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.
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".