Legal loss opens university networks to music industry

Music industry experts will be allowed to examine the computer infrastructures of three Australian universites in the hunt for copyright breaches

Three of Australia's largest universities on Friday lost the battle to block the music industry from gaining access to their computer infrastructure, with the Federal Court ordering them to allow the industry's experts to gain access.

Federal Court Justice Brian Tamberlin this morning ordered the universities of Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania to allow the music industry access to the infrastructure to seek information regarding alleged breaches of copyright, such as file-sharing, by university staff or students.

The music industry had been seeking access to information on the universities' networks that it claims contains evidence of copyright infringement, but the universities refused, citing privacy concerns. Justice Tamberlin previously stated he would order the universities to hand over the information, but had allowed time for both parties to provide arguments appealing the decision.

"The universities must allow our forensic expert unfettered access," Michael Speck, manager of Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) told ZDNet Australia. "We'll be communicating with the universities as soon as we can to get the process underway."

"Hopefully the delay hasn't tainted or dissipated the evidence," said Speck. "We'll be relying on the evidence to take action against the persons responsible for the infringement."


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