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Australia Piracy The Courts Your Rights Online

Aussie Film Industry Appeals ISP Copyright Case 137

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed dept.
schliz writes "The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has appealed a Federal Court judgement that this month exonerated ISP iiNet for its subscribers' copyright-infringing activities. In the widely publicised case, AFACT sought to penalize iiNet for its users having made 100k illegal downloads. A judge ruled that 'mere provision of access to internet is not the means to infringement,' but AFACT now claims the judgement 'left an unworkable online environment for content creators and content providers' and 'represents a serious threat to Australia's digital economy.'"
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Aussie Film Industry Appeals ISP Copyright Case

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 25, 2010 @05:25AM (#31269934)

    change the law so that your business plan works.

    • by GrpA (691294) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @05:41AM (#31269992)

      Indeed, the cynical amongst us might think that they planned to lose the case to iiNet just so that they could make this very appeal...

      GrpA

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dov_0 (1438253)
        The REALLY cynical amongst us are in actuality realists. Not surprised at all. The case was definitely part of their agenda to make other organisations spend huge amounts of money to prevent harm to themselves (ie, lawsuits) to in turn to force more money into the music distribution industries already bulging pockets. This court case went the wrong way for (not)AFACT, but I'm sure they only view it as a temporary setback.
        • The case was definitely part of their agenda to make other organisations spend huge amounts of money to prevent harm to themselves (ie, lawsuits) to in turn to force more money into the music distribution industries already bulging pockets.

          Someone needs to bring action to deem the record industry, and in particular AFACT, as a vexatious litigant [wikipedia.org].

    • The court tests whether the law is applied correctly.

      Parliament and ministers and such make laws.

      And the police will uphold the law.

      That's the trias politica, and if everybody keeps to this law, then we'll all be happy campers. These courts CANNOT change the law. If the law is not clear, (in the original way) the lawMAKERS must improve the law. However, in reality, the world moves faster than lawmakers, and this means that courts have to interpret the law - which means that in fact they became lawmakers, or

      • by TheKidWho (705796)

        I don't know how it's like in Australia, but in the USA the courts can also strike down laws.

        • A law can be invalidated by the High Court of Australia if found to be in violation of the Australian Constitution or in conflict with overriding legislation. They did this, for example, in deciding that certain laws of the State of Queensland were in violation of racial discrimination law in the landmark Mabo cases that lead to the introduction of the Native Title Act. They also, subsequently, declared the West Australian law devised to negate the federal Native Title Act as invalid. http://www.hcourt.g [hcourt.gov.au]
    • These "content providers" should realize that publishing content is like releasing oxygen in the atmosphere.

      Imagine a farmer that wants to profit from the oxygen his plants release. He could build a greenhouse to capture the oxygen and sell bottled oxygen to customers that agree to pay his price. But that would need investment in the greenhouse and the oxygen bottling equipment. Instead of investing money to get a profit, he releases the oxygen in the atmosphere and lobbies to get a law forcing people have

    • ObHeinlein (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sconeu (64226) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @12:36PM (#31273220) Homepage Journal

      It's time, once again, for the ObHeinlein:

      There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or a corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years , the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped ,or turned back, for their private benefit.

      -- The Judge in "Life-Line"

  • by Mag7 (69118) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @05:32AM (#31269962) Homepage

    an unworkable online environment for content creators and content providers

    Boohoo. They wanted someone else to do their dirty work for them, but now they have to actually use the legal system as intended which requires a great deal more effort. Cry me a river that they don't get a short cut to justice.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @05:32AM (#31269966) Homepage

    . . . Copyright Theft?

    This goes beyond the typical slashdot positional debate on whether or not violations of copyright are considered theft or infringement. I would propose a new clever acronymic name:

    Australian Federation Against Respect for Copyright. That would make them AFARC which would describe their organization and efforts a lot better.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Mr Mew Caugh quoted to the national farmers federation that "steak knives present a serious threat to the bovine community"

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @05:48AM (#31270022)

    At least in Australia. Well worth reading the last link, (http://www.itnews.com.au/News/167984,analysis-five-ways-afact-lost-the-iinet-case.aspx.).

