Justice Dennis Cowdroy today rejected the Internet Industry Association's (IIA) request to be considered a "friend of the court" in the iiNet copyright case.
IIA sought to add its voice to the case, arguing that its input was important because the outcome of the proceedings could influence the future of its members, specifically internet service providers, which it represents. Chief executive Peter Coroneos took the stand yesterday as part of the IIA's request to have its submission heard.
While the IIA's submission cannot bear on the submissions from each party, it may have had the opportunity to make submissions which Justice Cowdroy could take into account in the handing down of his judgement, expected in six to nine months' time.
The IIA has made it known that it considers the proceedings to be a "test case" that will influence future ISP regulation, considering it is the first time Part V Division 2AA of the Copyright Act (1968) will be considered in detail. However, the court today ruled against IIA's inclusion as it had nothing "useful and different" to add to the trial.
The court acknowledged that IIA involvement would not interfere with the hearing, despite the association's impartiality, though it determined that IIA "has not proffered anything materially different to iiNet".
The court also understood IIA's motivations, stating in its court order: "If the IIA intended by its application for intervention to bring to the court's attention the importance of its decision in these proceedings, it can take such fact as noted. The court, and has always been, well aware of the ramifications of the outcome of this decision for ISPs, rights holders, and the development of the internet more broadly".