Too many AFACT notices to act on: iiNet

Too many AFACT notices to act on: iiNet

Summary: At the close of the second day of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft's (AFACT) appeal against the iiNet copyright case verdict, iiNet barrister Richard Cobden argued that it was too burdensome for the internet service provider to act on notifications it had received from the federation.

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At the close of the second day of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft's (AFACT) appeal against the iiNet copyright case verdict, iiNet barrister Richard Cobden argued that it was too burdensome for the internet service provider (ISP) to act on notifications it had received from the federation.

Cobden said that iiNet had kept all the infringement notices it had received from AFACT between November 2008 and July 2009. He said the number of automatically-generated "robot" notices was huge — "thousands a week" — and said that it was infeasible for iiNet to act on each and every one.

Earlier today, AFACT lawyer David Catterns told the court that iiNet could have applied graduated steps to prevent its customers breaching copyright, something it said iiNet already used to prevent customers from spamming or to encourage a customer to pay a bill.

Cobden argued, however, that a copyright infringement warning system would also have to include account termination — something iiNet will not impose on its customers without a court order.

Without the threat of disconnection as the final step, "the power to warn is not a useful or deterrent power at all", according to Cobden.

"[AFACT] have really always been talking about, when one cuts through what they have been saying, they can only be talking about the termination of a user account," he said.

Cobden stated that disputes between iiNet and the customer over issues such as billing were easily resolved as it was an internal issue.

"The customer service representative can go into the system to see the billing. That's a direct dispute between iiNet, the ISP, and the customer."

iiNet acting on allegations put to them by AFACT, he said, would not be as easy to resolve.

"It's a very easy thing for a rights holder to say [iiNet] can warn, suspend and terminate. [iiNet CEO Michael] Malone gave evidence that was not contradicted about the burden that would start even if it started with warnings," he said. "It automatically involves factors outside iiNet's business and outside its control."

Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) also made their cases to be allowed to intervene in the court yesterday. Lawyers for APRA argued that their evidence was different to AFACT's and meaningful to the appeal because users visiting Pirate Bay to get film and TV torrents could also download music files, the copyright of which is owned by members of APRA and the MEAA. The court has yet to rule on whether this will be allowed.

The appeal continues today.

Topics: Telcos, Government AU, Legal

About

Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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4 comments
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  • Why don't the movie studio's do their own dirty work? Go to court for each breach, get the judge to give you a court order and present that to iiNet and then they can act. Stop trying to get the ISP to do your work. Do AFACT pay the ISP to do this work for them? No. So get off your own lazy behinds AFACT, do it the right way and get the prosecutions you want. Or are you not after the little man (who you'll never get money out of) or the ISPs who have some money? That's more the truth isnt it!
    Samara-0dea1
  • I don't think AFACT have given any compelling reason as to WHY iiNet should action these notices? At the essence iiNet would be stuck in the middle of a dispute between one of their customers and a 3rd party making an accusation.

    There needs to be a court order here for iiNet to act, otherwise they would have to act on any accusation, what's to stop me from getting someone's IP address, accusing them of distributing infringing material, and ask their internet be disconnected?
    m00nh34d
  • Did you know that for every dollar you donate to a charity, approximately 90% is chewed up in administration leaving only 10% to be distributed to the target recipients?

    How much of what APRA collects gets to the hands of the actual artists? How much of what AFACT is chasing is funds belonging to the artists?

    It costs less than $1.00 to stamp a CD or DVD, so drop the price of the final product to a point that makes it no longer worthwhile to download.

    Give a little, and you'll get far more sales. Keep bullying your way through and Australians will rebel. They're already known for that. Do these companies know or care what a cultural insult it is to have an Australian made product released in the u.s. first, and we have to stand in line until it gets to Region 4? Has anyone bothered to check a Region map lately and noticed that Region 4 is primarily povo countries? They're treating us like the 3rd world and we're bending over and saying, "More! More!"
    Treknology
  • The RIAA and MPAA even scam thir own.

    AFACT - they are so crooked even their bogus PR campaign is a lie.

    http://torrentfreak.com/tech-news-sites-tout-misleading-bittorrent-piracy-study-100724/ [torrentfreak.com]

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100708/02510310122.shtml [techdirt.com]

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-disney-20100708,0,4051564.story [latimes.com]
    Jahm Mittt