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Aussie Film Industry Appeals ISP Copyright Case

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed dept.

Australia 137

schliz writes "The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has appealed a Federal Court judgement that this month exonerated ISP iiNet for its subscribers' copyright-infringing activities. In the widely publicised case, AFACT sought to penalize iiNet for its users having made 100k illegal downloads. A judge ruled that 'mere provision of access to internet is not the means to infringement,' but AFACT now claims the judgement 'left an unworkable online environment for content creators and content providers' and 'represents a serious threat to Australia's digital economy.'"

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The courts should not ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31269934)

change the law so that your business plan works.

Re:The courts should not ... (3, Informative)

GrpA (691294) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269992)

Indeed, the cynical amongst us might think that they planned to lose the case to iiNet just so that they could make this very appeal...

GrpA

The truth is revealed! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31270644)

Sie sind der Ewige Jude

Re:The courts should not ... (3, Insightful)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270834)

The REALLY cynical amongst us are in actuality realists. Not surprised at all. The case was definitely part of their agenda to make other organisations spend huge amounts of money to prevent harm to themselves (ie, lawsuits) to in turn to force more money into the music distribution industries already bulging pockets. This court case went the wrong way for (not)AFACT, but I'm sure they only view it as a temporary setback.

Re:The courts should not ... (-1, Troll)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270410)

Absolutely not. They should change the law so that at least one business plan works for an in demand product.

Re:The courts should not ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31270574)

Why? Why is it the role of the courts to choose a business plan and to change the law to make it effective? It is the studios' job to work out how best to market their in-demand product.

Re:The courts should not ... (0)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270614)

Why? Why is it the role of the courts to choose a business plan and to change the law to make it effective?

Like I said, that's not their job. Their job is to make sure the market is running effectively. A product that is in demand, but not being provided (for whatever reason) is a market running improperly. Propping up certain business models is incidental to their actual duty.

Re:The courts should not ... (4, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270708)

Their job is to make sure the market is running effectively.

Nope. Last time I did any sort of legal studies at school, the role of the courts was to apply the law to the matter at hand. They can also interpret the law in cases of ambiguity (eg for situations that didn't exist when the law was created). It's certainly not their role to set policies for commerce though. If the law says one thing they they have to apply it whether they think its fair or not.

If something attracts as much attention as this then the government might start floating around policy changes to 'fix' the situation up, but that's not the role of the courts.

('fix' is in quotes because the cynic in me says that it will be 'fixed' according to whoever throws them enough money...)

And you should not... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31270672)

...write stupid subjects that keep me in suspense. Summarize your message, FFS, or go write on a blog if you like to jerk around your readers.

The internet is not written solely (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31271488)

for your amusement. If you do not like this, go off and make your own internet. With blackjack and hookers if you like.

Re:The internet is not written solely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31272166)

Forget the Internet and the blackjack! Eh, forget the whole thing....

Re:The courts should not ... (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270736)

The court tests whether the law is applied correctly.

Parliament and ministers and such make laws.

And the police will uphold the law.

That's the trias politica, and if everybody keeps to this law, then we'll all be happy campers. These courts CANNOT change the law. If the law is not clear, (in the original way) the lawMAKERS must improve the law. However, in reality, the world moves faster than lawmakers, and this means that courts have to interpret the law - which means that in fact they became lawmakers, or rather law-adjusters, too.

That is a bad development because it makes it very attractive to ask for an appeal and hope for a new interpretation. We're heading for a situation where everybody will appeal everything. That will ultimately be totally unworkable - a lot more unworkable than a single bad copyright law.

Re:The courts should not ... (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270916)

I don't know how it's like in Australia, but in the USA the courts can also strike down laws.

The Greedy Farmer parable (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270972)

These "content providers" should realize that publishing content is like releasing oxygen in the atmosphere.

Imagine a farmer that wants to profit from the oxygen his plants release. He could build a greenhouse to capture the oxygen and sell bottled oxygen to customers that agree to pay his price. But that would need investment in the greenhouse and the oxygen bottling equipment. Instead of investing money to get a profit, he releases the oxygen in the atmosphere and lobbies to get a law forcing people have oxygen meters installed in their lungs, so they can pay for the oxygen they consume.

The entertainment industry is like that greedy farmer. To get a profit from their creations, they should invest in an infrastructure of theaters so they can charge entrance to allow people to see their shows. Instead of this they want to release their products in the internet and demand that other people take charge of metering how their products are consumed.

