Hollywood lodges appeal in Internet piracy case

Feb 25, 2010
The 450-foot-long Hollywood sign seen February 10, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Hollywood film studios Thursday lodged an appeal against a landmark legal judgment which found an Australian Internet provider was not responsible for illegal movie downloads by its customers.

Hollywood film studios Thursday lodged an appeal against a landmark legal judgment which found an Australian Internet provider was not responsible for illegal movie downloads by its customers.

The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), representing a consortium of 34 studios, said the Federal Court's ruling was out of step with well-established copyright law.

"The court found large scale copyright infringements (proven), that iiNet knew they were occurring, that iiNet had the contractual and technical capacity to stop them and iiNet did nothing about them," said Neil Gane, executive director of AFACT.

"In line with previous case law, this would have amounted to authorisation of ."

Gane said AFACT had filed an appeal with the Federal Court arguing it had erred on 15 grounds, setting a dangerous precedent that allowed Internet companies to turn a blind eye to theft.

"The decision harms not just the studios that produce and distribute movies, but also Australia’s creative community and all those whose livelihoods depend on a vibrant entertainment industry," he said.

iiNet chief executive Michael Malone said he regretted AFACT's decision to prolong the legal battle.

"It is more than disappointing and frustrating that the studios have chosen this unproductive path," Malone said.

"This has not stopped one illegal download and further legal appeals will not stop piracy."

The closely-watched case, which involved major studios such as Warner Bros, Disney, Paramount, Columbia and Twentieth Century Fox, was seen as an ambitious attempt to force ISPs to act against piracy.

It hinged on thousands of downloads over the Perth-based iiNet network, Australia's third-largest ISP, over 59 weeks from June 2008 involving nearly 90 films and TV series including "Batman Begins", "Transformers" and "Heroes".

The movie studios hoped to set a worldwide precedent forcing ISPs to act against offenders, while Internet rights groups feared it would compel the firms to cut customers' web access without having to take them to court.

Explore further: Alibaba surges in Wall Street debut (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fears Australian piracy case could shut off net

Jan 31, 2010

Australian Internet rights groups fear a piracy court case could force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to become "copyright cops" and cut web access to customers who make illegal downloads.

AT&T to start sending copyright warnings

Mar 26, 2009

(AP) -- AT&T Inc., the nation's largest Internet service provider, will start sending warnings to its subscribers when music labels and movie studios allege that they are trafficking in pirated material, according to an ...

Court Denies Vonage Bid for Patent Case Retrial

May 04, 2007

A U.S. appeals court denies a request by Internet phone company Vonage Holdings that it order a retrial in the patent infringement case brought against it by Verizon Communications.

iTunes Store Tops Over Five Billion Songs Sold

Jun 23, 2008

Apple announced that music fans have purchased and downloaded over five billion songs from the iTunes Store. iTunes is the number one music retailer in the US and features the largest music catalog with over eight million ...

Recommended for you

Alibaba makes Wall Street debut

Sep 19, 2014

Alibaba made its long-awaited Wall Street debut Friday on the heels of a record stock offering that opens the door to global expansion for the Chinese online retail giant.

Alibaba IPO to boost employee fortunes to $8 bn

Sep 19, 2014

Employees of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will see their fortunes swell to nearly $8 billion as the company prepares a massive US stock offering that could be valued at $25 billion.

Alibaba mega IPO caps founder Jack Ma success tale

Sep 19, 2014

When Jack Ma founded Alibaba 15 years ago he insisted the e-commerce venture should see itself as competing against Silicon Valley, not other Chinese companies. That bold ambition from a time when China was ...

User comments : 0