iiNet to fight entertainment industry

iiNet to fight entertainment industry

Summary: iiNet's managing director Michael Malone yesterday vowed to fight the action filed against it in federal court by film and television giants, which alleged iiNet had failed to prevent customers from downloading pirated content.


iiNet's managing director Michael Malone yesterday vowed to fight the action filed against it in federal court by film and television giants, which alleged iiNet had failed to prevent customers from downloading pirated content.

Michael Malone iiNet

Michael Malone
(Credit: iiNet)

Malone yesterday said his company would "vigorously" defend the federal court action lodged by Film industry heavyweights Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises and the Seven Network.

The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), representing the companies, sent letters to iiNet containing the IP addresses of thousands of the ISP's customers who AFACT claimed were using iiNet's network to infringe copyright.

AFACT claimed that after five months of talks, the ISP had done nothing to stop iiNet users from downloading illegal content. The companies wanted a court order forcing iiNet to prevent its customers from engaging in copyright infringement.

Malone claims AFACT is pursuing the wrong channel to enforce its copyright, adding that iiNet had passed on the complaints to law enforcement agencies for further investigation. He said iiNet had told AFACT to follow up the matter with those agencies.

"iiNet cannot disconnect a customer's phone line based on an allegation. The alleged offence needs to be pursued by the police and proven in the courts. iiNet would then be able to disconnect the service as it had been proven that the customer had breached our Customer Relations Agreement," Malone said.

iiNet said its Customer Relations Agreement required customers to comply with the law and that its service could not be used "to commit an offence or to infringe another person's rights".

Topics: Telcos, Government AU, Legal, Piracy

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at 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 the site.

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  • sounds fair enough

    I think thats pretty reasonable, to ask for the companies to go via the proper channel, ie the police, to get a resolution.

    I know that as a Telco worker, I wouldnt disconnect someones line if another company called and said they were doing something illegal, they would have to go through the police, who would liase with our law enforcement unit, and once investigated action would be taken.

    It seems stupid that these companies would even pull up a law suit without following such a basic step.
  • Sounds more than fair enough

    I don't see how iiNet could legally terminate a customer's connection without such allegations being proven.

    These "Film industry heavyweights" are slowing starting to lose their licence to print money and they're looking around for someone to hurt. The sooner they go out of business the better, as they're parasites. All they do is 'force' the creative people to produce middle of the road "money making films" - they don't contribute anything creative to the process of making films at all. The world would be a better place if they went broke.
  • "Thousands"

    iiNet would be stupid to disconnect "thousands" of customers -- that's not an insignificant number of their customer base (i.e. it's at least a couple of percent).

    Way to go iiNet!
  • Throw these cases out of court

    It's time the film industry should be put in it's place. Someone should sue them for the way they behave and pursue people/organisations unfairly.

    Are phone companies pursued because someone might use their services to discuss something illegal? Aust Post because someone sends something they shouldn't? Photocopier companies becuase someone uses their machines to copy something in breach of copywrite? PC companies, etc the list goes on. Prove someone is breaking the law beyong a doubt then you can expect action to be supported - Problem is they will be suing their own customers and that's not good business sense anyway you look at it. Judges should through these cases out so they stop wasting court time and peoples taxes over stupid pursuits.
  • so true

    And.. technically, if you take it the entire way, they should in the end, still be sueing Telstra, because their product is being dispersed to thousands of people via "Telstras Copper", regardless of the other provider middlemen!

    Well, im off to sue vicroads because I got cut off by seven people on my way to work and thirteen others didnt indicate!

    ciao for now.
  • When will they sue Australia Post?

    If they are going to sue the message carrier, then I expect equal lawsuits against Australia post. Who currently deliver illegal dvd's from asia around Australia on a regular basis.

    Talk about shooting the messenger.
  • hear hear

    hear hear, that was my initial reaction when i saw this case
  • The people who manage Channel 7 and Co.

    It's ironic how the people who manage channel 7 are off in hot pursuit of IInet given that:

    The people hwo manage channel 7 -

    Work in collusion with "child psychologists" to Deliberately target children - to pressure parents to buy them things; without which they will not be whole;

    And they keep them glued to the screen, eating junk food, and buying what ever they are told too; while the people who manage channel 7 profit from raising crop after crop of feel good addicted fat and diseased consumers.

    The people who manage channel 7 profit psychologically targeting peope to make them sick, and then they blame the government.

    The people who manage channel 7 also sensationalise and trivialise matters of importance, and turn the act of getting things done into point scoring and popularity contests - playing enemies and allies mind games.

    The people who manage channel 7 also promote car racing and the sales of gas guzzling "keeping up with the Jones junk" for a buck - even as we start to tumble into the precipice of no return....

    They train people to medicate themselves into their graves with sex, food, drugs and gossip; keeping them glued to the screens - in order to make a buck - and then they say "Oh aren't the people who we have shown how to do any thing for a buck bad" when we can catch them out doing what we have been doing for decades......

    Lying, cheating, miseading, manipulating adn robbing people... anything for a buck.

    As the SS said, "I was only following orders" - and as long as the people who manage and work for channel 7 don't have to take personal responsibility for everything they have done - then they are no different to the nazis - and their responsibility shifting.

    And in every individual in channel 7 doing everything they have done and not taking responsibility for it, and changing their ways - they are the ethical nazis of the past, today, tomorrow and the future - for all time.

    If everyone had of said, "No" then there would have been no world war 2; and yet, here we are sailing through the cross roads saying "What in the hell has happened - "I made the car, I sold the car and I bought and drove the car..... - and as long as non of us have to take any person responsibility - none of us are to blame."

    Oh wait a second.... there are lots of people watching stuff without paying for it... that's it - it's their fault - they are keeping us out of the money loop, they are keeping us from selling them junk food and keeping them glued to the screens, telling them that if they don't have the latest model gas guzzling car - they what will people think of them... they might think they are a loser, a failure - some one who couldn't make it.. up to the standards we set for them as being normal..

    The fat, the diseased, the cancer ridden - from eating the shit we tell them too and not getting out and exercising....

    The people who manage channel 7 are the liars and thieves. They steal life and health and self esteem - and destroy the planet - all in the name of a fast buck.
  • Missing the point

    Gotta love the media companies methods. Lets all go and diffuse a bomb 30 years after its gone off.

    They seem to do this every time a method of making a copy of something they released is announced. They did it with Radios that allow you to record songs onto cassettes, with VCRs, with DVD Recorders (both PC and TV based). They'll do it with the next medium that comes out.

    The funny thing is half the companies filing the lawsuits either own or have shares in the mediums used to infringe on their 'rights'. So they're making money from sales of the original or the methods to copy.

    Afterall, so much of this downloaded material ends up on one of the blank DVDs they sell.

    Its looking more like a yearly marketing exercise than a serious concern about their bottom line.