AFACT: iiNet allowed 95,000 free handouts of copyright material

AFACT: iiNet allowed 95,000 free handouts of copyright material

AFACT accuses iiNet of ‘authorising’ copious amounts of infringement on its network

AFACT lawyers have flagged nearly 95,000 instances of infringement on iiNet’s network on day one of its copyright case hearing against the ISP.

The barrister for the 34 film studios and Seven Network being represented by AFACT, told the Court that hired investigators demonstrated 94,942 recorded instances of iiNet users making unsolicited online copies of films and shows available; content which belonged to his clients. The investigation was conducted over a 59-week period and involved BitTorrent and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks.

Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Harry Potter were among the list of materials concerned but Angelina Jolie’s action movie, Wanted was the most abused title, with more than1000 alleged infringements counted on the ISP’s network.

“These unauthorised copies available via the iiNet network represented free handouts of my clients’ copyright,” AFACT lawyer, Tony Bannon, said during court proceedings, according to a statement. The plaintiff also argued that iiNet did nothing to prevent the “rampant infringement” despite receiving notices from AFACT every week for 59 weeks.

“iiNet authorised – that is sanctioned, countenanced and approved these illegal activities on its network and only paid lip service to its own terms and conditions,” he said.

AFACT stressed the act of making material available online constituted a contravention of copyright in itself but iiNet retorted with the claim that the party which ‘fetches’ the data is the one responsible.

In the ISP’s summary of defence, iiNet takes “make available online” as communicating material “to the public”. Under the section 22 of the Copyright Act, the “person responsible for determining the content of the communication” is the person who makes the communication, not the person who holds the data.

AFACT’s barrister further attacked the defendant with discovery documents that claim to reveal how iiNet perpetuated its culture of inaction after acquiring ISP, Westnet.

The plaintiff claimed iiNet abandoned Westnet’s former policy of informing infringing customers after the acquisition in order to make more money.

“The message this sends iiNet customers is that they can rest assured that iiNet will not enforce its customer agreement,” Bannon said during proceedings. “iiNet does not want to enforce its customer agreement because it does not want to lose those customers because it was afraid of losing revenue.”

The court case continues tomorrow.

Not up-to-date with the history of the case? Click here for a timeline.

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Tags iiNetwestnetAustralian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT)


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