Australians celebrating iiNet’s win over the copyright parasites may want to reconsider their elation:
[The appeal court] considered that iiNet, by sitting on its hands, would have been liable for authorising the infringements if the notices had contained more verified and more specific information. However the notices given by the film companies were, in the form that they were given, insufficient to require iiNet to take steps to prevent the infringements. The appeal court also rejected the trial court’s view that iiNet had adopted a repeat-infringer account termination policy that qualified iiNet for an immunity from damages.
Although iiNet won the appeal, this was simply because of the shortcomings in the way that the notices had been given.
Australians who wish to access content that the copyright industry has deemed unsuitable for our eyes and ears (mainly because it can’t be bothered releasing it here), or in relation to which it has decided to charge us punitive pricing because it thinks it can get away with it, should be aware that the IP industry will be waiting to pounce.
There’s only one thing that will restore Australian consumers’ rights, and that’s an Australian government with the guts to repeal the copyright provisions of Howard’s FTA with the US. And Julia’s got a better chance of getting her carbon price through than of getting anything like a fair hearing in the commercial media on this subject.
Do you think perhaps that the infringement notices were purposefully vague because they didn’t have a leg to stand on? It’s easy to scare people into acting the way you want them too, but having to back that up with enough proof required to defend yourself against an appeal is a lot harder.
Maybe… but armed with this ruling, I suspect that the next wave they’ll make sure they have very clear evidence for.
This is all despite that the film industry is having a tough time justifying just how, exactly, all this mad level of piracy is impacting on their bottom line.