iiNet: 3000 pages of copyright breach notices from 1350 emails in 7 days

The civil case between iiNet and AFACT continues with opening arguments concluded

iiNet has hit back in its civil case against the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) at the Federal Court of Australia with a statistical retort.

In its opening arguments at the start of the case, AFACT barrister Tony Bannon SC, alleged there were 94,942 instances of iiNet customers making available online unauthorised copies of movies.

However, in his opening arguments iiNet’s barrister Richard Cobden SC hit back saying the ISP had received “over 3000 pages of notices from more than 1350 emails over a seven day period from copyright holders about allegations of breaches”.

If printed out, it would take 12 trolleys to carry them into the court, he claimed. The previous day Cobden also described AFACT’s statistics as being “artificially inflated”.

The iiNet lawyer said with such volume of notices “no one can seriously be expected to respond to all these and it was not reasonable or appropriate for iiNet to respond to such allegations of copyright breaches”.

Cobden additionally said many of the film studios that are represented by AFACT had contractual agreements with the P2P website used by many of iiNet’s customers to share files, BitTorrent.

He said many of the film studio’s logos were displayed on the BitTorrent site. He also argued industry bodies, ISPs and AFACT had been in discussions for four or five years over the issue of the sharing of copyrighted files, but AFACT had suddenly dropped out to pursue the case against iiNet.

Tomorrow, AFACT’s executive director, Neil Gane, will be the first witness in the trial after Cobden took longer than expected to finish his opening arguments.

The case, being heard by Justice Cowdroy will run for two weeks on, two weeks break and then two weeks on again. It is expected, however, to be taken to the High Court regardless of who wins this round.