iiNet will lodge its defence in the Federal Court today amid claims it has infringed the copyrighted material of leading film studios and the Seven Network.
The move comes ahead of a directions hearing in the court on Friday.
A sizeable portion of the film and television industry -- Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises, and the Seven Network – is alleging that iiNet authorised customers to download films, in breach of copyright laws.
According to the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), which is representing the plaintiffs, some of the titles infringed by the iiNet network include I Am Legend, Happy Feet, American Gangster and episodes from TV series such as Heroes, Family Guy, The Simpsons, and Prison Break.
However, iiNet has disputed the claims and says it does not in any way support, or encourage, breaches of the law; including infringement of copyright. "To the contrary, iiNet is leading the industry by making legal content available in our ever-growing Media Lounge, in association with the rights owners," read a company statement issued Thursday.
"iiNet has, and always will, abide by the law. We forward allegations of illegal activity involving services connected to our network on to the relevant law enforcement agencies for their attention."
In a previous article, Malone said AFACT is expecting iiNet to do the impossible. "They send us a list of IP addresses and say 'this IP address was involved in a breach on this date'. We look at that and say 'well what do you want us to do with this? We can't release the person's details to you on the basis of an allegation and we can't go and kick the customer off on the basis of an allegation from someone else'. So we say 'you are alleging the person has broken the law; we're passing it to the police. Let them deal with it'."
iiNet said it will announce a major new and significant expansion of its free online content in coming weeks.