Andrew Ramadge reports:
Internet service provider iiNet has won a major legal battle over whether it should be held responsible for its customers downloading content illegally.
The case, against the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, could have had major implications for the way internet providers police their users.
If AFACT had won, providers would likely have been forced to penalise or disconnect users who illegally downloaded copyrighted material such as movies and songs.
However Federal Court judge Justice Dennis Cowdroy today found iiNet was not responsible for the infringements of its users.
AFACT hit back by saying the ruling hinged on a technicality.
“We believe this decision was based on a technical finding centred on the court’s interpretation of the how infringement’s occur and (iiNet’s) ability to control them,” said executive director Neil Gane.
“We are confident that the Government does not intend a policy outcome where rampant copyright infringement is allowed to continue unaddressed and unabated via the iiNet network.”
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