AFACT v iiNet: Day 6 – IP Address Alone Is Not Enough

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Day six of the copyright infringement trial between anti-piracy group AFACT and Aussie ISP iiNet. In addition to ongoing cross-examination of a DtecNet anti-piracy boss, a forensic investigator and veteran of the KaZaA case took the stand, admitting that an IP address alone is insufficient to identify an exact individual.

AFACTIt’s day six in the copyright infringement case of AFACT – representing several Hollywood studios – and Aussie ISP iiNet (earlier coverage of day one, day two, day three, day four and day five).

After Justice Cowdroy allowed several documents to be used in court yesterday which were used by iiNet’s legal team to cross-examine AFACT witnesses, senior counsel Tony Bannon for the movie industry said he wants to subpoena the Internet Industry Association (IIA) for documents it says relates to meetings held with ISPs in 2006/2007 on how to handle p2p copyright infringement.

The documents are required for further cross-examination of witnesses. Earlier IIA had applied to be a friend of the court, an application to which AFACT objected.

Also revealed in court today is that iiNet is on the brink of launching an online kids entertainment service. Nothing particularly unusual about that, until one learns of iiNet’s business partner – TV company Village Roadshow, one of the litigants in the case. The content will be free to view and iiNet won’t even count the bandwidth its customers use on these downloads.

AustralianIT notes that iiNet was due to announce the service in around a month’s time, but will now launch it this weekend.

A computer forensics investigator who was previously a key witness in the 2004 KaZaA trial, was called by iiNet’s legal team today. Nigel Carson, a key witness for AFACT, was questioned on whether an IP address alone is enough to identify an individual infringer.

Carson admitted that any ISP account could have multiple users in the same household and could have other unauthorized 3rd-party users if a wireless router was compromised.

He further admitted that to accurately identify a precise individual, a court order and police action could be required to interview account holders and other individuals living at the address.

The open court session was also closed for the continuing cross-examination of DtecNet’s CTO Kristian Lockegaard which began yesterday.

The case continues to the end of this week, where there will be a two week gap before the court reconvenes for a further two weeks.

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