iiNet Wins In Piracy Trial

iiNet Wins In Piracy Trial

iiNet has prevailed in the much-watched Federal Court case which accused it of aiding piracy by failing to block customers who used BitTorrent to illegally swap movies, with Justice Dennis Cowdroy ruling that iiNet was not responsible for the actions of those customers.

It’s a decision likely to be cheered by fans of Channel BT, if not by the movie industry bodies that sued the ISP in the first place. That said, an appeal is still fairly likely, so it’s probably not the last word on the subject.

Film industry loses iiNet download case [ABC News]


  • I would have been stunned if they’d lost.. There is no case to be answered as far as I can tell.
    The law frowns upon false accusations of wrongdoing.
    The practice of iiNet forwarding allegations of wrongdoing to Police for investigation is the correct course of action.

  • I don’t do any illegal downloading at all. I don’t even have a bittorrent client installed. I still think this win is a good decision. For me this isn’t a win for pirates, it’s disheartening to see them taking it as that.

    I don’t like the thought of Australia Post opening up all my mail to make sure I’m not sending anything illegal. I don’t want my isp essentially doing the same thing to my packets either. It’s creepy.

    I’m not even sure if iinet should even be legally responsible for handling the forwarding of accusations to anybody unless there is a court order compelling them to do so for each and every one.

    • If iiNet had of lost it could have opened up a whole can of worms like your Ford scenario.
      Or, electricity companies being held accountable because someone has a hydroponics system at home.

  • Just been reading some of the comments on the various news items. So many of the commentators think the win means that illegal downloading is now legal. Crazy.

  • This is all becoming a big joke. What is the difference of this and for example the Police department suing Ford because people are speeding in their cars?
    iiNet give you the vehicle – if you break the rules it’s not their fault.

  • Scenario: Movie studio employs 2 investigators to track who is downloading their material. The 2 investigators make the material available then log who downloads it. The movie studios then say this is an illegal act. However, the movie studios, as copyright holder and by virtue of the act of employment and providing the material, have authorised this material to be distributed. That makes any copies downloaded by the average punter to be legal. I’d like to see how that sort of defence would hold up.

  • I wish I could find the article again, but. . .
    A few months ago I was reading about law firms in America whos sole purpose is to develop packages (so to speak) to present to media companies (such as movies and music) as a way to generate income.
    Its very profitable for these studios to sue a few people for millions.
    Good business sense.

    • There’s a big difference for US law firms versus Australian ones in this regard.

      The USA has something called statutory damages, which essentially came from the line of thought that said, in large scale counterfeiting operations, it may be difficult to determine exactly how many copies were made illegally. So, we need a high penalty per provable infringement. Thus, there’s specified numbers for each infringement.

      This leads to the kind of insane penalty that gives a mother living in a trailer park a $650k fine, for a couple of dozen songs her kids downloaded from limewire.

      Australia currently does not have statutory penalties for such infringements. Nor should we. A statutory penalty skews the judicial process away from a recognition that circumstances vary – it is not appropriate to financially crucify someone forever, simply for the sake of upholding the artistic rights of some other commercial enterprise.

      We could eventually have such penalties though, the ACTA treaty might introduce something like this, however, the details of the ACTA treaty are largely due to speculation, because almost no one is ever actually allowed to look at the draft versions of it without signing a non-disclosure agreement. Something completely absurd and counter intuitive to any open, representative democracy.

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