The long-expected appeal against iiNet has been dismissed in Federal Court today. This is likely to be the final nail in the coffin for ISP-related copyright lawsuits in Australia for a long time, creating a legal precedent for future court proceedings. However, the ruling wasn’t completely unanimous. According to various sources, one dissenting judge ruled in favour of the appeal and awarded the case to AFACT.
A press statement is expected shortly. We’ll update this story as soon as the information is released.
Update #1: The official court ruling is now available for all to read online. If you don't have time to read the entire ruling (yes, it's novel-size), we encourage you take a look at section 588, which illustrates an important part of why the ruling was in favour of iiNet:
His Honour also noted that acts of copyright infringement are necessarily acts of one or more persons. A computer can be used to commit an infringement of copyright but the act of infringement must be that of the person who uses the computer in an infringing way.
iiNet have just released a statement, saying they feel vindicated and pleased with the decision. iiNet boss Michael Malone had this to say about today's judgement:
“Today’s judgment again demonstrates that the allegations against us have been proven to be unfounded.”
iiNet drew attention to the success of the company's fledgling PayTV service, FetchTV, which helped underscore the important value of partnering with the same entertainment firms in the online space. iiNet contends that offering users a legitimate place to access content is more important than playing net nanny to individual users.
By popular request, this might be slightly relevant in times like this: