Anti-Piracy Group Objects To Friend of the Court Application

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As the legal machinery continues to grind in the case of anti-piracy group AFACT versus ISP iiNet, Australia's Internet Industry Association (IIA) feels it has something to offer the proceedings. IIA has applied to be amicus curiae, a ‘friend of the court’, but AFACT has objected, insisting the group would not be impartial and would favor iiNet.

The ongoing battle over alleged BitTorrent piracy between several studios – Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises, Inc. and the Seven Network (all under the umbrella of AFACT), against Australian ISP iiNet continues to drag on.

Now Australia’s Internet Industry Association (IIA) is set to request permission to join the fight.

IIA has more than 140 members and has applied to offer its expertise to the proceedings as amicus curiae (friend of the court), as explained by iiNet’s chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby;

“What an amicus is required to do is to provide information that is to the public interest that may or may not come out of the evidence provided by the parties.”

However, while iiNet has welcomed IIA getting involved, the same enthusiasm is not shared by AFACT. Since iiNet is a member of IIA, AFACT claims that it would be impossible for the industry association to be neutral on the issue.

AFACT went further with its accusations of non-impartiality by claiming that IIA had been working with iiNet on the background of the current case. However, according to the ARN report, iiNet denied that IIA had assisted with the case.

Dalby insists that IIA’s involvement in the case would not prove provide iiNet with an advantage and said that iiNet works with IIA and lots of other groups adding, “We would happily work with the movie industry if it was prepared to work with us to develop systems to distribute its products.”

The judge in the case will decide if IIA’s application will be accepted shortly and the trial itself will begin in less than a month on October 6th.


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