We've previously reported on the iiNet case
which has been doing the rounds in the Australian Courts.
It's the one about whether ISPs can be held liable for
copyright infringements by their account holders who are using
programs such as Bit Torrent to download movies and TV
In the final of the three part trilogy of cases, the High Court
has found unanimously in favour of iiNet.
The big issue was whether iiNet in providing internet access to
its customers, "authorised" those customers to infringe
copyright. The High Court said that despite the fact that iiNet had
received notices of alleged infringements and failed to take any
action, iiNet had no direct power to prevent its customers from
using BitTorrent and infringing copyright.
So iiNet is not authorising its customers' infringements
and movie studios cannot rely on ISPs to do their dirty work.
For now ISPs are safe, and it will be next to impossible for
movie studios to successfully bring another case against an ISP in
For movie and television studios, this was not the
"Hollywood ending" they were hoping for. But it's
not fini for Hollywood.
The High Court decision only gives further ammunition to the
case for legislative reform to put ISPs squarely in the firing line
for copyright infringements. There's also a code of conduct
between content creators and owners and internet companies which is
in the wings.
But in the balance of legislative and regulatory reform, we
think the better solution is to tackle the direct infringements by
users instead. One way to do this is to make online content more
accessible and cheaper.
It's more "foreign film ending" than Hollywood
ending, but we think it'll be more of a crowd pleaser.
Questions? Give us a call
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Late last year, owners of copyright in various films and television programs successfully applied to the Federal Court of Australia for orders requiring a number of Australian ISPs to take steps to block access to five overseas copyright-infringing sites.
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