AFACT v iiNet: ISP draws on TV copyright battle

ISP continued its closing arguments in the landmark copyright court case

Internet service provider (ISP) iiNet continued to draw on a 2002 copyright case between Channel 9 and Channel 10 over segments broadcast on The Panel as part of its case against the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

AFACT, who represents over 30 Hollywood film studios and TV stations, is suing iiNet and claimed a 59-week investigation into the ISP and its customers discovered "rampant copyright infringements".

While continuing to deliver closing submissions to the Federal Court of Australia, iiNet barrister Richard Cobden SC highlighted the 2002 case.

Cobden argued that the files of BitTorrent downloads are broken into parts that are not “substantial” enough to be deemed copyright, which echoes The Panel case of 2004.

Channel Nine sued Channel Ten over copyright infringement under the Copyright Act 1968, and alleged that the infringement took place through the broadcast of short segments of Channel Nine programs on variety television show The Panel.

The case of 2002 showed that copyright infringement took place when a “substantial part” of the subject matter was broadcast

At the time, Channel 10 applied the defence that it had not conducted copyright infringement because the segments taken from Channel 9 were not substantial in terms of quantity and quality.

Cobden said that out of the 11 clips which made up a “substantial part” of Channel 9’s programs, the judge ruled that only three were substantial.

Cobden also said that there are no records of the downloaded segments of the Pineapple Express film which amount to a “substantial part”.

The case continues.

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