but Gane said the judges had been mistaken. "Two judges of the Full Court went on to find that iiNet had not authorised the infringements of its users and that is what we are appealing," Gane said. "We say they did not apply the legal test for authorisation correctly."

AFACT said that when the film companies launched their legal action against the ISP in 2008, it had started a five-month investigation, the results of which were being sent on a weekly basis to iiNet with notifications of infringements happening on its network.

"In response to the Full Court's conclusion that iiNet did not have sufficient knowledge of the infringements to authorise them, the film companies will argue that iiNet did have sufficient knowledge, that it admitted the acts of infringement and that its CEO admitted on the stand that the evidence was 'compelling'," he said.

Topics: Legal, Government AU, Telcos

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

Talkback

5 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Using the court's & AFACT's logic any vehicle manufacturer who's products are capable of exceeding the speed limit has authorised drivers to break the law, considering they "have the power to prevent the infringements of its users from occurring"
    grump3
  • Humm.... What is next... the power company also had the power to stop iinet and the people commiting the offence...... Get real ...it looks like lawyers are pushing their own point here... imagen, class action left right and center...."they... the power to prevent ...... of its users from occurring".....

    lets hope common sense prevails,
    go hard iinet !
    hard2blive
    • You never know. They might next take on the US Department of Defence for developing the ARPANET, that originally developed inter-network computer communications, and assisted in the development of TCP/IP.

      Why mess about with one ISP, when you can take on the Internet?
      dmh_paul
  • It's a particularly good analogy, Grump3, and I believe the reason why iiNET was ignoring the notices to such an extent.
    laminat0r
  • If, instead of wasting all these legal fees, the companies making up AFARCE would lower their distribution prices, then piracy levels would naturally drop.

    Australia Post is not held liable when someone sends letter bombs.
    Treknology