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The Courts The Internet

AU Legal Group Says ISP Allowed 100K Illegal Downloads 191

Posted by kdawson
from the uncommon-carrier dept.
In Australia, a court wrapped up day one of what promises to be a 4-week trial of media interests against ISP iiNet. Reader bennyboy64 writes "iTnews reports that Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft investigators claim to have recorded almost 100,000 instances of Australian internet service provider iiNet users making available online unauthorized copies of films and TV programs, lawyers for the film industry said in the Federal Court in Sydney today. The lawyers for the film industry claimed iiNet had done 'nothing' to discourage copyright infringement on its network. iTnews also has a background piece on the case, with a Flash-y graph."
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AU Legal Group Says ISP Allowed 100K Illegal Downloads

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  • Pax (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @04:52AM (#29667477)

    Yes, they did. So did I. But htere's a legal distinction between "allow" and "authorise", something AFACT appears to be doing its best to ignore.

  • by Xiph (723935) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @05:05AM (#29667539)

    that they weren't required to do!

    Time for me to sue someone for not giving me money!
    Saddle up, we're going to Australia!

  • by tnok85 (1434319) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @05:05AM (#29667541)
    This just in! A group of car insurance companies just sued several state governments because they have allowed drivers to operate vehicles at unauthorized speeds, which led to accidents and higher insurance costs! Insurance companies know this because bicyclists have been watching how fast cars go, and they go way too fast!

    Wait a minute, you can actually prove tangible losses from people speeding. That would make this lawsuit a little more feasible than what AFACT wants.
  • Er, well spotted. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lordandmaker (960504) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @05:05AM (#29667543) Homepage
    From what I gather, BT neither discourages or is expected to discourage the use of their phone network for things like buying controlled substances and arranging burglaries. That's normally left up to the police.
  • by lordandmaker (960504) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @05:12AM (#29667581) Homepage

    Wait a minute, you can actually prove tangible losses from people speeding.

    You can? In the UK it's what keeps local government afloat.

  • by misnohmer (1636461) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @05:15AM (#29667587)

    So the argument here is that the ISP is liable for illegal content exchange. What about the router manufacturer? How about the OS manufacturer? If the traffic was all encrypted, is the ISP on the hook for man-in-the-middle attacks to decrypt and inspect the content, or will they then be liable for invasion of privacy? Is there such a thing as privacy down under?

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @05:19AM (#29667605)

    Why go to BT and phones?

    Just present examples of the exact same ISP letting people buy anything illegal by mail.

    In a movie court, the handsome and manly lawyer would open a portable in front of the judge, connect to a "illegal dvd sale by postal mail" and order 100.000 movies.

  • Ban their iTunes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @05:23AM (#29667617)

    It's clearly the fault of the content producers. Without them there would be no infringement.

    Anyway, there's an even better solution that the film industry should consider - banning the iTunes etc accounts associated with these IPs. I guess they prefer to damage other people's business though.

  • by Keeper Of Keys (928206) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @05:35AM (#29667665) Homepage

    Screw it, lets just sue random email users and claim victory.

    Nice idea. Hire a spambot for a few hours and send out demands for an "out of court settlement" to 100 million randomers. Some of them are bound to be filesharers with guilty consciences.

    Oh wait, isn't that bascially what the RIAA has been doing?

  • Dear Australia (Score:5, Insightful)

    by noundi (1044080) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @05:43AM (#29667709)

    The lawyers for the film industry claimed iiNet had done 'nothing' to discourage copyright infringement on its network.

    I don't understand. Are your telecom providers forced to actively discourage illegal phone calls, such as bomb threats or sexual harassment? Are your book dealers forced to actively discourage photocopying of books? Are your radiostations forced to discourage people from turning on their radios in public locations without paying STIM? Are your pastry bakers forced to discourage people from throwing cakes at eachother? [youtube.com]
    Australia, help us understand your line of thought.

  • by cjfs (1253208) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @05:46AM (#29667727) Homepage Journal

    Personally I'd rather know as soon as possible so I could either refute the claims, take measures to avoid future detection or stop the behaviour that caused it..

