Facts on the iiNet AFACT case

Facts on the iiNet AFACT case

Summary: This week's Twisted Wire podcast looks at some of the claimed facts surrounding the controversial lawsuit against iiNet regarding copyright infringement by its customers.


The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has delivered hundreds of IP addresses to iiNet of account users it believes have illegally downloaded movies.

It says iiNet has a responsibility to stamp our piracy on its network and claims the ISP has not taken reasonable steps to do this. Last November, acting on behalf of seven film companies and the Seven Network, AFACT took action against iiNet to prevent what the group claims is online peer-to-peer copyright infringement.

The resulting court hearing is scheduled for two fortnight bursts from 6 October, with a finding expected sometime next year. This week on Twisted Wire we look at the arguments surrounding this case.

Adrianne Pecotic, executive director of AFACT, explains the reason for the action, while Nic Suzar, chair of Electronic Frontiers Australia, looks at some of the issues it raises. Peter Coroneos, CEO of the Internet Industry Association, looks at the implications for ISPs.

Next week we look more at the question of copyright and the internet and ask: is there a way forward that doesn't involve litigation?

In the meantime add your views in the Talkback section at the end of this post.

Topics: Telcos, Government AU, Legal, Tech Industry


Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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  • Responsibility

    iiNet has as much responsibility "to stamp our piracy on its network" as Telstra has to stamp out terrorist-related activity on its voice phone network: Zero.

    They are a carrier service. Their sole responsibility is to provide continual and uninterrupted access to their service. FOR EVERYONE. The responsibility of policing belongs (quite novelly) to the police.
  • Stop watching seven

    If they delivered content at the same time as American distributers maybe. A fact they do NOT. So wake up and realize there's lots of other interesting content out there - seven can't deliver so don't watch it. Fullstop. Pick on a smaller ISP gutless wonders no wonder no one watches you. Get some nuts, sense of scale, or just plain business sense OR GO HOME.
  • AFACT helps no-one

    Adrianne certainly presented a lopsided argument there.

    * AFACT aren't going to dictact to ISPs what they should do with users receiving the copyright notices, but wants them disconnected.
    * AFACT only want the user disconnected, they have not indicated that they want to pursue the actual copyright infringement through the courts and give it due process.
    * Regarding the disconnections, there was no indication on who would pay the termination costs (ie. covering any installation costs to Telstra, etc), and also failed to indicate what's stopping the user from just connecting to another ISP and repeating.

    It will be a laugh if AFACT win this case as it does nothing for the copyright holders or for the ISPs. Maybe AFACT should be concentrating on getting confirmed information on who is breaching copyright, and then follow due process and take them to court.
  • sad at the lack of knowledge

    for someone trying to prosecute someone based upon IP addresses she sure hasnt done much research.

    Never heard of botnets, bouncing IP's, IP masking, etc etc etc. Not to mention i'd like to know how AFACT have retrieved this information short of spying.. which I would assume would disallow the information for being illegally obtained?
  • AFACT in breach of law

    Someone should commence action against AFACT for the bunkum they call a website, which currently breaches a host of accessibility requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act. What a joke.