iiNet WinsRodney 5 comments
In news that has serious ramifications for the Internet, iiNet has won their court case against some of the media's biggest heavyweights. In a startling case of sanity prevailing in the legal system, the court ruled that iiNet cannot be held responsible for the downloads of their customers and iiNet themselves are not in breach of copyright over the actions of their customers.
In more good news for ISPs, the court ruled that even if iiNet had been able to be found guilty, they would be protected by Australia Safe Habour rulings.
"...Safe harbour provisions are contained in the Copyright Act, and in essence they provide that even if an ISP is found to have authorised a breach of copyright by its users, an ISP won't be liable for damages if it complies with the conditions of the safe harbour provisions... and the broad thrust of those safe harbour provisions is that the ISP must have a policy of terminating the accounts of repeat infringers and reasonably implementing that policy..."
It's quite possible this court case will have ramifications in Europe and the US, who have similar legal systems in regards to copyright and that most of the World was watching this landmark case. While it's very likely that AFACT (who represent the media companies) will appeal, it's considered very unlikely they would be able to overturn the ruling.
However it's not all good news for torrent users or ISPs. RMIT University's general counsel John Lambrick says that its quite likely that AFACT will now lobby the Australian government to change laws, making it easier for them to prosecute copyright infringers and that Senator Conroy may turn out to be quite ammendable to the media industry's request.
"...I expect you'll see some Government intervention which will require ISPs to carry some of the burden that they're not otherwise required to carry... as part of the decision. They will appeal, I expect, to the full court of the Federal Court and argue that Justice Cowdroy's decision was wrong in law. But I expect at the same time they will be lobbying the Federal Government to amend the Copyright Act..."
However for the time being, the legal system does appear to have finally made a sane decision regarding the Internet and its use.
Historical articles on this matter can be found below.
iiNet piracy case begins
Aussie ISP Iinet getting sued by Hollywood studios