iiNet v AFACT: Court adjourned early, AFACT chief to front court again next week

Court ended on day four ahead of schedule due to dispute over evidence

Day four of the copyright case between film studios, represented by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), ended early due to conflict over the use of confidential documents.

AFACT executive director, Neil Gane, was called to the witness stand where he briefly answered questions from iiNet’s barrister. After both legal parties locked heads over what aspects of affidavits and other documents can or cannot be used due to confidentiality issues, the court was adjourned.

Both legal teams will try and resolve their differences on the evidential documents over the weekend. Presiding judge, Justice Cowdroy, is expected to make a decision on the matter on October 12 and the AFACT executive director will front court again at 10am.

Earlier in the day, AFACT barrister, Tony Bannon, responded to iiNet’s accusations that some of the relevant movie studios had contractual relationships with BitTorrent, which maintains the software client linked to “rampant” copyright infringements on the iiNet network. Torrent hosting site, Mininova, was also claimed to have been involved. Some of the applicants’ logos, including Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures, appear on both websites.

Bannon said the studios once had agreements with the BitTorrent companies but no longer did so. iiNet dismissed the claim as immaterial to the point the company was trying to make.

“The fact is the logos are still on the BitTorrent sites and serves the argument we are making, which is a couple of clicks away from where the logos are, you can download things,” an iiNet spokesperson said. “Part of the argument we are making in relation to all that is when it comes to what are ‘reasonable steps’ for iiNet to take about illegal downloading when they are not even asking BitTorrent to do the same thing?”

Court will resume on October 12. For a detailed timeline of the court case, click here.

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