A damaging blow has been dealt to the giants of the film industry in the High Court today after it decided to dismiss their copyright infringement appeal case against internet service provider (ISP) iiNet in a landmark ruling.

The High Court’s five judges unanimously dismissed the appeal. In a summary the court observed that iiNet “had no direct technical power” to prevent its customers from illegally downloading pirated content using BitTorrent, a popular protocol used to share files online.

But copyright law experts say the case is not the end of the story as more ISPs could be targeted in future and pressure will remain on internet providers to do something about piracy on their networks. The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), which has been representing the studios in media commentary and in court, is already pressuring the government to change copyright laws to crack down on piracy.

Today, the court said iiNet’s power to prevent customers from pirating movies and TV shows “was limited to an indirect power to terminate its contractual relationship with its customers”.

Further, the High Court said that infringement notices sent by the film industry to iiNet did not provide the ISP “with a reasonable basis for sending warning notices to individual customers containing threats to suspend or terminate those customers”.

  1. Anonymous says:


    This whole “let’s get the ISP companies to become Nazi spies” movement has to stop! (We have enough problems with them nickel and dime-ing us for other total bullshit.)

    If moronic organizations like the MPAA/RIAA want to prosecute people for copyright infringement then let them do it to each INDIVIDUAL who is GUILTY! (Why is this so hard for them the understand?)

    The MPAA/RIAA and anyone else who sides with them totally miss the point of “INTER-NET“! No one is in charge! It’s like a public bathroom. You may have to pay to get in but once you’re in what you do is YOUR BUSINESS.

    Does that make sense to the mental midgets who think they know better by implementing a dictatorial state with herds of Nazi’s running things? It’s based on a little known or poorly understood concept called “individual RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY” – which in essence is another way to describe FREEDOM!

    • Yankinwaoz says:

      Don’t you realize that the music and film industries want other to pay for their copyright enforcement. They have no problem forcing taxpayers to subsidize their business.

  2. Glenn E. says:

    Typical tactics of the sore loser. Whenever they lose. They want the rules of the game changed, to their benefit, to they’ll win more easily, next time. Too bad the average citizen never gets such a break, once their government is installed into power. In every case, almost immediately, the rules start getting changed to favor the wealthy.

    The only way the ISPs are going to able to stop online piracy, is if they examine every byte that flows in and out of their system, to see if it proprietary is some way. Which will only slow things down a lot more. And raise the cost, which will be passed onto all subscribers, as part of doing business. Which mean you’re being penalized. Whether or not, you ever pirated anything. And the Media industry gets free online policing and security. The same way the US airlines do, with the TSA.

    The problem with this solution is, that it won’t last. Eventually the pirate packet traffic will end up encrypted and/or disguised as being something else, that’s legal. And the ISPs won’t be able to keep up, banning and blocking new sources of disguised traffic, that they can’t classify as legal or not. Inventing a better mouse trap, will only lead to breeding a smarter mouse.


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