Telstra aids iiNet in AFACT case

Summary:iiNet today revealed it had received legal assistance from arch-rival Telstra in defending against the lawsuit from the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

iiNet today revealed it had received legal assistance from arch-rival Telstra in defending against the lawsuit from the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

The help has been in the form of advice from Telstra's legal team. "I've got to say, when I spoke to the lawyer there, he asked how can we help, and I said 'write me a check'," Malone joked. "He didn't quite agree with that one, but no, they're providing us with expert advice and advice to our legal team."

The executive (pictured, image credit: iiNet), speaking today at iiNet's results for the half year to 31 December 2008, added the ISP was also backed by the Internet Industry Association in the case, which sees AFACT representing movie studios alleging iiNet had allowed its users to download pirated films and television shows.

It was in Telstra's best interests to aid iiNet, Malone said: "Telstra wants iiNet to win this case and to win it convincingly. Nobody wants a precedent out there that's bad because we defended the case incompetently. While they're not joined to this case in any way explicitly, they're simply there to advise us."

Telstra's media head Justin Milne backed iiNet's views when the case was first filed last year.

Before AFACT filed the case, it had been sending information about copyright infringers to iiNet. AFACT alleges iiNet didn't respond correctly to these notices. iiNet said it had sent them on to the Western Australian police to deal with.

Some other ISPs sent on the infringements as warnings to the customers who were using the IP addresses allegedly involved in downloading pirated films and television shows. AFACT maintains that such warnings do discourage offenders.

Early this month the case had a directions hearing, which set the date the case would be heard: 6 October. iiNet did not dispute that copyright for the allegedly pirated titles existed, but did dispute whether or not it was liable for any infringement if it occurred.

Topics: Telcos, Government : AU, Legal, Telstra

About

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au 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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