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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Entertainment Industry Lost Australian Show Case

Entertainment industry hoped that an anti-piracy case against an Internet service provider down-under could set an international precedent. However, it turned out that the case set the sort of precedent that the industry didn’t even want. The entertainment industry brought up its big guns to take on the small broadband provider, iiNet. The company had done nothing other than refuse to monitor data passing through its servers and delete copyrighted content.

What entertainment industry wanted was a victory in the case that would force bigger Internet service providers to do the same. Like many other American-inspired efforts, they for some reason assumed that if they threw enough money into a court room, they could beat any small broadband provider who couldn’t come up with the funds.

Unfortunately for the entertainment industry, the courts outside the United States are not that interested in the amount of money the plaintiffs have, but rather interested in the law itself. That’s how Hollywood lost the case. Undeterred, the entertainment industry appealed, but a few days ago the Australian High Court’s five judges decided to leave the original verdict.

According to the local media, the court concluded that iiNet didn’t have direct technical possibility to prevent its subscribers from illegally downloading copyrighted material using BitTorrent or any other popular protocol to share files on the Internet. iiNet’s head, Michael Malone, recommended the movie industry to better focus on increasing the availability of legitimate content in both timely and affordable manner. The ISP’s stand against the entertainment industry cost around $9,000,000 in legal bills. The court ordered that Hollywood foot the bill.

Local anti-piracy group, known as the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), has been representing the movie studios in the case described above. It seems that the outfit isn’t going to give up even after court decision. Now AFACT is changing tactics to force the country’s government to alter copyright legislation. This approach may succeed – politicians have always been much more flexible and friendly when facing campaign contributions...

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