Music industry raids on us will stop: Telstra

Telstra claims to have reached an agreement with the music industry on protocols for sharing information that will prevent industry officials from conducting legal but unheralded raids on its premises. Tensions between the telecommunications company and the music industry rose last week over the actions of Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) in obtaining an Anton Pillar order to search Telstra's George St premises in Sydney.

Telstra claims to have reached an agreement with the music industry on protocols for sharing information that will prevent industry officials from conducting legal but unheralded raids on its premises.

Tensions between the telecommunications company and the music industry rose last week over the actions of Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) in obtaining an Anton Pillar order to search Telstra's George St premises in Sydney. Anton Pillar orders allow parties to raid a premises to search for evidence without giving prior warning to the premises' owner or tenant.

"We have been conducting some diplomacy with the music industry," Andrew Maiden, group manager of Public Policy and International Regulatory at Telstra told ZDNet Australia  . "We have reached agreement with the music industry for a protocol on ways of sharing information that won't require them imposing an Anton Pillar order."

"We will provide what we are legally entitled to provide without breaking the Privacy Act," said Maiden. "We are prevented by law of providing more than that. If they need more they can use a subpoena or pre-trial discovery."

However, the managing director of MIPI, Michael Speck, refused to confirm that agreement had been reached, saying only: "I believe the Telstra issue will be resolved very quickly".

Maiden also retracted his earlier comments that Telstra had formally joined with Sharman Networks in opposing the Anton Pillar order and attempting to have it overturned. Maiden claimed he had made a mistake, and misunderstood the situation.

"We opposed it verbally and asked that in future a different sort of remedy would be chosen, but we didn't go as far as signing on with Sharman," said Maiden. "We didn't formally join the challenge that Sharman launched."

The parties will be back before Justice Murray Wilcox of the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney this Friday.

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