iiNet v AFACT Anti-Piracy Case Appeal Set For August 2010

Earlier this year Hollywood lost its case against iiNet when a court ruled that the ISP could not be held responsible for the actions of its subscribers when they committed copyright infringements using BitTorrent. The studios appealed and now the date has been set for the Federal Court re-run. iiNet boss Michael Malone is confident of a second victory.

February this year saw Aussie ISP iiNet celebrating after it successfully defended a legal attack by Hollywood anti-piracy outfit AFACT.

Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises, Inc. and the Seven Network took iiNet to court in the hope that a judge would find the ISP responsible for the copyright infringements of its customers.

Judge Justice Dennis Cowdroy shattered that dream and iiNet won its landmark case. Quickly AFACT announced it would appeal the judgment which it said had left an “unworkable environment for content creators and content providers” and represented “a serious threat to Australia’s digital economy.”

Its now being reported that beginning on August 2nd and running for the next 4 days, the appeal will be heard by a full bench of the Federal Court. The time allocated is a dramatic reduction over the month long saga of the first hearing.

“We go into this latest legal round anticipating we will come out in an even stronger position than when we won in February,” iiNet chief Michael Malone told The Australian.

AFACT’s appeal will consist of 15 areas where they believe original case judge Justice Cowdroy got his decision wrong, but even if the Federal Court agrees, Malone believes an AFACT victory would be a hollow one.

“Neither the original case nor this latest appeal will stop piracy — even if in the unlikely event they won the appeal,” he concludes.

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