iiNet slays Hollywood in landmark piracy case

The giants of the film industry have lost their case against ISP iiNet in a landmark judgment handed down in the Federal Court today.

The decision had the potential to impact internet users and the internet industry profoundly as it sets a legal precedent surrounding how much ISPs are required to do to prevent customers from downloading movies and other content illegally.

But after an on-and-off eight-week trial that examined whether iiNet authorised customers to download pirated movies, Justice Dennis Cowdroy found that the ISP was not liable for the downloading habits of its customers.

He said it was only by means of the application of the BitTorrent system that copyright infringements were enabled, but iiNet had no control over this system.

Neil Gane, executive director of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, which brought the case on behalf of the studios, said the decision was a set back for the 50,000 Australians employed in the film industry.

He said AFACT would review the decision before deciding whether to appeal.

iiNet welcomed the decision and reiterated that it has never supported nor encouraged illegal file sharing.

More details here.

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