Thursday, October 8, 2009

ISP takes on Hollywood studios over copyright; Sydney Morning Herald, 10/7/09

Miriam Steffens, Sydney Morning Herald; ISP takes on Hollywood studios over copyright:

"IN THE movie industry's landmark case over illegal film downloads, internet service provider iiNet has launched its counter-attack, calling the movie studios' claims of tens of thousands of copyright infringements over its network ''highly exaggerated'' and ''out of kilter''.

As hearings went into their second day in the Federal Court yesterday, iiNet's lawyer, Richard Cobden, SC, outlined the Perth internet company's line of defence. Lambasting the film studios' ''exuberant rhetoric,'' iiNet maintains it was not doing anything different from its larger rivals such as Telstra and Optus selling access to the internet, and had done nothing that would amount to willingly allowing its customers to download pirated movies.

Thirty-four entertainment companies, including Hollywood studios Paramount, Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox as well as Australia's Village Roadshow and Kerry Stokes's Seven Network, have accused the company of authorising copyright infringements by not cutting off accounts of users who repeatedly downloaded illegal copies of films and TV programs through file-sharing software such as BitTorrent.

The court battle is not only critical to the future of iiNet, but to the internet industry as a whole, which is seeking to avoid having to police its users to prevent illegal downloading."

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