Ep 06 of 2010
February 8, 2010
It’s been an action packed break this time around with the launch of Apples new iPad. The NBN costs just keep blowing out, in fact the deadlines just keep moving, and probably not the best in an election year, and the big news from last week was iiNet’s win over the film houses in Australia’s first landmark antipiracy case.
In case you missed it, iiNet, one of Australia’s largest internet suppliers was taken to task in the Federal Court over allowing its customers to download illegal material online. In plain speak, the movie companies, represented by AFACT (the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft) claimed that they had caught iiNet customers downloading movies using bit torrent. A special downloading application which makes for a fast and corruption free downloads of anything.
The 34 film companies represented by the AFACT have expressed disappointment in the Federal Court’s decision to rule in favour of iiNet. The verdict by presiding judge, Justice Cowdroy found iiNet had not authorised copyright infringements across its network. The judge also ordered AFACT to pay iiNet's legal cost.
Most commentators think that this will not be the last we hear of this as AFACT has 15 days to appeal the verdict.
Neil Gane, AFACT executive director, expressed disappointment in the Court’s decision saying “The decision is a set back for the 50,000 Australians employed in the film industry,” but he believes this decision was based on a technical finding centered on the court’s interpretation of the how infringements occur and the ISPs’ ability to control them.
He went on to say that AFACT is confident that the Government does not intend a policy outcome where rampant copyright infringement is allowed to continue unaddressed and unabated via the iiNet network.
On the other side of the verdict iiNet welcomed the Federal Court’s judgment. iiNet CEO Michael Malone said his company has never supported or encouraged breaches of the law, including infringement of the Copyright Act of the Telecommunications Act. The judgment is a vindication of that and the allegations against us have been proven to be unfounded.
Malone went on to say iiNet has always been, and will continue to be, a good corporate citizen and an even better copyright citizen. From our perspective today marks the end of the matter and we will continue to get on with the business. and continue to provide Australians with the access to fast and cheap broadband with innovative new services and products.
There’ll be lot’s more on this verdict from the panel on Today’s Tech Talk Radio.