iiNet Piracy Case Back In Court, As Chief Calls On Hollywood To Make Content Legit

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AFACT takes iiNet back to court in the latest twist to the prolonged legal battle. This comes as its CEO calls on the film industry “to make their content legitimately available.”

The ISP is now looking at yet another court date most likely in July, following the lodgement of an appeal by AFACT against an earlier ruling which saw the case dismissed, according to reports today.

Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft Group, bought the action against iiNet on behalf of some of the biggest Hollywood movie houses including Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox and Disney, as well as the Seven Network, in a bid to prevent illegal downloads being transmitted through its network.

However, iiNet has said today another court case will not be enough to stop the downloads.

This case is part of a larger effort by content houses to establish a ruling that would prevent large ISPs such as BigPond and Optus from openly allowing their online customers to access content such as movies and other entertainment, which they argue is essentially illegal content.

In February, Justice Cowdroy recommended the application be dismissed
and that AFACT pay the court costs. The case was heard before three
judges but the appeal case could now be heard by a panel of up to seven.

In a landmark ruling last month, Federal Court judge, Justice Dennis Cowdroy, found the Perth-based ISP was not responsible for the infringements of its users and that they should not be held responsible for what their users send over the internet.

“It is impossible to conclude that iiNet has authorised copyright infringement. (it) did not have relevant power to prevent infringements occurring,” Justice Cowdroy said in his judgment.

Another court challenge not stop illegal downloading, even if successful, iiNet’s CEO Michael Malone said today.

“It’s time for the film industry and copyright holders to work with the
industry to make their content legitimately available,” Mr Malone said.

 

He said iiNet had received an overwhelming response to the model it released earlier this month that would see an independent body responsible for verifying claims of copyright infringement and determining any penalty.

“The feedback has been very positive from both consumers and the industry.  It’s time to start implementing this new approach.”

“People are crying out to access the studios materials, so much so some are prepared to steal it. A more effective approach would be for the studios to make their content more readily and cheaply available online.

“But we also recognise that regardless of the availability or timely, reasonably priced content, some individuals will continue to try to source content illegally.

“That’s why we have developed a model to deal with infringement activity.

“Our model addresses ISP concerns but is one we think remains attractive to all participants, including the sustainable strategy of an impartial referee for the resolution of disputes and the issue of penalties for offenders.”

 

Mr Malone said if the movie studios were serious about stopping illegal
downloads they would join with the industry in genuine talks to
implement a new workable solution.

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