Online Copyright Infringement Down Under

An important copyright infringement case has been heard in the land down under.

iiNet are Australia’s third largest Internet Service Provider. A group of 34 movie production houses brought a claim against iiNet claiming that iiNet was guilty of copyright infringement for not preventing the illegal download of films.

As part of their evidence the group hired investigators to track the number of iiNet customers who used bit-torrents to download illegal movies. The groups aim was for the ISP to cut off customers who continue to download illegal movies and also for the ISP to block certain websites.

However Federal Court Justice Dennis Cowdroy found that:

“the mere provision of access to the internet is not the ‘means’ of infringement…If the ISPs become responsible for the acts of their customers, essentially they become this giant and very cheap mechanism for anyone with any sort of legal claim.”

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