Australian ISPs welcome iiNet verdict

ISPs welcome iiNet win against AFACT in the Federal Court

Australian ISPs have welcomed iiNet's win in a landmark Federal Court battle against the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

AFACT — representing Roadshow Films, Channel 7 and other film studios including Universal Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, and Disney Enterprises — attempted to sue iiNet for failing to act against customers downloading illegal content over the Internet via BitTorrent and P2P file sharing networks.

[Check out a timeline of the AFACT vs. iiNet case]

In the verdict delivered this morning, Justice Cowdroy ruled in favour of iiNet saying the ISP "can't be seen as approving infringement." Judge Cowdroy also ruled that AFACT pay all iiNet's legal costs.

The decision was welcomed by a number of Australian ISPs.

Telstra, the largest ISP in Australia, told PC World the landmark judgment clarifies the role of ISPs. "We welcome the legal clarity today's judgement provides regarding the role of ISPs," said spokesperson Craig Middleton. "As one of the major content publishers in Australia we do not condone piracy and we encourage the lawful use of our services. Allegations of wrongdoing should be dealt with in accordance with due legal process, with which we will always co-operate fully."

Optus was "pleased" with the outcome and will review the decision in further detail. "We are pleased with today’s judgement and will be reviewing the court’s reasoning in more detail," an Optus spokesperson told PC World. "Optus does not approve or condone any person engaging in copyright infringement by any means, including use of peer-to-peer or other file sharing technologies."

Internode, which was the first ISP to offer ADSL2+ broadband in Australia, declined to comment on the court decision.

"Internode wants the opportunity to examine the iiNet court decision fully, so it will not comment on the outcome of the case this week," an Internode spokesperson told PC World.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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