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back to article Aussie ISP beats Hollywood on 'copyright' rap

The Australian Federal Court has found an Aussie ISP not responsible for copyright offences committed by its customers. The Australian Federation against Copyright Theft claimed that iiNet authorised copyright theft by its customers. Judge J Cowdroy accepted that iiNet users had used BitTorrent to infringe copyright, but that …

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Pint

Blimey

So not all Aussies in positions of authority are complete and utter cocks then. Well done, that man.

Have a beer.

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Netziens 1 - Greedy Feckers 0

Yay!

A win, finally.

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Quite right

Although I am a strong advocate for ISP's helping copyright owners find people infringing copyrighted material I do not see it as their duty to do so and nor are they responsible any more than the power company that provided the electricity or the computer manufacturer who made the thief's system.

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I second this one

I don't see how ISP's can be faulted for copyright infringement that they aren't involved with doing. They needs to be a level of reason that co-exists with the law, and this judge did a fair job of ruling in this case.

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Australia in sensible decision shocker!!!

I thought sense had all but left our upside-down cousins.

"iiNet customers were also accused of creating physical DVD copies of Hollywood films - but the court found that the only people who definitely did this were AFCT investigators."

Pisser!!! LOL

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Happy

cousins...?

we EVOLVED from that old, dead-end empire of yours. you neanderthal, me human... hardly cousins, old sock!

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Alert

The apocalyse is coming....

a Judge using common sense in making a verdict, now if that isn't a sign that the end of days is nigh, then I don't know what is.

P.S. I expect there are ISP's world wide that now doing thier own little happy dance over this ruling

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Common sense.

How rare these days. There should be more of it.

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eh?

Glad common sense appears to have prevailed. But what the hell does "a good corporate citizen and (an) even better copyright citizen" mean?

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Heart

That's "corporate speak" for...

Piss off you wankers, go sue someone else.

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Hoist, petard, own?

"iiNet customers were also accused of creating physical DVD copies of Hollywood films - but the court found that the only people who definitely did this were AFCT investigators"

Better get them into court quickly then, the studios don't like people who make copies of their films.

At last a country that takes the view that there are already perfectly good laws for policing copyright theft, and are making the studios use them, rather than going down the stupid 'three strikes' system, which requires no court-standard proof, or indeed a civil case, for people to be 'found guilty' and have their internet access restricted or terminated.

How exactly do you appeal a decision that has been made under this system? No court case to appeal. No court-standard evidence to test. And we all know how good ISPs are at keeping accurate IP address allocation records. I think what scares me most about this stupid, stupid system is lack of accountability that appears to be build in to it.

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Pirate

It wasn't rocket science...

I just hope the Aussie courts take the studios for every cent of costs they can squeeze out of the evil bastards.

Now, let's all boycott the Oscars!

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Excuse me while I have a gigglefit.

"iiNet customers were also accused of creating physical DVD copies of Hollywood films - but the court found that the only people who definitely did this were AFCT investigators."

Enough said.

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OMG. Aussie judge issues sane view of copyright infringement

And accepts ISP's are carriers, not content generators.

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title

At last!!

A sensible judgment spelling out the difference between the payload and the means of delivery.

Blaming ISPs for conveying incorrectly-licenced material is like blaming the Post Office for delivering counterfeit DVDs.

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Now Watch

As the pigopolists and vested interests badger and lobby for a change in the law.

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I'm sorry to say

there will probably not be much lobbying required. Our moronic excuse for a communications minister, Darth Conroy, last year made plain his belief that iiNet were in the wrong and if this court case didn't go AFACT's way, he (Conroy) would look at changes to the law. Look, he was born in your bloody country, can you PLEASE take him back now? We don't want him!

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finally.

Some common sense regarding this issue.

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Anonymous Coward

Hang on, hang on

Providing an internet service isn't authorising infringement but designing a system for transmitting packets of data between two computers is?

That's the entire TCP/IP protocol guilty of authorising infringement, then.

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Are you reading this, Mandlescum?

"The numbers were not as high as AFACT alleged and that iiNet in no way authorised the infringement"

Did you see that Mandlescum? DID YOU? Copyright holders lie about the levels of infringement going on, and ISP's AREN'T responsible for it! Please, go read something, anything, by Michael Geist (I think that's spelt right) before you trash one of the net's most important principles for the benefit of your yacht owning, profit margin protecting, genuine music destroying old boys network chums

/rant before I damage something!

Thumbs up to our Aussie cousins for protecting correct legal principles, rather than the interests of big business

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fantastic

that is all.

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Well ROTFL

Another one bites the dust, as it were, and another judge proves that he actually has a brain and can use it for Justice, which is what he is actually paid to do.

And I just love the phrase "iiNet customers were also accused of creating physical DVD copies of Hollywood films - but the court found that the only people who definitely did this were AFCT investigators".

Priceless.

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Bravo Judge Cowdroy!

At last someone who gets the point that just because Hollywood squinnies does NOT mean they get their own way simply because they can afford lots of expensive lawyers.

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Grenade

AFACT RFUCKED

I am so pleased that RFUKT got exposed for their monopolistic practices of controlling what we watch, what we listen too and what we read; and where we can do it, what we can do it on, and when we can do it.

Rigging the distribution, rigging the equipment, rigging the prices, and rigging the copy right laws and rigging the copyright duration....

RFUCKT are like a insane nazi cultural blight on the face of humanity.

I hope they choke on their legal bill.

Further other people have expressed much discontent about the AFACT backers, on many things like if you take the retail cost of a CD (around $30-35 in Australia) and deduct the cost of the media casing adn graphics etc., and then deduct the cost of the distribution of it into only some of the stores, and then deduct the retailers markup and profits;

FROM the cost of the legitimately ??? downloaded album, how much do you pay then?

Got it - Full price + all the DRM bullshit to stop it being played on anything other than the computer it was downloaded onto... etc., etc., etc.,

Well that is IF it's available for download - and 99% of all albums and videos ever released are NOT available, and only about 20% of the global releases under the control of these nazi pigs are actually available in Australia.

Toss in staged releases into the REGIONS that the AFACT members rigged up - and what comes on the TV in the USA is only broadcast here 2 years later.... after they changed the vewing times from 8pm to 1.30am and then stopped running the series 1/2 way through.

And as far as losing this case... the corporate moron knuckle draggers want to make the ISP's police the users, so that they don't have too - YEAH AS IF.

Like the judge said, "It's your copyright - you chase it".

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Kudoos for a rare judge!

Now let's just hope his wisdom is upheld during the inevitable appeal.

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WTF?

Not so fast....

I have quickly scanned through the judgement this afternoon (outback time) and I intend to analyze it in greater detail later, but two startling facts emerge from even a cursory look at the court's decision:

1. The applicants i.e. virtually every major "content provider" in the country and most of the rest of the world, appear to have an almost zero understanding of the technology which drives the internet

and,

2. Despite having some of the best paid lawyers in the country, they seem to have not the foggiest clue about laws governing "intellectual property rights", privacy and technology.

Their case, as presented to the court is so odd - in some parts almost bizarre - that I am lead to suspect some deeper, darker motive for the whole affair. They cannot possibly be this stupid.

I don't usually subscribe to conspiracy theories but I have an uneasy feeling that these jerks deliberately set out to lose in court so that they can then badger the nincompoops, who currently pretend to govern this country, into passing draconian anti-piracy legislation on their behalf. In fact their representatives have already made noises in this direction - less than an hour after the judgement was made public.

I pray that I'm wrong, but with this bunch of unscrupulous rip-off artists and a pack of brain-dead politicians getting together, (including everybody's favorite Pommy reject Herr Conroy), anything is possible.

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Interesting Point

As stated in the article "The judge accepted there was widespread copying of their films, not just in Australia but worldwide, but the studios feeling that "something must be done" was not enough to find iiNet guilty."

You pray you are wrong; however, "something" DOES have to be done. Despite the mealy mouthed excuses of the whining freetard regtard's you see comment here - it is "theft" (moral term, not a legal one) and the idea of everyone getting all their content for free is unsustainable.

