Will Individual Copyright Lawsuits Hit Australia?

Will Individual Copyright Lawsuits Hit Australia?

Since the mass uptake of P2P file-sharing, Australia has been spared the individual piracy lawsuits that are voraciously popular in the US. Could this long-standing stay of execution simply be because copyright holders haven’t really bothered? A law professor from the University of Technology Sydney has told the ABC that there are no “legal reasons this approach couldn’t be taken here”.

The professor in question, Michael Fraser, is also the founder of Copyright Agency Limited and vice-president of the Australian Copyright Council. Both organisations, which are non-profit, look out for the interests of copyright holders.

… broadly speaking, if they [the copyright holders]provide enough evidence, it’s not unusual for courts to grant subpoenas so that more evidence can be discovered, so that people can start a [legal]case if they have the mind to.

Fraser speaks specifically of recent events relating to Exetel. It came to light that a company, called the Movie Rights Group, asked the ISP whether it would provide the details of some 150 users, if Exetel were subpoenaed.

Before you start burning your hard drives, Fraser is unconvinced individual lawsuits are the way to go, despite the barriers preventing them being thin to non-existent. He believes the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) and ISPs themselves, will eventually agree on a industry-wide approach before this happens.

Suing downloaders won’t solve piracy: expert [ABC News]