Re:The Greedy Farmer parable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31271338)

This is about the stupidest analogy I have ever seen. Here's a hint: people ripping DVDs and putting them on bittorrent is NOT 'wanting to release their products in the internet'.

Oh I I feel so sorry for them (5, Insightful)

Mag7 (69118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269962)

an unworkable online environment for content creators and content providers

Boohoo. They wanted someone else to do their dirty work for them, but now they have to actually use the legal system as intended which requires a great deal more effort. Cry me a river that they don't get a short cut to justice.

Re:Oh I I feel so sorry for them (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270668)

More importantly the opposite judgment would have really eliminated any possibility of a proper digital economy.

Re:Oh I I feel so sorry for them (3, Funny)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270710)

"Cry me a river"

Or as we Aussies would say - Suffer in your jocks AFACT [youtube.com] .

AFACT? That doesn't make sense (3, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31269966)

. . . Copyright Theft?

This goes beyond the typical slashdot positional debate on whether or not violations of copyright are considered theft or infringement. I would propose a new clever acronymic name:

Australian Federation Against Respect for Copyright. That would make them AFARC which would describe their organization and efforts a lot better.

Re:AFACT? That doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270290)

Copyright theft happens when someone steals your copyright. It makes sense, but I don't think it has anything to do with what AFACT does. It's not exactly commonplace for people to steal such things.

Except for record labels (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270346)

> It's not exactly commonplace for people to steal such things.

Oh, some of us are fairly sure that the past behavior of the record labels, when they controlled music publicity almost exclusively (and quite probably illegally) so that artists didn't feel they had much choice other than to sign their copyrights away, could very easily be called "copyright theft".

In the US, at least, the artist in some cases is able to take his [slashdot.org] copyright [slashdot.org] back [usc.edu] .

Re:Except for record labels (1)

Alphathon (1634555) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270592)

It still isn't commonplace for PEOPLE to steal such things though. Corporations maybe, people, no. (P.S. I'm not the AC above)

Re:Except for record labels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31270976)

But corporations are people too:(

Re:Except for record labels (2, Insightful)

Yamata no Orochi (1626135) | more than 3 years ago | (#31271694)

But corporations are people too:(

At least in regards to most legal benefits afforded individual people. Less so in regards to disadvantages.

Re:AFACT? That doesn't make sense (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#31272254)

It is very common for copyright to be stolen, 100% of copyrights that exist today have been or will be stolen. It is a right that belongs to the people, restricted to the creator for a limited time. Every instance where that restriction has been extended is a theft of the copyright of the people.

And in other news (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31269976)

Mr Mew Caugh quoted to the national farmers federation that "steak knives present a serious threat to the bovine community"

Restores your faith in the legal system (3, Informative)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270022)

At least in Australia. Well worth reading the last link, (http://www.itnews.com.au/News/167984,analysis-five-ways-afact-lost-the-iinet-case.aspx.).

Re:Restores your faith in the legal system (1)

sictransitgloriacfa (1739280) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270666)

One swallow does not make a summer, nor does the occasional lucid court decision give me faith in the legal system as a whole. It's nice when it happens (Kitzmiller especially), but the courts make plenty of bad calls too. That reactionary fugghead Scalia is still in SCOTUS; British libel law is still horribly broken; and then there's this story [boingboing.net] .

The internet is a threat to the digital economy? (3, Insightful)

branewalker (1665523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270048)

A threat to the digital economy? Ok, let's ban computers! They make it trivially easy to copy intellectual property! They are a threat to the digital economy! And the Internet! It's a threat to the digital economy!

Re:The internet is a threat to the digital economy (5, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270340)

To be honest the internet is a threat to the digital economy --------- of the middle men, those that contribute nothing but, hmm, bullshit. The publishers who spend their lives lying about the quality of the content they 'publish', who produce (not create) some of the worst content imaginable (I not sure that word should be associated with the content they produce) where they pay peanuts to the best performing casting couch specialists, the endless parade of one hit drunken drug addled performance artists.

What does this work or those people actually contribute to society, is their work to be considered a useful art, or should their narcissist sociopathic behaviour become a part of shameful history. Their willingness to corrupt everything they touch, law, politics, society, and even children and they believe they are worth protecting, that their ability to exploit and distort human mores to fit their own psychosis is of valuable to society.

