Justice Cowdroy, presiding over the Australian
Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) versus iiNet copyright
infringement hearing, today said he wanted to see a live
demonstration of how BitTorrent is used to download
Following a video presentation by AFACT's barrister QC Bannon of
the group's investigator Nigel Carson downloading Warner Bros'
movie Batman Begins, Cowdroy asked if he could be shown what other
ISPs were facilitating file sharing.
"Can you show me, Mr Bannon, how many other internet providers
are providing the same sorts of information? What other ones right
now are doing this?" asked Justice Cowdroy, noting that on the list
of evidence collected by Carson that iiNet had appeared four
While iiNet's initial request to include as evidence how other
local ISPs had responded to AFACT's breach notifications was
knocked back, Cowdroy today appeared interested in whether
other local ISPs were providing similar connectivity to
file-sharing clients as iiNet.
Bannon could not recall the names of other ISPs that its
investigator had identified, and asked if Cowdroy could refer to a
hard copy list which included the names of others identified. "I'd
be interested to see this in real life," Cowdroy said.
"This is actually a video of what he did at the time, so it's
not online now," Bannon explained, adding that it may in the future
give a live demonstration in court.
"Well, we did contemplate actually going online for the purpose
of this case and this is something we will consider doing," he said. "But for
the purposes of the opening — there may be some controversy
about. But it is interesting to see that ... as iiNet sits in this
court room represented by its legal representatives that its
clients are online accessing these films." The hearing is
continuing this afternoon.
Day one of the hearing, which at the time of writing was in
recess, has so far seen AFACT's barrister outline its claim that
iiNet profits from customers that download copyrighted material and
"sanctioned and approved" its customers' file-sharing efforts.
Outside the court, iiNet's managing director, Michael Malone,
told media that he disputed AFACT's argument that it supported and
profited from its customers downloading copyrighted material.
"We provide internet access. That's where we make our profit
from. When people download, that's a cost to us. The more people
download, the more it costs us," he added. "The evidence will show
over the next few weeks that that is incorrect. Heavy download
users make less money for iiNet."