    • One swallow does not make a summer, nor does the occasional lucid court decision give me faith in the legal system as a whole. It's nice when it happens (Kitzmiller especially), but the courts make plenty of bad calls too. That reactionary fugghead Scalia is still in SCOTUS; British libel law is still horribly broken; and then there's this story [boingboing.net].
  • by branewalker (1665523) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @05:52AM (#31270048)
    A threat to the digital economy? Ok, let's ban computers! They make it trivially easy to copy intellectual property! They are a threat to the digital economy! And the Internet! It's a threat to the digital economy!
    • by rtb61 (674572) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @06:50AM (#31270340) Homepage

      To be honest the internet is a threat to the digital economy --------- of the middle men, those that contribute nothing but, hmm, bullshit. The publishers who spend their lives lying about the quality of the content they 'publish', who produce (not create) some of the worst content imaginable (I not sure that word should be associated with the content they produce) where they pay peanuts to the best performing casting couch specialists, the endless parade of one hit drunken drug addled performance artists.

      What does this work or those people actually contribute to society, is their work to be considered a useful art, or should their narcissist sociopathic behaviour become a part of shameful history. Their willingness to corrupt everything they touch, law, politics, society, and even children and they believe they are worth protecting, that their ability to exploit and distort human mores to fit their own psychosis is of valuable to society.

      So will the digital economy be better with or without them, how about the real economy, the one of humanity and the planets natural resources, can they continued to be wasted upon this groups their very public excesses, you could not find a group that consumes and pollutes more than them.

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by value_added (719364)

        To be honest the internet is a threat to the digital economy --------- of the middle men, those that contribute nothing but, hmm, bullshit.

        Contribute nothing? Perhaps, but consider the following (selected at random from the US Chamber of Commerce [uschamber.com] website):

        The intellectual property (IP) generated by U.S. companies is critical to America's prosperity and leadership in the global economy. America's IP-intensive industries employ nearly 18 million workers, account for more than 50% of all U.S. exports, and re

        • by rtb61 (674572) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @08:18AM (#31270752) Homepage

          That money is not created, it is bled from the rest of the economy, a parasitical existence is not a contributory existence, they neither feed, house, clothe, heal, transport or produce useful usable goods. Plus, please do not confuse the exploited creators with the exploitative publishers. The creative commons, openly self published on the internet is a far more valuable and inclusive resource, where content is a participatory experience.

          So profit and greed is what you claim as their one saving grace, hmm , drug dealers and pimps could also fit exactly that same profile and oddly enough they are equally destructive of society and as it turns out, they are also closely associated with the content publishing industry, now why do I not find that a surprise.

          • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

            by value_added (719364)

            That money is not created, it is bled from the rest of the economy ... please do not confuse the exploited creators with the exploitative publishers ... profit and greed is what you claim as their one saving grace ...

            LOL. I don't know whether you're a troll, having a bad day, or just can't read. In no way did I claim anything, or espouse any point of view. I merely pointed out that the sum total of what you find so easy to dismiss represents a huge and growing chunk of the economy (i.e., real money and

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Ltap (1572175)
          Yes, but this work has as much purpose as the USSR employing people in factories just to give them a job (which it did, way back when). It just distracts people from more important things and wastes time and money.
        • So yeah, you could make an argument that such companies contribute nothing, or make nothing, but you'd have to agree there's an awful lot of money and jobs (and corresponding political influence) tied up in those numbers, and without those companies doing the nothing that they do so well, a chunk of the economy goes poof.

          Sorry, even if you accept the arguments made by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that Intellectual Property is economically important (which I am inclined to do, although I did not read the whole page thoroughly so I have my doubts as to whether or not I accept the conclusions they reach from that starting point), it does not follow that the middlemen (such as record companies) add anything valuable to the economy. If the middlemen contribute nothing, then they actually remove value from the economy. Value that

        • by Trogre (513942)

          That sounds an awful lot like a broken window fallacy.