So will the digital economy be better with or without them, how about the real economy, the one of humanity and the planets natural resources, can they continued to be wasted upon this groups their very public excesses, you could not find a group that consumes and pollutes more than them.

Re:The internet is a threat to the digital economy (0, Troll)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270442)

To be honest the internet is a threat to the digital economy --------- of the middle men, those that contribute nothing but, hmm, bullshit.

Contribute nothing? Perhaps, but consider the following (selected at random from the US Chamber of Commerce [uschamber.com] website):

The intellectual property (IP) generated by U.S. companies is critical to America's prosperity and leadership in the global economy. America's IP-intensive industries employ nearly 18 million workers, account for more than 50% of all U.S. exports, and represent 40% of the country's growth (Department of Commerce).

U.S. intellectual property is worth between $5 trillion and $5.5 trillion--more than the nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of any other country (USA for Innovation).

So yeah, you could make an argument that such companies contribute nothing, or make nothing, but you'd have to agree there's an awful lot of money and jobs (and corresponding political influence) tied up in those numbers, and without those companies doing the nothing that they do so well, a chunk of the economy goes poof.

Re:The internet is a threat to the digital economy (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270752)

That money is not created, it is bled from the rest of the economy, a parasitical existence is not a contributory existence, they neither feed, house, clothe, heal, transport or produce useful usable goods. Plus, please do not confuse the exploited creators with the exploitative publishers. The creative commons, openly self published on the internet is a far more valuable and inclusive resource, where content is a participatory experience.

So profit and greed is what you claim as their one saving grace, hmm , drug dealers and pimps could also fit exactly that same profile and oddly enough they are equally destructive of society and as it turns out, they are also closely associated with the content publishing industry, now why do I not find that a surprise.

Re:The internet is a threat to the digital economy (2, Interesting)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 3 years ago | (#31271292)

Yes, but this work has as much purpose as the USSR employing people in factories just to give them a job (which it did, way back when). It just distracts people from more important things and wastes time and money.

Re:The internet is a threat to the digital economy (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#31271602)

So yeah, you could make an argument that such companies contribute nothing, or make nothing, but you'd have to agree there's an awful lot of money and jobs (and corresponding political influence) tied up in those numbers, and without those companies doing the nothing that they do so well, a chunk of the economy goes poof.

Sorry, even if you accept the arguments made by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that Intellectual Property is economically important (which I am inclined to do, although I did not read the whole page thoroughly so I have my doubts as to whether or not I accept the conclusions they reach from that starting point), it does not follow that the middlemen (such as record companies) add anything valuable to the economy. If the middlemen contribute nothing, then they actually remove value from the economy. Value that could be better used to create more IP.

Gibberish Modded Up to +5 (2, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#31271112)

The publishers who spend their lives lying about the quality of the content they 'publish', who produce (not create) some of the worst content imaginable...where they pay peanuts to the best performing casting couch specialists, the endless parade of one hit drunken drug addled performance artists.
What does this work or those people actually contribute to society, is their work to be considered a useful art, or should their narcissist sociopathic behaviour become a part of shameful history. Their willingness to corrupt everything they touch, law, politics, society, and even children.....

It is lame to argue that what you steal has no value. It is lamer still to argue that you are less corrupt than those you steal from.

2008 was particularly rich in movies with impeccable geek cred:

The Dark Knight. Iron Man. Wall-E...

These were the torrents the geek relentlessly sought out and sucked down.

The geek knows what it costs to produce and market these films. The geek knows that there is only one Pixar and only one Andrew Stanton.

Re:Gibberish Modded Up to +5 (1)

crimperman (225941) | more than 3 years ago | (#31271274)

It is lame to argue that what you steal has no value. It is lamer still to argue that you are less corrupt than those you steal from.

Your argument is a good one and largely I agree with it. Aside from this one glaring error: Copyright infringement is not theft, stealing or any other term related to deprivation of property!

*Sigh* You'd think that a \. user would have figured this one out by now wouldn't you?

Re:The internet is a threat to the digital economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31272782)

should their narcissist sociopathic behaviour become a part of shameful history

The history of the human race is an ongoing tale of shifting tides of exploitation.

Humans exploit anything that can't or won't fight back. Justice is not something humans value; it is something humans do only when forced.

I don't think so. (2)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270056)

"...the judgement 'left an unworkable online environment for content creators and content providers' and 'represents a serious threat to Australia's digital economy.'"

I believe that would be your business model that did that. That model died the moment the industry went from vinyl to magnetic tape.

