Kim Dotcom, the mega-massive-man from Megaupload, was arrested
(while having his birthday cake) and thrown in an Auckland jail
with that French guy who eye gouged Richie McCaw in the Rugby World
Now we're all for freedom on the internet, but eye gouging
Richie McCaw deserves serious punishment.
But we digress . . . what's interesting is that our High
Court is shortly going to decide on very similar issues. In the
iiNet case the movie studios have argued that if they send
an ISP a letter saying to take down offending material, the ISP
must do so or face a massive damages claim from the movie
We think the movie studios' position is untenable.
First, who decides if someone is breaching copyright? The
studios want effectively to circumvent the courts and have the
power to threaten an ISP or website owner into submission.
That's very dangerous.
Because, what if the studio is wrong? That is the part about
which they remain conveniently silent. If an ISP is forced to shut
you down and the studio is wrong, assuming you've got the money
to even have that fight, by the time you're up and running
again it may be too late.
A classic example of this was Universal Music demanding the
removal of Megaupload's YouTube promotional clip featuring a
number of celebs including will.i.am, P Diddy, Serena Willams and
Jamie Foxx - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0Wvn-9BXVc
Universal Music demanded the clip's removal because of
copyright infringement. YouTube removed it, but guess what?
Universal was 100% wrong and the clip was reinstated. So, yeah,
they do get it wrong.
It's easy to forget that the people doing the wrong thing
are those who are illegally copying movies and music. We're not
defending piracy, but going after facilitators on the internet,
such as ISPs, is not the way to solve this problem.
To date the Australian courts have not supported the studios,
but the High Court will soon be giving us all a clearer picture of
the local landscape.
No matter what happens in the High Court, the problem for
Megaupload is that it has servers in the U.S. putting it within
reach of the U.S. courts and FBI, and it disobeyed the notices sent
by the big studios. The climate in the US is very different from
here. They really hate copyright infringement.
The big question is will an ISP like iiNet face the same
problems in Australia as mega-massive-man currently faces in an
We're thinking not.
We do not disclaim anything about this article. We're
quite proud of it really.
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