      • The publishers who spend their lives lying about the quality of the content they 'publish', who produce (not create) some of the worst content imaginable...where they pay peanuts to the best performing casting couch specialists, the endless parade of one hit drunken drug addled performance artists.
        What does this work or those people actually contribute to society, is their work to be considered a useful art, or should their narcissist sociopathic behaviour become a part of shameful history. Their willingnes

        • It is lame to argue that what you steal has no value. It is lamer still to argue that you are less corrupt than those you steal from.

          Your argument is a good one and largely I agree with it. Aside from this one glaring error: Copyright infringement is not theft, stealing or any other term related to deprivation of property!

          *Sigh* You'd think that a \. user would have figured this one out by now wouldn't you?

          • by westlake (615356)

            Your argument is a good one and largely I agree with it. Aside from this one glaring error: Copyright infringement is not theft, stealing or any other term related to deprivation of property!

            The decade-old NET Act - No Electronic Theft - framed the issues otherwise.

            Does it really matter so very much how the charge is worded or where the offense is placed in the statute books? Probably not to your room mates at Club Fed.

            Copyright under the US Constitution creates an exclusive right to control distribution -

            • by rtb61 (674572)

              Copyright under the US constitution categorically declares that the work must be useful, it must contribute to society in order to justify it's protection for a limited time, as obviously it infringes the right of "free speech", really want to protect it, keep it to yourself, do not release it to the public.

  • by Anachragnome (1008495) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @05:54AM (#31270056)

    "...the judgement 'left an unworkable online environment for content creators and content providers' and 'represents a serious threat to Australia's digital economy.'"

    I believe that would be your business model that did that. That model died the moment the industry went from vinyl to magnetic tape.

    Anyone besides me ever wonder why Sony sells blank CDs and DVDs, then complains about infringement?

    Here is the nail in the coffin, Sony. (From Wikipedia)

    "Although there were other magnetic tape cartridge systems, the Compact Cassette became dominant as a result of Philips's decision in the face of pressure from Sony to license the format free of charge."

    You try and figure it out. I'm still at a complete loss to explain this. Were the Sony execs really THAT short-sighted? And still?

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by dangitman (862676)

      Anyone besides me ever wonder why Sony sells blank CDs and DVDs, then complains about infringement?

      I'm guessing that the blank DVDs are intended to be used to burn your home videos shot with Sony video cameras to disc, not to copy commercial and CSS-protected content.

      I'm not a fan of stupid copyright arguments or Sony, but this argument is disingenuous. You may as well wonder "why do they sell blank paper, yet complain about the counterfeiting of currency?"

      • by Jedi Alec (258881)

        I'm guessing that the blank DVDs are intended to be used to burn your home videos shot with Sony video cameras to disc, not to copy commercial and CSS-protected content.

        Because these are the only types of content available. God forbid other people make stuff and they love it when you burn it on a DVD to show it to your friends.

        I'm not a fan of stupid copyright arguments, but this argument is disingenuous

        Your honor, the defence rests.

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by dangitman (862676)

          Because these are the only types of content available.

          Uhhh, I don't recall saying anything like that.

          God forbid other people make stuff and they love it when you burn it on a DVD to show it to your friends.

          Indeed.

          Your honor, the defence rests.

          What exactly are you trying to argue? I didn't say Sony's intentions were just - I was just trying to explain what Sony's intentions probably are.

      • "You may as well wonder "why do they sell blank paper, yet complain about the counterfeiting of currency?"

        Well, I'm pretty sure the US government isn't selling THAT particular paper, nor the dyes or security strips.

        Not only did Sony push for the general acceptance of the format, but then they went on and became the world's top seller of portable cassette tape RECORDERS.

        Again, from Wikipedia...

        "Some devices were also capable of recording. The highest quality Sony Walkman recording cassette deck was the Walkm

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by dangitman (862676)

          Well, I'm pretty sure the US government isn't selling THAT particular paper, nor the dyes or security strips.

          Irrelevant. Plenty of forgeries are made on normal paper.

          Not only did Sony push for the general acceptance of the format, but then they went on and became the world's top seller of portable cassette tape RECORDERS.

          Right. So how does that mean they support the copying of copyrighted content? There are many other uses of tape recorders.

          Once again, a poor argument. Knives can be used for murder. This doesn't mean knife manufacturers advocate murder.

      • by sjames (1099)

        Interestingly, the blank paper used by currency is not for sale to anyone but the U.S. government.

