Internet Industry Association CEO Peter Coroneos spoke at a doorstop in front of the Federal Court about what the internet industry thought on iiNet's win against the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft.
The federation, which represents film and television studios, first brought case against iiNet back in November 2008, arguing that the internet service provider (ISP) infringed copyright by failing to prevent customers copying films and TV shows over its network.
However, Justice Cowdroy ruled for iiNet today, saying he found that iiNet did not authorise the infringement of the studios' copyright.
A timeline pinpointing key dates in the iiNet trial can be found on the ZDNet.com.au website.
What did you think of the decision?
Well we're naturally pleased with the outcome of the case. We thought the judge directed his mind quite closely to the important policy distinction here and this is the distinction between providing access to the internet and providing the means by which copyright infringement can occur. So this is a very important decision for the internet industry in Australia and will of course no doubt be watched globally.
Do you think it will ease the minds of the ISPs that belong to your organisation, the Internet Industry Association?
For the time being. But of course we have to look at the bigger picture here, there is an international campaign afoot to try and force ISPs to accept responsibility of the acts of their customers. This is not an issue that's confined to Australia. Of course as the national industry body for the internet in Australia, our position has always been to argue for balance, balance between the legitimate rights of content owners on one hand and the legitimate rights of those who make the internet possible as intermediaries. We will continue to push for that balance and also for the new commercial models by which end users can be provided access to affordable, accessible and legal content.
Obviously your application was rejected earlier on in the case, are you happy the judge said at the end that the safe harbour provisions were brought in.
We thought it was very interesting what his honour said about the safe harbour provisions. We always belied that the safe harbour provisions operate to protect ISPs having policies as was discussed. But this is a long issue that will require some careful consideration. We have to go back now and read carefully his honour's judgements and be making a further comment once we've had time to further digest the decision.