Anyone besides me ever wonder why Sony sells blank CDs and DVDs, then complains about infringement?

Here is the nail in the coffin, Sony. (From Wikipedia)

"Although there were other magnetic tape cartridge systems, the Compact Cassette became dominant as a result of Philips's decision in the face of pressure from Sony to license the format free of charge."

You try and figure it out. I'm still at a complete loss to explain this. Were the Sony execs really THAT short-sighted? And still?

Re:I don't think so. (0, Troll)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270298)

Anyone besides me ever wonder why Sony sells blank CDs and DVDs, then complains about infringement?

I'm guessing that the blank DVDs are intended to be used to burn your home videos shot with Sony video cameras to disc, not to copy commercial and CSS-protected content.

I'm not a fan of stupid copyright arguments or Sony, but this argument is disingenuous. You may as well wonder "why do they sell blank paper, yet complain about the counterfeiting of currency?"

Re:I don't think so. (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270362)

I'm guessing that the blank DVDs are intended to be used to burn your home videos shot with Sony video cameras to disc, not to copy commercial and CSS-protected content.

Because these are the only types of content available. God forbid other people make stuff and they love it when you burn it on a DVD to show it to your friends.

I'm not a fan of stupid copyright arguments, but this argument is disingenuous

Your honor, the defence rests.

Re:I don't think so. (0, Troll)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270760)

Because these are the only types of content available.

Uhhh, I don't recall saying anything like that.

God forbid other people make stuff and they love it when you burn it on a DVD to show it to your friends.

Indeed.

Your honor, the defence rests.

What exactly are you trying to argue? I didn't say Sony's intentions were just - I was just trying to explain what Sony's intentions probably are.

Re:I don't think so. (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270434)

"You may as well wonder "why do they sell blank paper, yet complain about the counterfeiting of currency?"

Well, I'm pretty sure the US government isn't selling THAT particular paper, nor the dyes or security strips.

Not only did Sony push for the general acceptance of the format, but then they went on and became the world's top seller of portable cassette tape RECORDERS.

Again, from Wikipedia...

"Some devices were also capable of recording. The highest quality Sony Walkman recording cassette deck was the Walkman Professional WM-D6C. It was introduced in 1984, and became an instant success because of its long battery life."

But it seems someone at Sony had some inkling of what was coming down the tracks and tried to derail the runaway train, too late and without success...

"Amid fierce competition, primarily from Toshiba (the Walky), Aiwa (the CassetteBoy) and Panasonic, by the late 80s, Sony upped the ante once again by creating the PLAYBACK-ONLY WM-DD9, launched in 1989 during the 10th anniversary of the Walkman (five years after the WM-D6C) and became the holy grail for a niche group of cassette Walkman collectors." (my emphasis)

Cassettes, CDs...it is all the same. They broke their own business model, if selling music was their intention. Sometimes I wonder.

Re:I don't think so. (0, Troll)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270790)

Well, I'm pretty sure the US government isn't selling THAT particular paper, nor the dyes or security strips.

Irrelevant. Plenty of forgeries are made on normal paper.

Not only did Sony push for the general acceptance of the format, but then they went on and became the world's top seller of portable cassette tape RECORDERS.

Right. So how does that mean they support the copying of copyrighted content? There are many other uses of tape recorders.

Once again, a poor argument. Knives can be used for murder. This doesn't mean knife manufacturers advocate murder.

Re:I don't think so. (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270504)

Anyone besides me ever wonder why Sony sells blank CDs and DVDs, then complains about infringement?

They complained about infringement, then realised it wasn't going to go away, then realised they could at least profit off of it if they sold blanks. Seems logical to me.

Re:I don't think so. (1)

sictransitgloriacfa (1739280) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270704)

Hidden beneath all the shouting, the core issue is that computers and related technologies are all about copying. They make it very very easy to copy things; and the internet makes it very very easy to distribute them. Locking things up so they can't be copied or distributed is relatively complex and difficult. The traditional content creators and distributors can kick and scream and try to push the genie back into the bottle all they want, but their old business model is doomed by these simple facts.

Re:I don't think so. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270706)

Sony is split internally between different divisions, Sony actually sued itself over CD recorders or something.

Re:I don't think so. (2, Insightful)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 3 years ago | (#31272080)

"Although there were other magnetic tape cartridge systems, the Compact Cassette became dominant as a result of Philips's decision in the face of pressure from Sony to license the format free of charge."