    By "stop the behaviour" you mean stand up and contest the corruption of your legal system which leads to these sort of lawsuits, right?

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @05:56AM (#29667765) Homepage
    If they were to pass on the notices voluntarily, then AFACT would argue (in court) that iiNet have implicitly admitted that AFACT's methods and behaviour are valid. It's not any more complex than that.
  • You Know... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @06:14AM (#29667831) Homepage Journal
    As an internet provider it's kind of a pain in the ass to police the entire internet. It's not at all difficult to refuse to serve a problematic customer. Like the one that keeps demanding that you police the entire internet. You see where I'm going with this?
  • Re:Pax (Score:3, Insightful)

    by remmelt (837671) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @07:13AM (#29668091) Homepage

    Yeah, and what's with the name: Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft?

    Copyright Theft? Is that where I catburgle Universal HQ and make off with the copyright papers for the latest hit artist? How can a copyright be stolen?

  • Re:Dear Australia (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Techman83 (949264) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @07:42AM (#29668229)
    Believe me, speaking as an Australian this isn't our line of thought. From iinet's [iinet.net.au] news:

    For the record, iiNet doesn't support any breaches of the law, including copyright theft. On the contrary, iiNet has led the industry with legal content offerings through our Freezone, including agreements with iTunes, ABC iView, Xbox, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Cruizin', Macquarie Digital TV, Barclays Premier League Football, Super 14 Rugby, Drift Racing 2007 and classic highlights of golf's four Majors.

    We don't believe we should take any action which could result in the disconnection of a customer's service, based on poorly supported allegations. AFACT are asking us to be the investigator, judge and executioner despite their failure to provide us with tangible evidence.

    The approach that AFACT has taken is akin to arguing that if a person were to use Australia Post to deliver a pirated DVD, Australia Post has authorised the pirated content on the DVD by delivering it.

    And it seems, iinet's line of thinking, is more along the lines of what sensible aussies are thinking.

  • by ZarathustraDK (1291688) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @07:43AM (#29668231)
    Roads! ROADS!
    Roads fascilitate the transport of untold amounts illegal and/or dangerous materials including : drugs, immigrants, weapons and WMD's.
    Close the roads!
  • Responsibility ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by daveime (1253762) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @08:17AM (#29668439)

    Anthrax is sent through the post, we don't blame the Post Office.

    Death threats are sent through the telephone, we don't blame the Telephone Company.

    People commit suicide on the railway, we don't blame the Train Company.

    While all these things are prevented, or avoided, where possible, it is not the responsibility of the company to decide what an individual does, nor to take the blame when they do it.

    Now apply this logic to ISP and a user downloading something, possibly legal, possibly illegal. (If it's inside a passworded RAR file, who the hell knows which is which anyway).

    You can't shoot the messenger because the message he delivers says something you don't like.

    Media Industry want ISPs to be their police, because they can't find an effective way of doing it themselves. If policing doesn't work, hell let't just blame the police because
    there are so many criminals.

    What planet do these Media Industry people live on ?

    Their sales model is dead, it is no longer an "Industry" as they don't need to make anything anymore. Just whack out the latest clone remake of some decent 70's / 80's movie, and offer DRM free downloads for $1 ...

    "I'd buy that for a dollar !!!".

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @08:17AM (#29668441) Journal

    I miss the days when Montana had no speed limit, except near the cities. We need more states like that. Interstates were designed for rapid travel (120 miles per hour). It seems silly to limit ourselves to only half that.

  • Re:Pax (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan541 (1032000) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @09:11AM (#29668811) Homepage

    Holden repeatedly allows their vehicles to be used in drug running, armed robberies and abductions by failing to control what the vehicles are used for.

  • Re:And... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Coren22 (1625475) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:20AM (#29669569) Journal
    I was hoping you'd say Honda was being sued for allowing people to modify their cars in the worst ways...I HATE RICERS
  • Re:Pax (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shagg (99693) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @01:00PM (#29671573)

    Actually, they're being accused of NOT committing a crime. How dare they!

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton