iiNet wins copyright court case

The Federal Court favoured the internet service provider in its legal battle against the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, who expressed disappointment by the decision.

In what is seen as a landmark case worlwide for ISPs’ liability for their customers’ copyright infringement, Justice Dennis Cowdroy determined iiNet was not liable for its customers’ downloading habits, because it had done nothing but to provide an internet service to them.  He also said that iiNet’s service was not intended for copyright infringement, and that the ISP had no control over BitTorrent systems enabled through its network.

“iiNet is not responsible if an iiNet user uses that system to bring about copyright infringement … the law recognises no positive obligation on any person to protect the copyright of another,” he said.

AFACT claimed it had provided iiNet with a report of iiNet users who were infringing its members’ rights, but the ISP had done nothing to stop them from downloading protected films and television programs.

Encore has tried to reach AFACT for a reaction, but the organisation’s spokesperson has not responded yet. In a press release, the organisation said it is disappointed by the decision, which AFACT believes was based on a technical finding centred on the court’s interpretation of how infringements occur and the ISP’s ability to control them.

AFACT has stated that it will take time to review the decision before deciding the next step.


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