You try and figure it out. I'm still at a complete loss to explain this. Were the Sony execs really THAT short-sighted? And still?

Sony Launched the Walkman in 1979, but didn't get into the content production side of the business until 1988 with the purchase of CBS Records.

It's behaviour early on was inline with it's business at the time which was the manufacture of tape players. It's only when it started trying to produce content that its business model start conflicting with itself.

Website that cuts through the bull (2, Informative)

Joakal (1317443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270070)

This website ShockSeat [shockseat.com] cuts through the bull of each party to what they really support. I hope to show bi-partisan responses to issues that people may not otherwise know such as Internet Filtering Scheme [shockseat.com] .

If you wish to contribute, I need people to demand the parties [shockseat.com] to come clear on issues in the survey I have given them. So far, only 1 of 26 parties have answered [shockseat.com] and even then, I'm adding all the listed issues.

If anything, I hope it's a great guide to interested voters who are concerned about certain issues and don't want to wade through the sales pitch.

Re:Website that cuts through the bull (1)

Joakal (1317443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270114)

Meant to add; one of the issues in my survey is how to police piracy or copyright infringements. I can't put this on my site if there's no parties talking about it (Unregistered federal parties like Pirate Party don't count at present).

Re:Website that cuts through the bull (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270192)

magic_quotes_gpc is not your friend.

Digital Economy? (4, Insightful)

halowolf (692775) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270084)

The only digital economy that I can see AFACT being interested in is propagating its anti-competitive, artificial markets that lets Australian users get content that was released 6 months ago in the US, late, or not at all. In fact piracy has helped improve Australian free to air television by encouraging TV stations to screen popular TV series as soon as they possibly can so that pirates don't need to actually download those shows. A lot of the reason behind people in Australia downloading shows is because they just are not available to view in Australia for months on end if at all. It doesn't make it right, but its one of the big reasons it happens.

All we want studios is to be able to legally obtain content in our Australian region when it is released in another region like the UK or US in a timely manner without all the local market bull-s*@t that you put us through time and time again so you can make more money by charging us more when we could buy it in the US or something where they have real market competition for cheaper.

Of course there will always be the bunch of people that infringe copyright that just want the stuff for free, and its these people I have no sympathy for, as its used as an excuse by content creators to screw us over time and time again as they seek their almighty dollars.

Re:Digital Economy? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270246)

Reminds me of the time when Star Trek:TNG was shipped over on bootleg VHS tapes. Took Channel 9 about three or four years to bring it here. Then they buried it in the maybe, maybe not graveyard shift.

Re:Digital Economy? (1)

Knightman (142928) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270858)

There is a reason why TV-Shows lag behind in countries outside USA. The cost to acquire broadcasting rights for a show can be quite steep and some networks want to be sure they buy a show with good ratings so they can recoup the cost by selling commercials during the show.

But then, I think a new show could be sold at a discount in the beginning so you get more networks interested and if it gets popular you can remove or reduce the discount as time pass and the popularity of the show increases. There's several examples of shows that was only produced one season of or perhaps just 12-13 episodes that had poor ratings in the USA but got good or great ratings abroad when they sold the rights for them very cheap.

Re:Digital Economy? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270956)

Take Stargate Universe for example, TEN aired a few episodes and then took it off just as it was getting good. My guess is that pretty much anyone who is likely to care about the show has already downloaded the remaining episodes (those that have aired to date) and will not care to watch it on TEN.

Had TEN continued to air the show (even in a late night 10:30 or even 11:30 timeslot), most people would have continued to watch it (including the ads) and would not have bothered pirating it.

Re:Digital Economy? (1)

halowolf (692775) | more than 3 years ago | (#31271282)

And thats exactly what the producing companies don't want to face. That their decades old system of selling shows to networks is not what consumers want anymore. They want what everyone else has right damn now. I may be Gen-X but when it comes to this sort of stuff I have a very Gen-Y attitude towards it.

I try to organise my life very efficiently due to my many interests and part of that is watching what I want when I want, I rarely watch live television (UFC 110 was an exception in Oz tho) and I basically time shift all my viewing habits to cut out the ads and get the most bang for my buck, and these archaic systems in place just don't do it for me.

Re:Digital Economy? (1)

Knightman (142928) | more than 3 years ago | (#31271516)

Couldn't agree more. I travel a lot so I load up my laptop with stuff I want to read or watch since I rarely have the luxury or time to watch a show on someone else's schedule.

Unclear point (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270116)

The article is not clear about a point:

"The court found large scale copyright infringements, that iiNet knew they were occurring, that iiNet had the contractual and technical capacity to stop them and iiNet did nothing about them," he said.

Were they asked by some authority to give some information about some users and they did not comply ?

Or did they simply not pro actively hunt some customers ?

If it was the second, I do not see how this can constitute a case.

Re:Unclear point (3, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270174)

all i can do is lol. if the court found in favour of all these things, how does AFACT explain the need to appeal?

the thing that's really pissed AFACT off is that they were ordered to pay iinet's costs to the tune of some 400k. guess there's no chance they will take this opportunity to reflect on the fact THEY are in the wrong.

Re:Unclear point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270342)

400k? I think you mean 4 million.

Re:Unclear point (4, Informative)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270254)

They were asked by an industry group to police piracy. They told them it was a job for the Police and happily forwarded the complaints to the cops, who turned around and said something like 'why don't we go after rapists and murderers first.' The industry group then got its knickers in a twist and sued them.

Why single out ISP's ? (4, Interesting)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270156)

I don't remember a single instance where a Postal Service, a Telephone Company or a Bank were asked to behave in this manner ?

Fine, monitor the transactions being made, report them to the concerned party upon presentation of a search warrant or other legal document. But an ISP should NOT be judge, jury and executioner, they should only ever be a "witness" / "informant" (delete as appropriate).

All these companies provide is a service, and they are only legally / morally obliged to report wrongdoings. They are not required to go in "Jack Bauer" style and take out the dirty pirates. That's the job of the legal system.

Re:Why single out ISP's ? (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270200)

the ISP shouldn't be required outside of a court order to monitor anything. if you were to try hunt down even a fraction of p2p users you'd have to have 100's of people working at it, turning up to court dates, collecting evidence.

why the fuck should iinet (and by extension it's customers) have to foot that cost just to protect the film industries clients? fuck their IP, i don't get to DEMAND the local council provide free security and install an alarm free of charge in my house because someone might steal my property, just because the local council provides the footpath theives walk on.

Re:Why single out ISP's ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31270530)

In Europe we call it the "mere conduit" principle. An ISP is not responsible for monitoring our communication, in fact it would be criminal to do without a legal base

Re:Why single out ISP's ? (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 3 years ago | (#31272378)

Agreed.

By that logic, they should be suing electric companies as well because criminals use their service to grow/cook drugs.

These people are insane. (3, Insightful)

Ritontor (244585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270166)

Since when is it the role of the courts to arbitrarily legislate to protect the failing business models of certain corporations?

Re:These people are insane. (2, Funny)

M-RES (653754) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270260)

Since the early 1900s in the UK... not sure about AUS though ;)

Re:These people are insane. (1)

AndWat (122852) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270334)

That's not so much the issue for us. Our problem is that the US forced a bilateral "free" trade agreement down our throat (in exchange for promising to buy more of our sheep. maybe. someday. ) that has most of the DMCA in it.

All this case proved is that they didn't quite get enough detail about how ISPs should crawl to movie companies into the FTA legislation. An error I am sure they will fix in short order.

Re:These people are insane. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31271590)

Nothing bilateral about it, it was just a pure importation of Americas laws and practices into Australia. It was big businesses foot in the door and the beginning of the end for Aus. Prior to the period of time when those and other policies were pushed through the prices for basic goods were at least 50% less.

They carried the insanity on by cutting spending on heath and education THEN pushed privatization of heath care/insurance - I was 27 before I even had to pay for a doctors visit at the local GP. I had multiple surgeries / bones set etc without a waiting period or a hint of a bill.

  The governments priorities shifted from the people to big business during the Howard period. The DMCA laws, copyright reform, recent censorship proposals all reflect this, there is very little provision for the publics rights or concerns. It seems to be a global change too, look at Europe, France , the UK they all think their systems are safe but the reforms are cumulative, it has taken 10-12 years for Australia to start showing the cracks.

Re:These people are insane. (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270338)

I'm not sure why you ascribe insanity to them. They are doing what is logical in a desperate attempt to protect their relevance. Why would an organization that is all about "copyright protection" argue against their own existence? If you can convince a court to protect your organization, why wouldn't you?

By the way, courts don't legislate.

I see some possibilities here (4, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270228)

Step 1: From a conspicuously untraceable location, have somebody you trust mail you a particularly vile specimen of pornography.

Step 2: Immediately complain to the police.

Step 3: Sue the Post Office for conveying this distressing item to your house, where no doubt it was seen by children, kittens and the church officials you happened to have as guests.

Step 4: Complain about the terrible damage to the tender sensibilities of said guests and damage to your impeccable reputation for moral rectitude.

Step 5: Profit!

I'm moving to Australia, where I'll soon be rich beyond my wildest dreams of avarice...at least until some specimen of the local wildlife bites, stings, chomps or otherwise envenoms me and I die screaming in agony.

Re:I see some possibilities here (2, Funny)

AndWat (122852) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270364)

You Yankees have some weird ideas about Australia :)

I have lived here for 40 years. I have never seen an emu, a snake (poisinous or otherwise) or a kangaroo outside a zoo - those being the only animals more dangerous than a rabbit. Of our two even vaguely poisonous spiders, I have seen a red-back exactly twice.

I would be more worried about staying in America and getting eaten by a grizzly. Although you do need to watch out for drop-bears over here ...

Re:I see some possibilities here (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270816)

I'm Canadian, actually, and have engaged in many a beer-swilling contest with my fellow Commonwealth members.

Re:I see some possibilities here (1)

Slotty (562298) | more than 3 years ago | (#31271170)

Have you ever been outside of a city in Australia??? I've lived here my entire life and have seen deadly snakes and spiders in the suburbs. Seen roo's down the highway... never seen a wild emu they'd be interesting I think

Re:I see some possibilities here (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#31271402)

If you never leave you house it doesn't count...

Re:I see some possibilities here (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270380)

From a conspicuously untraceable location

May I recommend an employee of UK central government?

Re:I see some possibilities here (1)

Bill Currie (487) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270394)

You left out the worst one: grabs your wallet.

Re:I see some possibilities here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31271262)

Ahhh, sorry buddy, I'm already here, and am about to head off to a suitably inconspicuous & untraceable location :)

Good idea, by the way!

An unfortunate aussie.

yep, sure did (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270230)

PENIS!

with apologies to "The Castle" (2, Funny)

Gandalf_Greyhame (44144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270250)

Tell him he's dreamin'

Tell him to get stuffed

Re:with apologies to "The Castle" (1)

Sneeze1066 (1574313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270336)

Its Mabo... Its the Constitution.... It's the Vibe... Yeah that's it, it's pretty much the vibe.

Re:with apologies to "The Castle" (1)

ghmh (73679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270432)

Great movie indeed. The irony is that if I recommend it you'll all go looking for a torrent of it, so you can watch this [youtube.com] instead, which is what we have to put up with when we buy/rent DVD's over here.

Re:with apologies to "The Castle" (1)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 3 years ago | (#31271148)

And the double irony is that in Europe we'd have to look for a torrent because the DVD isn't available in region 2 so we couldn't by it anyway...!

It's over... (1)

paxcoder (1222556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270278)

...100 THOUSAAAAAND!

Fudge! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31270310)

SEEMINGLY RANDOM COMMENT!!!! See, I can do it too. /. is fully of freaks beyond the normal levels of freakability today.

A Law Student's thoughts: (5, Informative)

dadjaka (827325) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270382)

Disclaimer: While I am an Australian law student, I've only read the summary of the decision, (c'mon, it's 200 pages), nor have I studied IP Law.

However, I do have a year of Law school behind me, so:

  - Australian law makes a distinction between findings of fact (i.e. John stabbed Mary) and findings of law (i.e. law x says stabbing is illegal). Findings of law can be appealed (you can argue the judge misinterpreted the law), but it's *much* harder to appeal a finding of fact. AIUI, there aren't many findings of fact in this case: the Justice found that Malone was a credible witness as a matter of fact, but the rulings on which the case was founded (i.e. that BitTorrent is the means of infringement, as opposed to the internet) are all findings of law.
  * tl;dr => Most of the ruling could be overturned on appeal.

  - The case was decided by a single judge of the Federal Court. That means that, IIRC, it will be appealed to the full court of the Federal Court (3+ judges). From that, it could be appealed to the High Court. (The highest court in Australia; equivalent to the Supreme Court in the US)
  * tl;dr => The appeal may not be the last, there could be another.

  - I'm not going to venture an opinion on the outcome of the appeal; I don't know enough. I also haven't been able to find AFACT's grounds of appeal; if I can I might be able to shed some more light on the possible success.
  * tl;dr => Who knows what will happen?

