The Internet Industry Association (IIA) will be holding its own legal briefing to discuss the ramifications of the conclusion of the AFACT vs. iiNet trial, calling its judgement "one of the most significant for ISPs and intermediaries".
Peter Coroneos, chief executive, IIA
iiNet was taken to court by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) in November 2008 for allegedly failing to pass on copyright infringement notifications to its customers.
With the judgement coming Thursday, the IIA's debriefing will be held on Wednesday 9 February and will be chaired by IIA chief executive, Peter Coroneos, with presentations by the association's lead lawyers, John Fairbairn and Tim Webb. QUT law professor, Brian Fitzgerald, will also be in attendance. Entry is free and will be held at the offices of Clayton Utz in Sydney at 4:30pm.
"[The trial] is a test case for the new copyright laws passed in 2006. The central issue is whether, and in what circumstances, an ISP should bear legal liability for the infringing acts of third parties. The iiNet case may not result in a clear cut win or loss. It could also be appealed to the Full Federal Court, and possibly the High Court of Australia, by either party," the IIA said in a release.
"Regardless of the decision in iiNet, the safe harbour regime remains in urgent need of reform. At present it protects only carriage service providers. In the future it must recognise and protect a wider range of intermediaries, in particular online content hosts, libraries and search portals."
The IIA has been involved with the case from the beginning, applying to be considered as amicus curiae (a friend of the court), but was ultimately rejected from contributing to the trial after Justice Cowdroy determined the association had nothing new or different to add to proceedings. Despite its exclusion from the trial however, the IIA has stood firm on its attitude towards the case.
More information on the debriefing is available at the IIA website.