    • Anyone besides me ever wonder why Sony sells blank CDs and DVDs, then complains about infringement?

      They complained about infringement, then realised it wasn't going to go away, then realised they could at least profit off of it if they sold blanks. Seems logical to me.

    • Hidden beneath all the shouting, the core issue is that computers and related technologies are all about copying. They make it very very easy to copy things; and the internet makes it very very easy to distribute them. Locking things up so they can't be copied or distributed is relatively complex and difficult. The traditional content creators and distributors can kick and scream and try to push the genie back into the bottle all they want, but their old business model is doomed by these simple facts.
    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      Sony is split internally between different divisions, Sony actually sued itself over CD recorders or something.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Captain Hook (923766)

      "Although there were other magnetic tape cartridge systems, the Compact Cassette became dominant as a result of Philips's decision in the face of pressure from Sony to license the format free of charge."

      You try and figure it out. I'm still at a complete loss to explain this. Were the Sony execs really THAT short-sighted? And still?

      Sony Launched the Walkman in 1979, but didn't get into the content production side of the business until 1988 with the purchase of CBS Records.

      It's behaviour early on was inlin

  • This website ShockSeat [shockseat.com] cuts through the bull of each party to what they really support. I hope to show bi-partisan responses to issues that people may not otherwise know such as Internet Filtering Scheme [shockseat.com].

    If you wish to contribute, I need people to demand the parties [shockseat.com] to come clear on issues in the survey I have given them. So far, only 1 of 26 parties have answered [shockseat.com] and even then, I'm adding all the listed issues.

    If anything, I hope it's a great guide to interested voters who are concerned about certain
    • by Joakal (1317443)
      Meant to add; one of the issues in my survey is how to police piracy or copyright infringements. I can't put this on my site if there's no parties talking about it (Unregistered federal parties like Pirate Party don't count at present).
  • Digital Economy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by halowolf (692775) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @05:58AM (#31270084)
    The only digital economy that I can see AFACT being interested in is propagating its anti-competitive, artificial markets that lets Australian users get content that was released 6 months ago in the US, late, or not at all. In fact piracy has helped improve Australian free to air television by encouraging TV stations to screen popular TV series as soon as they possibly can so that pirates don't need to actually download those shows. A lot of the reason behind people in Australia downloading shows is because they just are not available to view in Australia for months on end if at all. It doesn't make it right, but its one of the big reasons it happens.

    All we want studios is to be able to legally obtain content in our Australian region when it is released in another region like the UK or US in a timely manner without all the local market bull-s*@t that you put us through time and time again so you can make more money by charging us more when we could buy it in the US or something where they have real market competition for cheaper.

    Of course there will always be the bunch of people that infringe copyright that just want the stuff for free, and its these people I have no sympathy for, as its used as an excuse by content creators to screw us over time and time again as they seek their almighty dollars.
    • by deniable (76198)
      Reminds me of the time when Star Trek:TNG was shipped over on bootleg VHS tapes. Took Channel 9 about three or four years to bring it here. Then they buried it in the maybe, maybe not graveyard shift.
    • by Knightman (142928)

      There is a reason why TV-Shows lag behind in countries outside USA. The cost to acquire broadcasting rights for a show can be quite steep and some networks want to be sure they buy a show with good ratings so they can recoup the cost by selling commercials during the show.

      But then, I think a new show could be sold at a discount in the beginning so you get more networks interested and if it gets popular you can remove or reduce the discount as time pass and the popularity of the show increases. There's sever

      • by jonwil (467024)

        Take Stargate Universe for example, TEN aired a few episodes and then took it off just as it was getting good. My guess is that pretty much anyone who is likely to care about the show has already downloaded the remaining episodes (those that have aired to date) and will not care to watch it on TEN.

        Had TEN continued to air the show (even in a late night 10:30 or even 11:30 timeslot), most people would have continued to watch it (including the ads) and would not have bothered pirating it.

        • by BatGnat (1568391)
          Yes but TEN only put it on, because it got good rating on Foxtel (pay TV).

