The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has dismissed iiNet’s legal content distribution platform, Freezone, in the Full Federal Court.
The piracy group appealed the decision in the Federal Court that concluded iiNet did not authorise copyright infringement of its users through peer-to-peer protocol, Bit Torrent. Appeal hearings began this month.
Freezone contains legal material from a number of content owners that customers can download without being counted towards their download limit. In February, iiNet chief, Michael Malone, claimed Freezone accounted for 11 per cent of the total of volume downloaded by iiNet’s customer base; higher than any single source.
The content portal was also used as part of the ISP’s defense in the copyright case brought on by AFACT.
iiNet maintained Freezone contributed to iiNet’s efforts to discourage users from downloading and sharing illegal content. The company saw this new delivery model as a better way to tackle copyright infringement compared to litigation by copyright holders.
AFACT barrister, David Catterns, told the Full Court during day four of the appeal hearing that Freezone is irrelevant in iiNet’s defence since there is no evidence it was an effective deterrent of copyright infringements occurring on the ISP’s network.
iiNet seemed to have implied if somebody at home using Bit Torrent to share and download content will be less inclined to do so since they would be too busy cruising Freezone, he said. But Catterns said this doesn’t go very far as Freezone doesn’t remove the illegal content already on a customer’s computer which automatically continues to share infringing material online if a Bit Torrent client has not been closed or uninstalled.
AFACT represents 34 film studios in this Court case.
The appeal hearing is due to conclude today.