Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) has posted some interesting thoughts on today’s iiNet court appeal. The volunteer run organisation have congratulated Australia's second largest DSL provider for keeping up the fight in a candid editorial,as posted on their website today.
The EFA believes the case will serve as a valuable milestone in Australian copyright law, by virtue of the two to one decision against AFACT, which has set an important legal precedent for other Australian Internet Service Providers. The law now clearly shows that ISPs should and cannot be punished for the actions taken by their users downloading over BitTorrent.
But don’t get too excited Giz readers – the ruling is not a green light for a download-free-for-all, as tempting as that might sound right now. Kim Heitman of the EFA writes that the judges were none too happy about iiNet’s failure to provide a industry code of conduct in order to deal with repeat offenders:
“Justice Nicholas was especially critical of iiNet’s “repeat infringer” policy, noting that the ISP hadn’t really tried to stop alleged infringers. Justice Jagot noted that the ISPs hadn’t achieved an industry code to trigger “safe harbour” protections and in the event that an authorisation of infringement was proved then ISPs would not have the benefit of those protections in the Copyright Act.”
Whether this proceeds to the High Court is anyone’s guess right now – but it’s unlikely AFACT will decide to spend the extra money given the double KO in both Federal Court rulings.