iiNet's legal counsel this morning cross-examined four
senior Hollywood executives from Warner Bros, Disney, 20th Century
Fox and Paramount Pictures via video link, with the court hearing
about the industry's long-running battle against piracy.
The court heard that Paramount Pictures had struck a deal with
BitTorrent for the file-sharing client maker to prevent copyrighted
material being shared over its software.
Al Perry, the Paramount Pictures vice president of copyright
protection, under cross-examination by iiNet's general counsel
Richard Cobden, said he wasn't sure whether the arrangement with
BitTorrent had worked in preventing piracy, but that it was no
longer in force. A contract had existed between 2006 and 2008.
20th Century Fox Film Corporation's senior vice president of
content protection, Ronald Wheeler, faced a lengthy cross-examination
by Cobden who proposed, as he had yesterday to Village Roadshow's
general counsel, that he was aware that making content available
online legally had helped address the problem of piracy.
Wheeler said it would require a global assessment to confirm the
claim. However, in a statement which would counter the claim that
illegally downloading a film is the only way to acquire movies
online, added: "Certainly because content is available legally
[online], it puts a lie to the claim that illegal consumption is
the only way to obtain the content".
iiNet had previously claimed that Motion Picture of America
Association (MPA) members were partners of BitTorrent, which the
four executives cross-examined today confirmed was no longer the
Marcia Reed, vice president and assistant secretary of Disney
Enterprises Inc, who also holds positions with Walt Disney and its
media distribution arm, Buena Vista Entertainment, was also briefly
cross-examined. Little came out of the cross-examination besides
confirmation of exactly how Disney and its subsidiaries are related
to the Motion Picture Association and AFACT's anti-piracy