The IP addresses of thousands of Australians who have downloaded illegal movies from iiNet are now known by investigators working for the Australian Federation against Copyright Theft the organisation has admitted. They have also said that the Australian Federal Police should also be investigating the illegal downloading of content.
During a 5 month sting operation AFACT claims that that have obtained information that reveals that thousands of Australians are illegally downloading video content over IP networks however despite this being widely known the Australian Federal Police have failed to take action against any Australian ISP.
In a statement issued late today the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft said “Seven leading film companies and their affiliates and licensees filed a legal action against iiNet. The companies seek a ruling that iiNet infringed copyright by failing to take reasonable steps, including enforcing its own terms and conditions, to prevent known unauthorised use of copies of the companies’ films and TV programs by iiNet’s customers via its network”.
Adrianne Pecotic the Executive Director of (AFACT() said “Today’s action by AFACT’s members was necessary because the ISP ignored repeated notices over many months identifying thousands of illegal file transfers via iiNet’s network carried out by its customers”.
“iiNet refused to address this illegal behaviour and did nothing to prevent the continuation of the infringements by the same customers,” said Ms Pecotic. “iiNet has an obligation under the law to take steps to prevent further known copyright infringement via its network.”
Pecotic added “We have been investigating this matter for five months and we have obtained a wealth of information that reveals that iiNet is allowing the downloading of illegal movies that in breach of the Copyright Act”.
When asked whether it should be the Australian Federal Police taking action under the Copyright action and not the movie industry she said “That’s a good question I would love to know why the Federal Police are not taking action”.
“In a very short space of time we have obtained information that has led to several members taking action against iiNet because they are in breach of their own terms and conditions which state that they will not allow the illegal transfer of content on their network. We also want a judgement ordering the ISP to stop the illegal downloading of copyrighted music over Bit Torrent networks”.
Pecotic also claimed that the illegal downloading of content was costing movie Companies in excess of $230 million dollars a year in lost revenue.
A spokesperson for the Australian Federal Police said that they will investigate the claims of AFACT. “One reason that there may have not been an investigation is that we have not received a complaint. We need to have a complaint for us to investigate”.
A senior executive at BigPond who did not want to be named said “This will be a test case for the entire ISP industry. I am not surprised that they have chosen to target iiNet because if they had targeted Telstra or Optus they would have a big and expensive fight on their hands”.