AFACT pressures ISPs to fulfil “obligations” against content piracy

AFACT pressures ISPs to fulfil “obligations” against content piracy

Anti-piracy group has used recent Federal Court judgements from its iiNet case to ask ISPs to join its fight against copyright infringement online.

The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has been issuing letters to ISPs imploring them to work with the anti-piracy organisation to "fulfil their obligations".

AFACT has been in embroiled in a Federal Court case with Perth-based ISP, iiNet, since 2009. The anti-piracy group accused iiNet of authorising film piracy by not preventing such activities by its subscriber base.

Click here for a complete timeline of the iiNet v AFACT copyright court case

Despite iiNet winning round one of Court proceedings, AFACT lodged an appeal to the Full Federal Court.

The appeal was dismissed but Full Court judgement opened up possibilities of ISPs being responsible for authorising content piracy due to shortcomings in their customer service agreements.

The Australian reported AFACT had recently sent letters to ISPs which suggest that they are obliged to work with the anti-piracy organisation. The group has confirmed this with ARN.

“The recent Federal Court ruling confirmed ISPs should play a role and obligations [in preventing online copyright theft],” an AFACT spokesperson said. “This is simply an invitation to ISP to work with us.”

Some ISPs including TPG and Exetel already automatically forward notices of infringement from AFACT to relevant customers. Many others have refused to do so.

While the Internet Industry Association (IIA) is working on drawing up an Industry Copyright Code to clarify what role ISPs should play in preventing content piracy, AFACT said it was not involved in the process.

“It’d be terrific if the code respects the Federal Court findings,” the AFACT spokesperson said. “We have not worked with the IIA and the letters went directly to ISPs.”

AFACT represents over 30 high-profile movie studios

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Tags TelcoiiNetTelecommunicationsExetelAustralian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT)ISPs

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