It is what that "something" will be that is the interesting question. Ultimately some legal changes are inevitable, as even if the distribution methods are changed to be more "consumer friendly" the totally free torrent option will still be there as well ... i.e. the problem of getting cash for content will remain.

Just my opinion ...

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AFCT got what was comming to them going after an ISP that could not afford to defend themselves.

They went after the biggest ISP that would probably not be able to afford the legal fees.

Now they have to pay around $4mil in costs plus their own legal fees.

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Picked a wrong un there then

The talk is that iiNet had backing (financial and man power) from a number of other Australian ISPs, including the ex-public monopoly Telstra. The idea being that if iiNet lost then they'd be the next in the firing line. Not sure if this rumour is true, but it almost makes you feel slightly more positive towards Telstra (*almost*).

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@Joe M

"They cannot possibly be this stupid."

Yes, they could.

But your second point is not wrong, they are lobbying for this, the UK is bending over to take it, and there is the secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations taking place that ARE trying to make ISPs do just what this trial was claiming right (i.e. disconnection without due legal process).

So its a small victory for sense, but winning a battle can still see the war being lost.

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Coat

Is the Royal Mail an ISP?

OK, I know I am preaching to the converted. Why are governments protecting ISP's in the same way the mail companies are? All of the content being so religiously pursued through the courts is as freely available by post. I don't see the ACFT or the RIAA going after any of the mail companies in this way.

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Software

Hollywood might as well go and sue Microsoft since Bit Torrent runs on their Operating System.

Well it is the operating system that stores the data on the hard drive/removable media.

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A first, hopefully of many

A judge who actually upheld "justice"? Now there's a rarity!

Despite all my grievances of the Australian government and it's very own "Great Firewall of China" being forced upon it's law obiding tax-paying citizens, this is a good story atop many negative stories coming from Australia and I'd gladly toast to this judge with a pint of Fosters and perhaps a nice cup of Tetley's tea.

I buy all the movies I want to watch legitimately and music I want I buy from 7digital (over Spotify), so I'm no infringer, but as a person who quite willingly gives lots of money to these industries they need to sort their act out and treat their legitimate customers with the respect they deserve, rather than limit them with DRM technologies and occasionally accuse them of being copyright infringers.

What they should be doing is knocking the prices of their music and film content down for those doing legitimate digital distribution (no physical packaging or media), no DRM and added benefits only for those who purchased the content (Bit like what the games industry is doing right now - some of it is shady tactics to stop reselling of games, but the ability to play online is a pretty bit plus to buying the real game rather than using a pirate copy).

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Go

You'd toast the Judge with Fosters?

I'm sure he'd toss that goat-piss into the swill bucket, since the drink of choice over here is Cooper's, Southwark or Cascade. Fosters is to us what Budweiser is to the US - the best-known and most-advertised beer, but it's cheap catpiss that only bogans (chavs, white trash) drink!

Anyway, most of us here are shall we say gobsmacked by this ruling. We've had months of Conroy and his censorship, stupid laws being hurled this way and that - and suddenly a ruling that smacks of common sense? The mood here is cautiously optimistic now, some of us are hoping that this is the light at the end of the tunnel and maybe we can get the censorship bullshit overturned that same way. Others are saying it's a flash in the pan and we're going to pay for it one way or another - like the stupid copyright ruling regarding the Men At Work song.

Ah well. Can't win em all, hey!

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Pint

FYI

Umm, nobody, and I mean NOBODY, drinks Fosters in Australia.

It is an amazing marketing triumph that CUB has managed to convince the entire planet that Fosters is like Australia's national beer or something when the locals never touch the stuff.

Here, have a Vic Bitter, it'll wash the taste of Festers from your mouth.

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FAIL

Fosters

No one drinks Fosters in Australia champ.

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I have some faith in our judges

"A judge who actually upheld "justice"? Now there's a rarity!

