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Piracy Australia Your Rights Online

BitTorrent Trial Makes Australia's High Court 98

daria42 writes "Australia's highest court has agreed to hear the long-running BitTorrent case between one of the country's largest ISPs, iiNet, and a group of film and TV studios represented by a copyright organization known as AFACT. The case has the potential to determine once and for all whether Australians who download content via BitTorrent can have their Internet connections disconnected upon the request of the studios. It's lawyers at ten paces!"
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BitTorrent Trial Makes Australia's High Court

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 12, 2011 @02:36AM (#37065712)

    That's not necessarily true. The high court hears appeals against Supreme Court decisions, Constitutional challenges, and all areas of contract and other law - particularly in very high value disputes.

    Constitutional challenges are a small minority of the work the High Court does.

  • by tick-tock-atona ( 1145909 ) on Friday August 12, 2011 @03:02AM (#37065780)
    Australia also has a constitution [wikipedia.org]. We just don't treat it like Moses brought it down off the mountain.
  • by Cimexus ( 1355033 ) on Friday August 12, 2011 @04:08AM (#37065994)

    You're exactly right. It is legally just as sacrosant as the US Constitution. Hell, large parts of it were based ~on~ the US Constitution. And indeed you aren't the only one to note that it lacks one of the US Constitution's most well-known features.

    The introduction of a formal Bill of Rights in Australia has been a hotly debated jurisprudential topic on and off for much of the last few decades. The arguments against include (broadly speaking), things such as:

    - Common law protections and the principles of equity are good enough (there is some truth to this - common law protections in the UK and Australia are reasonably comprehensive); or
    - To list or precisely define rights, is to limit them (to those explicitly mentioned). Therefore no Bill of Rights please! (again, I can see some merit in this argument - the rights that are important today might not be important in the future, or rights we haven't even thought of today might become relevant, so if your Bill of Rights is difficult to amend it may become 'out of date' rather quickly)

    The arguments for a Bill of Rights are obvious: the same ones that led to the US one. There is also some debate about whether such a Bill would actually be in the Australian Constitution (pretty unlikely IMO), in entrenched legislation ('normal' legislation, but with extra requirements to amend it that make it very difficult to overturn or change), or just a normal Act (with the standard options for repeal and amendment available).

    Apologies if you knew all this already - unclear from your post whether you are American or Australian. But could be interesting reading for someone. :)

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"