          Ten do this all the time, Foxtel show something, does well, they copy it... Dexter (Ten still haven't started S4), Saving Grace (coming soon to TEN, 2 seasons played on Foxtel). And then they pretend that they are doing us a favour....

          I remembered when Simpsons went "Widescreen", they forgot to tell us that it also went "HD", because their HD channel is 24 hours of crappy sports...
      • by halowolf (692775)
        And thats exactly what the producing companies don't want to face. That their decades old system of selling shows to networks is not what consumers want anymore. They want what everyone else has right damn now. I may be Gen-X but when it comes to this sort of stuff I have a very Gen-Y attitude towards it.

        I try to organise my life very efficiently due to my many interests and part of that is watching what I want when I want, I rarely watch live television (UFC 110 was an exception in Oz tho) and I basical
        • by Knightman (142928)

          Couldn't agree more. I travel a lot so I load up my laptop with stuff I want to read or watch since I rarely have the luxury or time to watch a show on someone else's schedule.

  • The article is not clear about a point:

    "The court found large scale copyright infringements, that iiNet knew they were occurring, that iiNet had the contractual and technical capacity to stop them and iiNet did nothing about them," he said.

    Were they asked by some authority to give some information about some users and they did not comply ?

    Or did they simply not pro actively hunt some customers ?

    If it was the second, I do not see how this can constitute a case.

    • Re:Unclear point (Score:4, Insightful)

      by timmarhy (659436) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @06:13AM (#31270174)
      all i can do is lol. if the court found in favour of all these things, how does AFACT explain the need to appeal?

      the thing that's really pissed AFACT off is that they were ordered to pay iinet's costs to the tune of some 400k. guess there's no chance they will take this opportunity to reflect on the fact THEY are in the wrong.

    • Re:Unclear point (Score:5, Informative)

      by deniable (76198) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @06:30AM (#31270254)
      They were asked by an industry group to police piracy. They told them it was a job for the Police and happily forwarded the complaints to the cops, who turned around and said something like 'why don't we go after rapists and murderers first.' The industry group then got its knickers in a twist and sued them.
  • by daveime (1253762) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @06:10AM (#31270156)

    I don't remember a single instance where a Postal Service, a Telephone Company or a Bank were asked to behave in this manner ?

    Fine, monitor the transactions being made, report them to the concerned party upon presentation of a search warrant or other legal document. But an ISP should NOT be judge, jury and executioner, they should only ever be a "witness" / "informant" (delete as appropriate).

    All these companies provide is a service, and they are only legally / morally obliged to report wrongdoings. They are not required to go in "Jack Bauer" style and take out the dirty pirates. That's the job of the legal system.

    • by timmarhy (659436) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @06:18AM (#31270200)
      the ISP shouldn't be required outside of a court order to monitor anything. if you were to try hunt down even a fraction of p2p users you'd have to have 100's of people working at it, turning up to court dates, collecting evidence.

      why the fuck should iinet (and by extension it's customers) have to foot that cost just to protect the film industries clients? fuck their IP, i don't get to DEMAND the local council provide free security and install an alarm free of charge in my house because someone might steal my property, just because the local council provides the footpath theives walk on.

    • by Syberz (1170343)

      Agreed.

      By that logic, they should be suing electric companies as well because criminals use their service to grow/cook drugs.

    • I don't remember a single instance where a Postal Service, a Telephone Company or a Bank were asked to behave in this manner?

      For a start few postal services are private, and they do have screening at border points.

      Telephone companies are subject to all manner of requirements including wire-tapping orders from federal agencies and emergency call support.

      Banks are subject to money laundering legislation and are required to notify authorities any time a large transaction is made (usually around the 10,000 value of the local currency).

      I don't believe ISPs should be working on behalf of the recording industry (another private in

  • by Ritontor (244585) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @06:12AM (#31270166)

    Since when is it the role of the courts to arbitrarily legislate to protect the failing business models of certain corporations?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by M-RES (653754)
      Since the early 1900s in the UK... not sure about AUS though ;)
      • by AndWat (122852)

        That's not so much the issue for us. Our problem is that the US forced a bilateral "free" trade agreement down our throat (in exchange for promising to buy more of our sheep. maybe. someday. ) that has most of the DMCA in it.

        All this case proved is that they didn't quite get enough detail about how ISPs should crawl to movie companies into the FTA legislation. An error I am sure they will fix in short order.

    • by dangitman (862676)

      I'm not sure why you ascribe insanity to them. They are doing what is logical in a desperate attempt to protect their relevance. Why would an organization that is all about "copyright protection" argue against their own existence? If you can convince a court to protect your organization, why wouldn't you?

      By the way, courts don't legislate.

  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Thursday February 25, 2010 @06:24AM (#31270228)

    Step 1: From a conspicuously untraceable location, have somebody you trust mail you a particularly vile specimen of pornography.

    Step 2: Immediately complain to the police.

    Step 3: Sue the Post Office for conveying this distressing item to your house, where no doubt it was seen by children, kittens and the church officials you happened to have as guests.

    Step 4: Complain about the terrible damage to the tender sensibilities of said guests and damage to your impeccable reputation for moral rectitude.

    Step 5: Profit!

    I'm moving to Australia, where I'll soon be rich beyond my wildest dreams of avarice...at least until some specimen of the local wildlife bites, stings, chomps or otherwise envenoms me and I die screaming in agony.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by AndWat (122852)

      You Yankees have some weird ideas about Australia :)

      I have lived here for 40 years. I have never seen an emu, a snake (poisinous or otherwise) or a kangaroo outside a zoo - those being the only animals more dangerous than a rabbit. Of our two even vaguely poisonous spiders, I have seen a red-back exactly twice.

      I would be more worried about staying in America and getting eaten by a grizzly. Although you do need to watch out for drop-bears over here ...

    • From a conspicuously untraceable location

      May I recommend an employee of UK central government?

    • by Bill Currie (487)

      You left out the worst one: grabs your wallet.

  • by Gandalf_Greyhame (44144) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @06:29AM (#31270250) Journal

    Tell him he's dreamin'

    Tell him to get stuffed

    • Its Mabo... Its the Constitution.... It's the Vibe... Yeah that's it, it's pretty much the vibe.
    • by ghmh (73679)

      Great movie indeed. The irony is that if I recommend it you'll all go looking for a torrent of it, so you can watch this [youtube.com] instead, which is what we have to put up with when we buy/rent DVD's over here.

      • by clickety6 (141178)

        And the double irony is that in Europe we'd have to look for a torrent because the DVD isn't available in region 2 so we couldn't by it anyway...!

  • ...100 THOUSAAAAAND!

  • by dadjaka (827325) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @07:01AM (#31270382)
    Disclaimer: While I am an Australian law student, I've only read the summary of the decision, (c'mon, it's 200 pages), nor have I studied IP Law.

    However, I do have a year of Law school behind me, so:

      - Australian law makes a distinction between findings of fact (i.e. John stabbed Mary) and findings of law (i.e. law x says stabbing is illegal). Findings of law can be appealed (you can argue the judge misinterpreted the law), but it's *much* harder to appeal a finding of fact. AIUI, there aren't many findings of fact in this case: the Justice found that Malone was a credible witness as a matter of fact, but the rulings on which the case was founded (i.e. that BitTorrent is the means of infringement, as opposed to the internet) are all findings of law.
      * tl;dr => Most of the ruling could be overturned on appeal.

      - The case was decided by a single judge of the Federal Court. That means that, IIRC, it will be appealed to the full court of the Federal Court (3+ judges). From that, it could be appealed to the High Court. (The highest court in Australia; equivalent to the Supreme Court in the US)
      * tl;dr => The appeal may not be the last, there could be another.

      - I'm not going to venture an opinion on the outcome of the appeal; I don't know enough. I also haven't been able to find AFACT's grounds of appeal; if I can I might be able to shed some more light on the possible success.
      * tl;dr => Who knows what will happen?

      - Ultimately, AFACT and their lobbyists will likely convince the politicians to change the law, whatever the outcome. This will probably suck - Aussie Communications Ministers traditionally do an average to poor job regardless of political persuasion. (examples include: mandatory filtering, "World's Greatest Luddite")
      * tl;dr => What ever happens, we're probably screwed because of politics.
  • WTF is "copyright theft"? What, does someone break into my apartment, rifle through my stuff and steal a copyright and flog it for a hundred dollars down the pub and leave me without a copyright?
    • Copyright theft is when the companies who own...errr...*represent* artists and content creators craft legislation and buy jurists to the extent that the hand you feel in your knickers is irrevocably bonded to your ass for life. : )

      Simple, eh?

