Below is the official statement from AFACT on today's Federal Court ruling on online copyright infringement.
34 film companies representing the Australian and US film industries today expressed their disappointment that the Federal Court found that iiNet was not liable for the copyright infringements by its customers on its network.
The Federal Court of Australia today found that despite findings of copyright infringement by iiNet customers, iiNet did not authorise the acts of its customers.
The ruling came after film companies including Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises, Inc. and the Seven Network, the Australian licensee of some of the infringed works, filed a legal action against iiNet in November 2008.
They commenced action against iiNet following a 5 month investigation that uncovered instances of copyright infringements by users of iiNet’s services.
Speaking on behalf of the Australian and US film companies that launched the action, Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft Executive Director Neil Gane said he was disappointed by the Court’s decision.
“Today’s decision is set back for the 50,000 Australians employed in the film industry,” he said.
“But we believe this decision was based on a technical finding centred on the court’s interpretation of the how infringement’s occur and the ISPs ability to control them.
“We are 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.
“We will now take the time to review the decision before making further comment on next steps,” he said.