Friday, November 21, 2008

Iinet sued for allegedly "allowing" copyright violations

THE Australian film and television industry has launched legal action against one of the largest internet service providers in the country for allowing its users to download pirated movies and TV shows.

The action against iiNet was filed in the Federal Court yesterday by Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Disney and the Seven Network.

For the record, there's no legal precedent or ruling in Australian law that would suggest that Iinet can accurately be described as actively "allowing" people to download copyright-infringine material. ISP's aren't in the business of policing content, although the sheer number of political forces with a vested interest in getting them to start is worrisome.

First Stephen Conroy's pathetic effort to build a Great Firewall of Australia, and now this. I worry for the future of the Australian Internet sometimes.

And really, how long is it before the two ideas get combined? The conglomerates comprising the "Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft" are almost certain to have a list of demands for the government about further "unwanted" content that they want the filter extended to cover.

I note that ITWire has also put 2 and 2 together here. I agree also that it seems odd that it's Iinet, the ISP who just happens to employ the outspoken Managing Director Michael Malone, and not Telstra or Optus, that's getting sued.

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