Order dominates Sharman court proceedings

Sharman Networks this week appealed an Order in the Federal Court, issued against it earlier this year by the Australian music industry.

In yet another bid to have the Anton Piller Order dropped, Sharman’s lawyers argued that the Order should not be used against Sharman which, as a company, has shown cooperation in other ongoing worldwide legal battles.

The Anton Piller Order allows potential evidence to be seized immediately without notice, to avoid that evidence being altered or destroyed.

Sharman’s lawyers argue that the Order was unnecessary because Sharman was unlikely to destroy material.

Justice Wilcox had approved the order because, he said, “It was necessary to gain ‘snapshots’ of what is happening on Sharman Networks network at any one time, and to ‘preserve’ this evidence.”

Sharman’s lawyers pointed out that this is an unnecessary justification for using the Order, because all the relevant material to the case is live on the Web and anyone can view it at any time.

Sharman’s lawyers claimed that the Order should not have applied to this case, and as a result Sharman has suffered negative publicity and significant injuries to its business with loss and damaged property.

“The Anton Piller Order,” Sharman’s lawyers said, “is a very serious weapon that could be placed into the wrong hands and as such the courts should carefully contain it.”

“It is invasive, destructive and draconian and has resulted in lost and damaged property as well as negative publicity.”

Chief Justice Black, Justice Emmett and Justice Stone have reserved judgement and will hand down a decision either later this week or early next week.

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