The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft's (AFACT) investigations into Australian movie piracy led it to focus on two
file-sharing clients and four Australian ISPs, the Federal Court heard
Neil Gane, AFACT's executive director, who is facing ongoing
questions from iiNet's general counsel, Richard Cobden, today said
that its investigations, conducted via a software company, ""="" class="c-regularLink" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer nofollow">DtecNet, had led it to
whittle down its investigation of 190 Australian ISPs to just
four — iiNet, Internode, Exetel and Optus. At the time, it was
investigating infringements on around 1300 titles, according to
Gane. The case currently focuses on 86 titles and televisions
The four ISPs became the focal point of AFACT's investigations
after 2007. Gane said its investigations showed that the two most
popular file-sharing clients were BitTorrent and eDonkey; however,
it became clear later that BitTorrent was the most popular.
AFACT had hired two investigators, who had become customers of
iiNet in 2007, and commenced collecting evidence. AFACT's other
source of evidence was from the vendor DtecNet. Gane told the court
also that the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) had established a SharePoint portal for copyright
owners to log and store instances of infringement.
Gane said AFACT had been pursuing a policy of graduated
sanctions against an ISP's customers that repeatedly infringed on
the 34 applicants' copyright.
He added there had been growing frustration amongst US
members of the MPAA — which expresses its
efforts in Australia through AFACT and the MPAA's Singapore office —
at the apparent inaction by ISPs in combating piracy.
Last Friday, iiNet's barrister argued that the ISP's invocation of
the section of the Telecommunications Act, which prohibits it from
intercepting its customers' online activity, was not novel, as AFACT
had earlier claimed, since AFACT had expressed its concern over the
section in a letter it had previously sent to the Attorney-General's
Today Cobden brought forth a press release penned by AFACT which
said it was in 2007 proposing that ISPs adopt a graduated system of
sanctioning movie pirates.
Cobden also argued that AFACT never disclosed to iiNet how it
was collecting evidence and suggested to Gane that since 2007 its
intention in sending notifications to ISPs was not part of a
cooperative approach to dealing with copyright infringement, but
aimed at litigation.
Cobden also quizzed Gane on what actions he took when emails he
had sent to iiNet's copyright infringement address had bounced.
Cobden attempted to establish that Gane made no attempt to contact
iiNet via other means, such as a phone call to the company.