Judges ask for 'map' to decide iiNet case

Summary:The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) appeal against the verdict of the ground-breaking iiNet copyright case has adjourned at the close of the fourth day, with the judges requesting a "map" of the case's issues before making a decision on whether to uphold or dismiss the appeal.

The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) appeal against the verdict of the ground-breaking iiNet copyright case has adjourned at the close of the fourth day, with the judges requesting a "map" of the case's issues before making a decision on whether to uphold or dismiss the appeal.

Gavel

(My Trusty Gavel image by Brian Turner, CC2.0)

After hearing both sides of the appeal over the last four days, Justices Emmett, Jagot and Nicholas have requested that lawyers for iiNet and AFACT compile the documents of the case for the judges to examine in their decision-making process.

"We will wait until we see [iiNet lawyer Richard] Cobden's reorganised material, and a joint map or decision tree," Justice Emmett said. "What I have in mind is a fairly detailed document on what the issues are and where we go from here."

In closing, AFACT lawyer David Catterns reiterated his side's case: that iiNet had no intention of taking the steps AFACT outlined to reduce copyright infringement and iiNet's policy of sending the AFACT notices to the police was of no consequence.

"Putting these things to the police is just thumbing their noses at us," he said.

iiNet lawyer Richard Lancaster closed by restating that the reasonable steps asked for by AFACT were outside of the customer service agreement, and that to provide that information would be breaching the privacy clauses of the Telecommunications Act.

Lancaster also said that unless other internet service providers followed suit, iiNet would be at a competitive disadvantage if it was to follow AFACT's recommendations and institute a policy of kicking off customers found to have infringed on copyright.

"iiNet might do so [for] an industry code with legislative force," he said. "The policy would operate at the level of termination of accounts for infringing users that come [to the attention of] iiNet."

The judges have requested that the documentation to be provided to them by 20 August and are expected to make their decision shortly thereafter.

Updated at 11:14am, 6 August 2010: further detail on the case added.

Topics: Telcos, Government : AU, Legal

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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