iiNet wins landmark copyright battle against AFACT

Australian ISP iiNet has won a landmark Federal Court battle against the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

Australian ISP iiNet has won a landmark Federal Court battle against the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

AFACT, representing Roadshow Films, Channel 7 and other film studios including Universal Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, and Disney Enterprises attempted to sue iiNet for failing to act against customers downloading illegal content over the Internet via BitTorrent and P2P file sharing networks.

In handing down his verdict, Justice Cowdroy said that though there was substantial evidence of users downloading pirated content, iiNet can't be seen as approving infringement. He ruled that the ISP was not responsible for the BitTorrent file-sharing system, which was the main used for downloading of copyright material.

Justice Cowdroy ruled that AFACT pay iiNet's court costs.

In a media statement, iiNet welcomed the Federal Court’s judgment and stressed that it has "never supported, encouraged or authorized illegal sharing or downloading of files".

"We have never supported or encouraged breaches of the law, including infringement of the Copy Right Act of the Telecommunications Act. Today’s judgment is a vindication of that and the allegations against us have been proven to be unfounded.

"We do not, and never have supported, encouraged or authorised illegal sharing or downloading of files in breach of the copyright laws. We are eager to engage with the film industry and copyright holders to make this material legitimately available."

Follow the timeline of the events leading up to this decision.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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