    • Copyright - an exclusive right to make copies.
      Theft - The word is also used as an informal shorthand term for some crimes against property, such as burglary, embezzlement, larceny, looting, robbery, shoplifting, fraud and sometimes criminal conversion. (Wikipedia).

      Criminal conversion - is usually defined as the crime of exerting unauthorized use or control of someone else's property. It differs from theft in that it does not include the element of intending to deprive the owner of the possession of that pro

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Everybody knows, that without the PC, the user would not infringe. I think they should go after computer resellers. They are the ones guilty of providing the means of infringing. Or how about the harddisk manufacturers ? Without storage infringement would be short termed.

  • Yeah, there's a reason the Aussie film industry is suffering. But it's because so many of its films are depressing arthouse stuff that no one thinks of in association with the word 'entertainment'. Consequently, I sincerely doubt there have been thousands of downloads of Australian movies.
  • by papafox_too (883077) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @09:36AM (#31271252)

    The so-called Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) is actually an not Australian at all. It is controlled by the Singapore office of the MPAA and funded from Los Angeles. AFACT has no formal or informal mechanism to allow interested Australian's to join.

    To quote Justice Cowdroy from Roadshow Films v iiNet [austlii.edu.au]:

    "AFACT is an organisation set up for the purposes of benefiting its members. The exact nature of the relationship between the applicants and AFACT is not clear. Mr Gane, the Executive Director of AFACT, suggested that there was no formal membership process by which one can become a member of AFACT, whether by application or agreement. The Motion Picture Association (‘MPA’) and the Motion Picture Association of America (‘MPAA’) have a membership of the major American film studios. They are not associated with AFACT by any formal written agreement. However, AFACT does report to the regional branch office of the MPA which is based in Singapore. In respect of operations in the Asian region, the Singapore office of the MPA prepares a business plan or budget for AFACT which is approved by the Los Angeles head office of the MPA. [...] [I]t must be remembered that the applicants were not the entities making the allegations of copyright infringement in the lead up to these proceedings: rather, AFACT was doing so. [T]he exact relationship between AFACT and the actual copyright owners (the applicants) is, at best, unclear."

  • When will the IT Industry realise the content industry as the biggest threat to innovation of business models? Innovation is what creates wealth in business and any business that stifles innovation should be treated as a threat to all businesses.

    Indirectly the content industry is a threat to every Technology professional's livelihood. Altruism aside, any legal change that enforces the status quo threatens the deployments of new technology in business models. IT has never been about 'doing old things the sa

  • Sure... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @11:15AM (#31272262)
    While were at it, lets make the telephone company responsible for phone fraud, and the postal service responsible for mail fraud,,, none of these silly "common carrier" exemptions should apply!
  • I've been reading through the threads here in my usual shallow manner, and I can't seem to stop reading AFACT as AFAICT. Thus "AFACT is an organisation..." becomes "As far as I can tell is an organisation...". I just have to give up.

  • If AFACT wins, then wouldn't it be too risky, from a legal perspective, to run an ISP without a large staff of employees screening every single user's activities to make sure they're not infringing someone's copyright? Sounds to me like AFACT winning would be an even larger threat to Australia's digital economy (no ISPs or ISPs charging an arm + a leg + either the other hand or other foot == no digital economy) than AFACT losing.
  • 'left an unworkable online environment for content creators and content providers'

    Obvious bullshit. “Content creators“ like moby, nine inch nails, and many others, made tons of money online. By understanding the differing physical properties of bitspace.

    But what is a content “provider”? What does that actually mean? Aren’t we all by definition “content providers”? (Ok, I’m kidding. I know that it means nothing an is just a line of bullshit.)

    Let’s translate this:

    'In this space you call reality, it’s impossible to keep up our fantasy business model. And it has also become impossible for us to extort artists with it.'

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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