Roadshow Films, one of the film studios involved in the recent copyright case against internet service provider iiNet, donated almost $500,000 to Australian political parties in the lead up to filing its case.
A coalition of Roadshow and other studios, led by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, filed the case late 2008, arguing that the ISP infringed copyright by failing to take steps the studios considered reasonable to prevent customers from downloading and uploading films and TV shows over its network.
Last week the judge ruled for iiNet, saying that the internet service provider had not authorised its users to infringe copyright. The film industry was ordered to pay court costs.
The $500,000 in donations was revealed in the 2007/08 annual financial disclosure returns from political parties listed on the Australian Electoral Commission website. The 2007/08 year ended 30 June 2008.
A total $290,091 was donated to the Labor Party whilst $197,700 was donated to the Liberal Party. The amount was spread between both political parties' state and federal branches.
The day after the ruling was handed down, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy told ABC TV's Hungry Beast that he hoped the film and internet industry could work together on piracy.
"I think that a mature approach by both the movie industry and the internet industry sitting down, having a conversation and coming up with a code of practice is the absolute preferable outcome. The problem is at the moment in Australia there is no agreement, there is no discussion, there is no dialogue and people resorted to court," Conroy said.