Despite all my grievances of the Australian government and it's very own...[etc]"

Compared to our politicians (or, indeed, any politicians the world over), I think our judges actually tend to have remarkable intelligence and common sense in general. This is largely due to the fact they have had to earn their position through their own merits rather than the backroom deals and internal popularity contests you find in politics.

Of course, they are constrained in just how much sense they are allowed to show in that they are legally required to apply the actual law of land, which is made by politicians.

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Flame

but wait ...

Already the studios are bleating about how this ruling will open the floodgates to piracy and the our Luddite Minister for Communications (the same Minister who wants to filter our internet) is describing iiNet's defense as belonging in s a "Yes Minister" episode.

I can see this government changing the law to aid the studios.... or should I say look after it's mates!

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Jobs Horns

One word: GREED, and control of that GREED

Here in Australia we get the bastard add agencies manipulating us from the cradle to the grave to literally "EAT SHIT", so we have a nation of fat bastards..... even fatter than the previous record holders - the Americans......

So Free To Air TV, the subscriber TV, the magazines and radio stations and all the movies and everything, runs off the monopolised programming of these "big studio" cretins; that also profit off the never ending junk food adds.

They they say "Oh it's the governments fault - they should fix all the fat people, by spending taxpayers money" on their nightly Current Affairs programming and rigged "all the different and competing TV stations run the same news stories" programming.

And then late at night we get the "Dial a stripper" and "The licking Lezzies" video adds for your mobile phone - wall to wall every 5 minutes......

Free to Air TV in Australia is basically crap...

I feel as a consumer that people are basically sick of being fed crap by these studio's, as they get forcibly herded from one cattle pen to the next, while these "friends of their own market share "groom and extort" funds from them at every step of the way - and consumers are saying, "We are tired of your gouging and deceit - so we are making our OWN choices to obtain the content that we want, when we want it; and without all the "eat shit" advertising to go with it".

And these studios - as represented by AFACT - are doing everything they can to get control back.

Can I walk into my local record store and have a listen to all the music that has ever been released in the last 100 years? No.

What about all the number one songs - or the albums they came on, for the last 50 years? No.

If I can't listen to what I want, then what is available? All the latest "flavours of the month" - and some stuff that is available on back order (read - very little).

Consumers are giving the finger to these greedy, manipulative nazi control freaks - and they are thinking and consuming content for themselves...... minus the junk food and mobile phone porn adds, and the complete lack of availability of much older "commercial" content.

And these nazi pigs in these AFACT backed corporations don't like it.

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wsm

Not again

Unintended consequences from courts of law. How could such a thing happen?

Maybe the judge subscribes to the theory that there is nothing evil in the Internet, just the uses to which it is put. But the lawmakers, what will their response be? Since most of their legislation is purchased, what can we expect?

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Joke

Article parody...

The never-land Supreme court has found Cib, maker of ball-point pens, not responsible

for copyright offences comitted by it's customers.

The coalition against copyright-theft had accused Cib of authorising copyright theft by its customers.

Judge John Doe accepted that Cib users had indeed used Cib pens to infringe copyright, but that Cib in no way authorised the infringements.

The judge found that providing the means to infringement, the creation and sale of a device which allowed the general public to reproduce written copyrighted works, was not the same as authorising the infringements.

In summary the judge said:

the key question is: Did Cib authorise copyright infringement? The court answers such questions in the negative for three reasons: first because the copytight infringements occured directly because the use of the infringer's ability to read and write, not the use of the Cib pen, and the respondent does not control the education system which is responsible for the infringer's ability;

second because the respondent did not have a relevant power to prevent those infringements occuring; and third because the respondent did not sanction, approve, or countenance copyright infringement.

The case was brought by all major book-publishers. The judge accepted that there was widespread copying of their works, not just in the never-land but worldwide, but the publishers feeling that "something must be done" was not enough to find Cib guilty.

It is rumored that book-publishers next target will be photo-copier manufacturers.

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Better luck next time

"iiNet customers were also accused of creating physical DVD copies of Hollywood films - but the court found that the only people who definitely did this were AFCT investigators."

ROFL!

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