iiNet case won't stop Exetel warning users

iiNet case won't stop Exetel warning users

Summary: ISP Exetel CEO John Linton will continue to pass on alleged copyright infringement notices to customers, including notices from the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft.

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ISP Exetel CEO John Linton will continue to pass on alleged copyright infringement notices to customers, including notices from the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

Linton told ZDNet.com.au he would continue to pass on the notices to customers, as there was "no doubt" that copyright was being infringed "in almost every case".

His comments follow a landmark ruling by Federal Court judge Justice Dennis Cowdroy that found ISP iiNet did not inadvertently "authorise" its customers to breach copyright by not taking actions desired by AFACT to stop them when they were allegedly doing so.

AFACT had been sending the ISP notices claiming that its users were infringing the copyright of film and television studios. iiNet did not pass on the warning to users, arguing that the infringement notices were alleged and not evidence. Yet Linton believed that there was an issue of customers breaking the law and that he needed to act on it.

This was why Exetel developed an automatic system to pass on alleged copyright infringement notices to customers, according to Linton, which had come at "zero cost". According to his blog, it allowed customers to either deny or apologise to the rights holders, but did not cut users off. Despite this, it still saw some customers churn away from the provider, Linton said.

When asked about what he thought of the landmark decision yesterday, Linton said that the judge "didn't bother to consider the evidence" and "quite correctly exempted himself from the burden of making legislation".

However, he did say the verdict was "more positive than the reverse".

"I'm glad that Exetel didn't have to incur the costs of dealing with such an action," he said.

"I think the judgement of a single judge on this matter was predictable — no single judge could make any judgement that was not based on precedent or legislation, and neither exists."

Topics: Telcos, Government AU, Legal

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54 comments
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  • lulz

    IMHO Exetel has to be the ass end of the telco world.
    anonymous
  • Claim, not inform

    "AFACT had been sending the ISP notices informing it that its users were infringing the copyright of film and television studios."
    No, AFACT CLAIMED that the ISP's users were infringing the copyright of film and television studios. That is a very different thing...
    anonymous
  • Yes

    To which iiNet CEO said was "compelling" evidence.

    I think I back the "claim" bit up with: "iiNet did not pass on the warning to users, arguing that the infringement notices were alleged and not evidence."
    anonymous
  • Hahaha....

    What a clown this JL is.

    Of course he's going to pass the notices on its his way of getting rid of customers who use all their quota.
    anonymous
  • iiNet did not take action?

    "iiNet did not inadvertently "authorise" its customers to breach copyright by not taking any action to stop them when they did."

    iiNet _did_ take action - they forwarded the infringement notices to the Police for them to investigate/act. Just because it wasn't the action AFACT wanted iiNet to take, does not mean no action was taken at all.
    anonymous
  • Linton Opens himself to liability

    Does this not mean that John Linton will open Exetel to liability for disconnecting users without due course of justice, nor proof beyond reasonable doubt that customers are actually breaking copyright's.

    As stated above "in almost every case" - does that not mean that customers likely have, but still may not have breached copyrights?

    Seems that Exetel will have some decent legal questions to answer for in the foreseeable future.
    anonymous
  • Its his business

    His company has the right to put in place any reasonable policies.

    Though he really needs to stop spouting shit.
    anonymous
  • A claim is still a claim

    It may have been accompanied by "compelling" evidence, but AFACTs emails could only ever include claims unless/until the allegations were evaluated by a court.
    anonymous
  • Yes

    Justice Chowdry certainly thinks so - he said as much in a less-publicised section of his judgement.

    (and Linton himself could be opening himself up to legal action based on his claim that the Judge "didn't bother to consider the evidence" - IANAL but libel or contempt of court seem possible)
    anonymous
  • haha

    Not too happy about the iinet case hey johnny, quite frankly your tears are delicious.
    anonymous
  • Change the model, stop the piracy!!

    I am amazed at how narrow minded the file and television studios are. Get with the times, people who download TV shows & movies do it for a reason. It is normally because it is easy, and solves a problem.

    TV: If you miss a TV show what are your options? You could have a TiVo that records it, which is basically exactly the same as grabbing a Torrent off the net. Why can't the TV stations make shows available after they have been aired?

    Movies: Why would you want to go to a video store to get a movie, it is a waste of time if you have a decent connection to the Net. The public would be willing to pay a couple of $$ for an online movie - look at iTunes, it works well. If movies were made available at a reasonable price it would stop a high percentage of the piracy. If this happened AFACT could then move on the real illegal downloads, which are the CAM's etc...

