EFA, Pirate Party: iiNet win 'common sense'

EFA, Pirate Party: iiNet win 'common sense'

Summary: The Pirate Party Australia has welcomed iiNet's internet piracy victory over a coalition of film and TV studios, describing it as "a victory for common sense", while civil liberties group Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) said sanity had prevailed.


The Pirate Party Australia has welcomed iiNet's internet piracy victory over a coalition of film and TV studios, describing it as "a victory for common sense", while civil liberties group Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) said sanity had prevailed.

Justice Cowdroy today handed iiNet a sound victory in the Australian ISP's long-running battle against a coalition of film and television studios, finding that iiNet did not authorise copyright infringement carried out by its customers using the BitTorrent file-sharing platform.

"This is a good decision by Justice Cowdroy, and reflects that there is no legal basis or obligation for any ISP to act in the interest of copyright holders, or to expect that they should disconnect any entity upon allegation of infringement without judicial oversight and due process," said Pirate Party Australia secretary Rodney Serkowkski.

In a statement, Serkowski said ISPs should be considered similar to a postal service — the data they carried should be considered private.

In a statement labelled "sanity prevails", EFA chair Nic Suzor wrote that the verdict provided important certainty for ISPs in Australia that the provision of internet access was not the means to infringe copyright.

"It also seems that more generally, this has important ramifications for innovation in Australia; in contrast with Kazaa, if you provide facilities that assist in infringement, but do not have control and do not act in bad faith, you will not be liable for secondary copyright infringement," Suzor wrote, noting the decision sounded like it was consistent with the theory of secondary copyright liability developed in the US case of Sony vs. Universal.

"The lack of control over the system means that iiNet has no legal responsibility over its users, despite knowledge that some users are obviously infringing copyright," he said.

It's not over yet

However both the Pirate Party and the EFA warned of future action in the field. "Expect an appeal," wrote Suzor.

And the Pirate Party pointed out that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was currently engaged in negotiations over the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which could result in "three strikes" regulation towards those who infringe copyright online.

The party's statement said it rejected any three strikes rule, saying it was unacceptable to disconnect entire households from the internet upon accusations from the content industry.

Topics: Telcos, Government AU, Tech Industry

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  • Go Pirate Party!

    Oh I hope that I'll be able to vote for The Pirate Party at the next election. All I want is just to bring one representative into the Senate to keep the bastards honest.
    I don't want to vote for Labor because of its Net Filter, but I don't want to vote for Liberal either because Tony Abbott is an idiot! I doubt that voting for the Greens will make a difference.
  • I agree


    (though I'm not sure if it's the Pirate Party I'll be voting for, it'll defintely be an independent)
  • Aye captain!

    I know where my votes be goin' matey!
  • It's *really* not over yet

    Fat cats like their money and they'll spend some to keep the rest. Why do you think they're appealing to the gov publicly?

    They're just greasing the wheels of public perception with smoke and mirrors when they buy senators outright.
  • Write it off as advertising!

    The Fashion industry does it. They know people steal designer clothing--and they write it off as "advertising" because those thieves seen wearing it cause other people to go out and buy it.

    The cost of a few garments wandering around the streets is far more effective and far cheaper than a TV ad campaign.
  • has anyone

    Has anyone really been far as decided to use even go want to do look more like?
  • I be seein' what ye did thar!

    That'd be the ninja party then? :p

    Truly though, it seems strange that, similar to the Labor vs. Liberal situation, we don't actually have a Priates vs. Ninjas political situation. We can only hope that saner minds prevail and remove the old Lab V Lib system and introduce the above, far more senible approach.
  • Pirating Da internetz

    The internet as is is fine, it has some disgusting stuff but i dont wanna lose encyclopedia dramatica (labors filter) and cancelling torrents will piss alot of people off, if i could vote, as im only 16, i would vote indepent or greens.
    the current governments think they can win votes with proposed schemes that wont last more than a few months. hate the idea if u stumble across one of the blacklisted sites, you are immediatly labeled either a pedophile or a terrorist