Australian Copyright Orgs Vow to Turn Attacks to Citizens After Legal Defeat
February 5, 2010 8:55 AM
comment(s) - last by
A comic written by AFACT warns children of the dangers of piracy.
Yesterday was a bitter one for Australia's piracy opponents
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the parent organization of the RIAA, and assorted motion picture copyright organizations worldwide (such as the MPAA) have over the last decade has been trying to combat piracy worldwide. The organizations have seen different degrees of success in different nations. Some nations have largely refused to let their citizens be policed by copyright organization lawyers. Others, though, like France and Britain have
embraced the efforts
so thoroughly, that they have pending legislation that could force internet service provider to terminate paying customers that fileshare copyrighted works.
Another nation that was thought to be rather pro-copyright holders was Australia. Australia also
mulled over "three strikes" legislation
in recent years, which would take filesharers offline. However, a
key Australian court ruling
has changed all of that, essentially killing a major avenue of the copyright enforcers' efforts in the country.
The case began with the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (a motion picture copyright protection organization) filing suit against internet service provider iiNet, trying to secure a ruling to force it to police its network for filesharing and warn and/or disconnect violators.
A landmark decision was delivered on Thursday morning by the Australian Federal Court (similar to the U.S. Supreme Court), covered live on Twitter (the first Australian federal case to be covered by the microblogging service). In the end, Justice Dennis Cowdroy struck a major blow against the copyright protection organizations, ruling that the ISP had not "authorised" its customers' infringement by ignoring thousands of letters from AFACT.
He said that iiNet was merely providing customers a service (internet) and it was not the company's fault if customers abused it, using Bittorrent or other filesharing technologies. He stated, "iiNet is not responsible if an iiNet user uses that system to bring about copyright infringement … the law recognises no positive obligation on any person to protect the copyright of another."
Tony Joyner, a partner in the technology and IT group at Australian law firm Freehills says that the decision brought an intriguing end to an interesting case. He describes, "Everything iiNet says is rational. They're saying we're just a simple conduit and if people are doing bad things it's not up to us to be the police. The studios are also being very rational and saying it's happening on your turf, so we need you to do something."
The effects of the decision may be multifold. Sabiene Heindl, general manager of the music industry's anti-piracy arm, Music Industry Piracy Investigations (an IFPI child org.) threatens, "Today's Federal Court decision suggests that copyright owners broadly may have no choice but to sue individuals for illegal file-sharing. This would be a most unfortunate outcome."
Still, suing individuals would be much less cost effective to the music and movie studios than merely securing legislation forcing ISPs to ban filesharers. As Australia has a system of checks and balances, the copyright organizations could still pour their money into lobbying Australian legislators to push through legislation reversing the court verdict. They also have up to 21 days to appeal the verdict.
The Australian decision is of significant interest to the United States' own piracy debate. In the U.S. the cost of lawsuits has forced the RIAA and MPAA to scale back their legal campaigns against individual citizens. However, they did secure an ally in America's third largest broadband provider, Verizon. Verizon recently began
sending warning letters
to customers who fileshare to "educate" them on the dangers.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: what a concept
2/6/2010 11:36:13 PM
I don't agree that pirates should be allowed to do whatever they want, either
One of the big problems I see with the internet is that even something very simply like copying your statement (e.g. above) is subject to copyright. But who owns it? You? Jason Mick? DT? Mozilla Firefox? Ubuntu? I don't know. For the sake of argument, let's say it's DT, and say I want to use it for a major advertising campaign. Who do I pay? As Microsoft found out a few years ago when they got sued by an agency because they hadn't paid them billions of $$$ for selling software with mp3 capability, you have to pay EXACTLY the right people or there will be BIIIGGG trouble. Fortunately for us, Microsoft HAD paid EXACTLY the right people, but it is SOOOOOOO VERY EASY to get it wrong. And if you pay the wrong people, they won't turn up in court to defend you, they will just say "so long, and thanks for the dough", which leaves us having to pay the whole lot of copyright fees all over again, hopefully to the right crowd this time.
Which brings up another issue: with groceries or electricity or phones or car registration you know who to pay, but with copyright it seems to be pretty well anyone can claim copyright ownership. We even hear of artists who post original works on Youtube being accused of copyright infringement. They wrote, performed, filmed, whatever, all by themselves and they have to pay copyright to an agency who doesn't even know where they live. How stupid is that?
Then I had an idea: everyone pays an optional copyright fee to their ISP, who passes it on to the copyright people. That way, if there is any accidental copyright issues, then I'm covered. The copyright agencies then collect all this money and distribute it willy nilly as they see fit. If it's to their deserving artists or copyright holders, then that is good; if it's to themselves and their shareholders, then that isn't so good; if it's to their lawyers so they can have massive copyright infringement battles over minor legal technicalities and that take years to drag through the courts and wastes billions of dollars, then that is sad; but it keeps them happy and stops them bothering us.
So then if I get caught filesharing Ubuntu 9.10 or whatever, and I have paid the optional copyright fee, and some copyright agency decides I should have sort their permission instead of Canonical (or whoever) for doing it, then I am covered by this copyright fee. If I haven't paid the fee, then I take my chances with the legal system.
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
Verizon and CNET Resort to He Said She Said, But Message is Clear: No Filesharer Cutoffs
January 22, 2010, 1:39 PM
British Taxpayers May Have to Pay Over $1B USD for Piracy Bill
December 29, 2009, 1:47 PM
Australian Government Plans to Terminate Filesharers
February 19, 2008, 12:24 AM
Tech's Biggest Loser on Tax Day: eBay Pays Nearly 99 Percent Tax Rate
April 15, 2015, 3:28 PM
Death and Dragons -- Report Claims Game of Thrones Hit by Piracy "Tidal Wave"
April 10, 2015, 8:37 AM
Court Blocks Twitter and YouTube in Turkey After Pro-Communist Attack in Istanbul
April 6, 2015, 10:53 AM
In Graphics and Quotes: $10.4 Billion Charter & Bright House Merger
April 2, 2015, 5:19 PM
WSJ Report Implies That Google Leveraged Lobbying to Kill Antitrust Abuse Probe
March 25, 2015, 5:37 PM
Nationalist Hackers From Turkey Cause Chaos, Deface Dozens of Sites
March 16, 2015, 12:29 PM
Most Popular Articles
Windows 10 Build 10056 -- What's New in the Latest Leak
April 13, 2015, 10:38 PM
TSMC Hypes Its Upcoming 10 nm Process, Amid Struggles to Hit Volume at 16 nm
April 10, 2015, 7:57 PM
Sharp Unveils World's First "4K" Phone Display at Mind-Boggling 806 PPI
April 13, 2015, 11:24 AM
In California Hippies, Religious Right Find Common Enemy in Vaccine Science
April 9, 2015, 4:42 PM
Editorial: TinEye is an Essential Search Engine That Too Few Know About
April 14, 2015, 10:58 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information