BSA dismisses AFACT loss, calls for code

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has dismissed the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft's (AFACT) failed Federal Court appeal against internet provider iiNet, saying it will not affect its counter-piracy operations.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has dismissed the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft's (AFACT) failed Federal Court appeal against internet provider iiNet, saying it will not affect its counter-piracy operations.

handshake

(Handshake image by Johnny Magnusson, public domain)

AFACT, which represents the world's biggest film studios, has failed twice in its legal tussle to have iiNet made responsible for stopping copyright infringement over its networks.

"I doubt very much the loss will affect us, our operations or our mission," BSA Australia co-chair Clayton Noble said.

The BSA is a similar pirate-fighter group to AFACT which represents software giants like Microsoft, IBM and Symantec. Should AFACT appeal and win its dispute with iiNet in the High Court, Noble said it would be a victory for the BSA cause.

AFACT executive director Neil Gane has argued strongly that telcos are the most logical and capable point to curb rampant online copyright infringement, yet they have failed to act.

Most Australian telcos have unanimously refuted this claim, and argue providers are mere conduits of online traffic comparable to the postal service.

Noble said the BSA favours a voluntary code of conduct inked between internet providers rather than court action.

Moreover, it appears that the BSA considers the AFACT approach a little rough.

"We want a consensual response that deals fairly with piracy. A code of practice is most effective here," Noble said.

He would not discuss the code in detail, but said it had been pitched to the "industry", but not internet providers.

Whatever the code may be, Noble said it will not be technology prescriptive, and could use some form of government input to "bring all parties together".

"We represent technology providers, and we know that technology changes. So we have to adapt."

Noble in July called for the creation of "specialised intellectual property enforcement units at the national and local level", which would provide dedicated resources to investigate and prosecute piracy.

However, Noble said today the call was geared to bolster law enforcement resources, rather than create a new branch of "copyright cops".

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