iiNet vs AFACT: Internet Industry Association wants in on the action

AFACT has opposed the industry body’s interest in participating in the legal proceedings

The Internet Industry Association (IIA) is seeking Court permission to join the legal brawl between iiNet and the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

Representing a number of different movie studios, AFACT lodged a copyright infringement case against iiNet last November, claiming the company allowed its users to pirate films through BitTorrent and peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.

IIA, which represents the wider Internet community along with Internet service providers (ISPs), has applied to be amicus curiae, a ‘friend of the court’, in the proceedings. While the group has notified the defendant and plaintiff, no official submission has been made. The industry body has over 140 members, including iiNet, and the ISP has welcomed IIA’s involvement.

In a brief Court hearing, AFACT opposed IIA’s participation, flagging concerns over the Industry organisation’s inherent position. AFACT claimed IIA was incapable of being a neutral independent advisor to the case due to its relationship with iiNet. Through evidence and documents found in discovery, the plaintiff also accused the industry body of working closely with the defendant on the background of the case, promoting further doubts over IIA’s impartiality.

iiNet hit back at the allegations, citing its involvement with many other industry organisations such as the Competitive Carriers Coalition (CCC) and rubbished claims that IIA has been aiding the ISP in the case.

“We work with the IIA just like we work with a lot of people,” iiNet chief regulatory officer, Steve Dalby, said. “We would happily work with the movie industry if it was prepared to work with us to develop systems to distribute its products.”

Dalby did not see IIA’s participation as tipping the scales to iiNet’s favour.

“It’s a public interest issue and IIA will not be siding with one party of the other,” he said. “The group is giving information to the Court. 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.”

An AFACT spokesperson disagreed, pointing to a previous case involving Shaman Network’s P2P client, Kazaa, in which the Court made a distinction between a public interest body and a representative body for members. A decision was made that the latter was not qualified to participate.

IIA declined to comment at time of publication. The presiding judge is expected to make a decision on the group’s application in the coming weeks.

The trial is set to commence October 6.

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Tags IIAAFACTcourt caseiiNet

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10 Comments

Anonymous

1

bout time

Surprised it has taken the industry this long to get involved with this case. If iinet lose it will set a precedent that opens the flood gates for lawsuits against many major players in the communications game.

Anonymous

2

On the other hand...

The precedent (apparently) already exists to bar IIA from involvement altogether.

Honestly, this whole case should have been tossed out before it got this far. The term "Carriage Service" used to mean something.

And now that the primary defences against the Copyright Cartels have been made public thanks to ALIE's suit, the government is set to bow to their political donors (such as Village Roadshow, who are being represented by ALIE in this very case!!) and implement new laws to allow those same cartels to run roughshod over Australian internet users.

* Mandatory ISP censorship will undoubtedly be expanded to cover sites like TPB and Mininova
* New provisions to the Telecommunications Interception Act will allow fishing expeditions into private internet users' online activities without having to bother with pesky things like warrants.

Where the hell does it end?

brutalbrital

3

iinet vs afact

afact is a bs organization trying to extort more money (through isp's) that is it in a nut shell they are not protecting anything just another money grabbing internet extortion racket. Its not bad enough that we in Australia have the worst internet speed at the highest cost in the civilised world....why dont they deal with that problem??????????????????its not worth anything to anyone thats why

Anonymous

4

Telecommunications Act

I'm not an expert on the legal side of things on Telecommunications, but all logic should say that legislation is such that it is protecting iiNet as a carrier against these wild allegations.

I'd like to read more from some experts about how the Act will influence court proceedings.

Anonymous

5

AFACT vs IINET

AFACT and its council are hypocrites, they are making the case overweight. ie saying its ok for them to have their representive industry body AFACT with all its weight behind it, to help it beatup and make an example of an individual isp. but its not ok for the other side. they are pissing their pants that IIA would weigh into it.

Anonymous

6

AFACT is a non profit organisation

Anonymous

7

Why do they insist of annoying Internet companies and users?
Why not sue Australia Post and ALL courier services for the same reason? They deliver copied discs to addresses.

Sue the CD and DVD writer companies for allowing discs to be written to?

Why not sue telephone companies for allowing the transfer of information by the internet on their phone/cable lines?
Why not sue phone companies for allowing the discussions of how to sell/organise etc these so called illegal things.

This whole thing is just so pathetic.
Sue one, sue them all.

Gary

8

Why a little fish????

To set a precedent, why oh why are they not taking on the BIGGIES. Surely they believe they have a case and the clout to knock over BigPuddle and the rest.

sambo

9

Stop - don't give them any more ideas!

Anonymous

10

What about Faxes

So now they are going to inspect Faxes incase somebody orders something illegal?

This is USA style sue anything that moves stuff.

An ISP has no right to interfere in Internet traffic, in the same way as a Telstra etc cannot tap our phones or capture details of our faxes.

Next up AFACT will take on the small ISP's that don't have the wherewithall to defend themselves.

The little guy always loses.

Comments are now closed

 

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