iiTrial: Roadshow inked iiNet content deal

iiTrial: Roadshow inked iiNet content deal

Summary: iiNet's legal counsel this morning ridiculed Village Roadshow's involvement in the case against the ISP, revealing Roadshow Movies had signed a deal to distribute its content over iiNet's so-called Freezone service.

SHARE:

iiNet's legal counsel this morning ridiculed Village Roadshow's involvement in the case against the ISP, revealing Roadshow Movies had signed a deal to distribute its content over iiNet's so-called Freezone service.

iiNet's general counsel Richard Cobden had asked Village Roadsdow's general counsel, Simon Phillipson, whether he agreed that the presence of legally available copyrighted material online helped cut illegitimate downloads while increasing the legitimate use of copyrighted material. "Yes, I would hope so," Phillipson replied.

Eight Village Roadshow films are within the 86 titles in the scope of the case. While the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has previously argued that iiNet profited from its customers' piracy by way of increased download quotas, iiNet has maintained it assisted copyright owners by allowing its customers to download material legitimately via its Freezone service, which does not impact a customers' monthly quota.

Phillipson said its decision to join AFACT's litigation was made after it considered what steps an ISP could reasonably take to prevent piracy.

"Roadshow considered what an ISP could do, and the steps it could reasonably take without great cost or effort, and that was one of the factors in Roadshow considering this litigation," he said.

"We considered the material provided (AFACT's infringement notices) to iiNet was sufficient to identify customers, and that we considered it wasn't a great cost or effort to contact those customers in some way in relation to their infringement of our copyright. That was a relatively cost efficient exercise and more cost efficient than Roadshow litigating against those individual users," said Phillipson.

iiNet's Cobden went some way to establishing that Roadshow did not view the internet as inherently bad for the entertainment sector. Philipson agreed today it made some of its content available via iTunes.

The court heard that iiNet had recently entered into an agreement with Roadshow to make a selection of its copyrighted material available for download on its Freezone service. The programs include: The Fairies, Maggie & the Beast, Franklin, Saddle Club, Wiggles, Lazytown, DoodleBops, The Star Girls.

In an attempt to discredit AFACT's claim that the internet had damaged the businesses of copyright holders, Cobden asked Phillipson if he was aware that box office takings were up 10 per cent this year, and that DVD sales continued to increase in Australia. Phillipson said he was aware of this.

Copyright lobbyists, such as AFACT and Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) have previously equated single instances of copyright breach to missed revenue; however, it has been argued that in many instances, if the film were not available freely, the infringer would have never paid for it anyway.

Topics: Telcos, Government AU, Piracy

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

2 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • The great Piracy debate

    Lets think about it, people have been sharing stuff for years.. I bought a book and when i was finished i gave it to my friend to read ...THATS ILLEGAL ..is it not... i taped someting on the radio and then gave a copy to my frriend... hmmm ... i copied a tv series that is on a free tv station and gave it to friend to watch... where exactly do you draw the line?

    I am hoping IINet loses their case so that i can sue the postal system for sending me junk mail. Surely they should open every letter and deem it to be in my best interest. I mena iinet would be forced to spy on its clients, then this would also apply to the postal system?
    anonymous
  • AFACT

    "Copyright lobbyists, such as AFACT and Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) have previously equated single instances of copyright breach to missed revenue; however, it has been argued that in many instances, if the film were not available freely, the infringer would have never paid for it anyway."

    How about a new idea, instead of going after an ISP why not stop paying movies stars so bloody much and make the cost of going to the movies/food/drink cheaper???
    anonymous