iiNet thumbs nose at AFACT

Summary:iiNet has not admitted that any particular users have been infringing copyright in the next step for the court case brought against it by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

iiNet has not admitted that any particular users have been infringing copyright in the next step for the court case brought against it by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

AFACT has alleged that iiNet customers had been using iiNet to access the internet to make the whole or a substantial part of films available online to other people, transmit them to other people and make copies without any licence to do so.

In documents filed with the court last week, iiNet said it was willing to accept that the AFACT evidence did describe the BitTorrent transfer of certain AFACT films from computers using specified IP addresses.

Yet it wasn't willing to admit that the computer at those IP addresses was making a "whole or substantial part" of the films available online to the public unless AFACT could prove that it was sharing 100 per cent of the films.

Individual users of BitTorrent didn't electronically transmit the whole or even a substantial part of a film, according to iiNet, and sharing anything less than 100 per cent didn't make a breach of copyright.

iiNet also did not agree on the point that its users had been electronically transmitting films to other persons, contending that the person downloading the film was in control of what was transmitted, meaning that the person operating the iiNet connected computer was not the person "communicating subject-matter". It also wasn't going to concede that the transmissions were made to the public.

iiNet has admitted that some people whose computers were connected to the internet using its services have made copies of AFACT's members' films, but it would not admit that any particular users had done so or that a particular number of them might have done so or how it happened.

Previously, iiNet has argued that the IP address only identifies an account and not a particular user. In the defence last week it also put forward a hypothetical case which might also exonerate it — when a user makes use of more than one internet connection with the same laptop, one fixed, one wireless and one at work. There would be no way of saying that person had obtained a copy via iiNet or the other ISPs the user was accessing.

AFACT has also alleged that the users had made copies of the films on physical storage media such as DVDs. iiNet has disputed that its users made physical copies of the films.

iiNet has also limited the list of films which it is ready to make any admissions about to those films AFACT has listed as having been infringed and will not be extending the admission to all the films the studios have on their files.

iiNet had already set out other aspects of its defence, saying that it did not dispute that copyright existed for the films and that it did not authorise infringements and was not liable.

AFACT has brought the case on behalf of Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises and the Seven Network.

Topics: Telcos, Government : AU, Legal


Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for t... Full Bio

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