    People are inherently lazy, they take the path of least resistance. So if they are in the mood for a movie they could either click a torrent file (taking about 2 mins) or could get in the car, drive to the store etc....you get the picture. Now also think about the people in the country.......if they had access to broadband?!?
    anonymous
  • Change your bloodly model

    Sure if I go cinemas, If i am paying so much for the ticket, i expect i would be able to pay no more than 10$ to buy it 1month later. Considering i already paid for the ticket at the cinema.

    Exetel is trying to to avoid any possible future damages claim from AFACT by making such a statement.

    "Just because it wasn't the action AFACT wanted iiNet to take, does not mean no action was taken at all." To shine more light on this, is iiNet did not meet AFACT new standards. You can't send people IP addresses and expect them to miraculously handle it the way you want.
    anonymous
  • The Australian Way

    Linton is not an Aussie for his actions in this and other matters. Aussies look after the battler - which is most of his clients.

    His ancestors would would not be impressed.

    Shame Linton, Shame.

    You will keep making money from your business ways, but probably not as much as you would if the I.T. people in general trusted you.

    You've made many contractual promises with your internet plans over the years, only to shaft the normal person who can't afford to fight you in court.

    You are banned from Australia's biggest I.T. forum Whirlpool. That speaks a lot about your credibility.
    anonymous
  • JL / WP / Theft

    I totally agree with JL's sentiments; stealing copyright content is stealing -- ala illegal. It is not worth doing this, there is no justiifcation.

    Although I do agree that plenty of monies are made in box office sales (at least for major movies) and that alone should be enough income from a movie to allow the "owners" to provide legal download copies of such movies -- it certainly wouldn't hurt them and it could also lead to other sales.

    Oh and getting banned on WP is trivially done; I'm sure JL could post there if he wanted, but he chooses not to for a number of reasons -- not least of which, the fact so many posts on WP are of a malicious and untrue nature. WP is regularly referred to as whingepool and that in itself speaks volumes about forum postings there.... even news articles are not impartial enough for me to take seriously a lot of the time.

    All the above (and below) is said "without prejudice". I am a WP user, but I don't trust everything I read there or anywhere else for that matter.

    Oh and there are plenty of battlers whom cannot afford to buy legal content, but they can buy super expensive gaming equipment for their pleasure.
    anonymous
  • Sorry, it is theft

    Some people seem to have forgotten what this was all about. iiNet being singled out and blamed for their clients actions. Doesn't change the fact that the clients may have or were, acting illegally.

    So because the big movie makers and music stars make $billions, some seem to believe it justifies stealing their work! But what about the upcoming artists? They don't have $b's and may in fact be destitute and just praying for that one break!

    If they write the new Let it be, Stairway to Heaven, Billy Jean or whatever, should they not be entitled to cash in on their efforts and for making everyone happy via their music. Same for the next Tarantino with cutting edge movies. They sell few, while everyone downloads lots!

    Time to get out from behing the pc and check the real world people. Not everything is or should be free, via illegal downloads!
    anonymous
  • Dumbfounded

    What amazes me are the standards that JL meets as a CEO. His dreadful writing structure, grammar, tone, level and style fail to meet the standards that I must meet in MIDDLE level mamagement. Then, whenever his opinion is challenged, he responds with irrational personal attacks against the challenger. It's therefore no surprise that he is banned from a reputable site like Whirlpool.

    I think that Exetel would be better represented if Mr Linton employed a more competent person to engage the media, forums and blogs.
    anonymous
  • iiNet's action

    Michael Malone said in his interview that he'd only sent them twice to police. However, I take your point.
    anonymous
  • Claiming

    I think what Ben meant is that we'd said the infringements were alleged in the next sentence, however, I agree, that sentence should read claimed. I have repaired it.
    anonymous
  • Lintons Contempt of Court?

    "and Linton himself could be opening himself up to legal action based on his claim that the Judge "didn't bother to consider the evidence" - IANAL but libel or contempt of court seem possible"

    I would suggest he is very close to getting charged with contemopt of court lookinhg at this comment..

    any "legal eagles" out there know if this is actionable by the judge?
    anonymous
  • Linton = FAIL

    So , Linton said that the judge "didn't bother to consider the evidence". I suggest that Linton take a long hard look at why he is laughing stock.
    anonymous