Copyright cage match ends
April 19, 2012 10:17 PM Subscribe
The High Court has handed down its decision
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks (9 comments total)
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in the case of Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Ltd
; full text of judgment
; some analysis
), finding 5-0 that ISP iiNet did not authorise its users to infringe the copyrights of members of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT
) by making films available over BitTorrent.
In the words of the concurring judgement of Gummow and Hayne JJ:
iiNet only in an attenuated sense had power to "control" the primary infringements utilising BitTorrent. It was not unreasonable for iiNet to take the view that it need not act upon the incomplete allegations of primary infringements in the AFACT Notices without further investigation which it should not be required itself to undertake, at its peril of committing secondary infringement.
This decision brings an end to the extended litigation, which had previously been decided in favour of iiNet in the Federal Court
and the Full Federal Court
. Costs, awarded against the plaintiffs, are likely to be substantial with iiNet having spent around $9 million on the case.
What now for Australian copyright law? The Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department has been holding secret meetings between ISPs and (some) copyright-holders to work out a compromise, but these have been criticised as "offensive" by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam
and don't seem to have accomplished much anyway
. An Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry into exceptions to copyright has been announced
, but the draft terms of reference
[PDF] seem to exclude peer-to-peer communications.
For more (intense) details, here's iiNet's history of the case
and some information
, via Wikileaks, about the role of the Motion Picture Association of America in the case.