  - Ultimately, AFACT and their lobbyists will likely convince the politicians to change the law, whatever the outcome. This will probably suck - Aussie Communications Ministers traditionally do an average to poor job regardless of political persuasion. (examples include: mandatory filtering, "World's Greatest Luddite")
  * tl;dr => What ever happens, we're probably screwed because of politics.

AFACT (1)

Dracophile (140936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31270466)

WTF is "copyright theft"? What, does someone break into my apartment, rifle through my stuff and steal a copyright and flog it for a hundred dollars down the pub and leave me without a copyright?

Re:AFACT (1)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270516)

Copyright theft is when the companies who own...errr...*represent* artists and content creators craft legislation and buy jurists to the extent that the hand you feel in your knickers is irrevocably bonded to your ass for life. : )

Simple, eh?

If that's a reason for appeal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31270548)

if that's a reason for appeal, then if the court case had or will go the other way, then this should be appealed because the AFICT demands creates an unworkable environment for the internet industry. And anyone wanting to use it to disseminate their own work (like patches from Microsoft...).

Why do they go after the ISPs ? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31270678)

Everybody knows, that without the PC, the user would not infringe. I think they should go after computer resellers. They are the ones guilty of providing the means of infringing. Or how about the harddisk manufacturers ? Without storage infringement would be short termed.

So close, yet so far. (1)

Cyanara (708075) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270726)

Yeah, there's a reason the Aussie film industry is suffering. But it's because so many of its films are depressing arthouse stuff that no one thinks of in association with the word 'entertainment'. Consequently, I sincerely doubt there have been thousands of downloads of Australian movies.

BULLSHIT (0, Flamebait)

Sunnz (1120513) | more than 3 years ago | (#31270814)

That's BULLSHIT. If anything it is the AFACT (a fag) who is destroying the Australian digital economy such shameless people!

Butt-monkeys, every one of them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31271132)

HELP! HELP! I'm suing Dell, their machine allows me to play kiddie pron! HELP! HELP! I'm suing Imation, their blanks allow me to write pirated DVDs! HELP! HELP! I'm suing MS 'cos their O/S, allows software to be written that can be used to circumvent the DRM protection on digital media!

STFU! Whinging maggots! ISPs are no different from the electricity company. Would you sue the local water supplier 'cos they supply water to the kiddie fiddlers and DVD pirates, to keep them alive and doing what they do? No! AFACT piss off and stop making dicks of yourselves!

This is getting sickening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31271178)

The internet was developed for the free sharing of information. Businesses piggybacking off of that need to recognize this. If they want a medium to transmit their wares to customers where they can fully control what is going on then they need to INVENT THEIR OWN G**DAMED NETWORK!!!!!

AMERICAN Film Industry Appeals ISP Copyright Case (5, Informative)

papafox_too (883077) | more than 3 years ago | (#31271252)

The so-called Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) is actually an not Australian at all. It is controlled by the Singapore office of the MPAA and funded from Los Angeles. AFACT has no formal or informal mechanism to allow interested Australian's to join.

To quote Justice Cowdroy from Roadshow Films v iiNet [austlii.edu.au] :

"AFACT is an organisation set up for the purposes of benefiting its members. The exact nature of the relationship between the applicants and AFACT is not clear. Mr Gane, the Executive Director of AFACT, suggested that there was no formal membership process by which one can become a member of AFACT, whether by application or agreement. The Motion Picture Association (‘MPA’) and the Motion Picture Association of America (‘MPAA’) have a membership of the major American film studios. They are not associated with AFACT by any formal written agreement. However, AFACT does report to the regional branch office of the MPA which is based in Singapore. In respect of operations in the Asian region, the Singapore office of the MPA prepares a business plan or budget for AFACT which is approved by the Los Angeles head office of the MPA. [...] [I]t must be remembered that the applicants were not the entities making the allegations of copyright infringement in the lead up to these proceedings: rather, AFACT was doing so. [T]he exact relationship between AFACT and the actual copyright owners (the applicants) is, at best, unclear."

Re:AMERICAN Film Industry Appeals ISP Copyright Ca (1)

lendude (620139) | more than 3 years ago | (#31271956)

Hey, thanks! The single most interesting and informative post thus far.

There will come a time (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 3 years ago | (#31271378)

When will the IT Industry realise the content industry as the biggest threat to innovation of business models? Innovation is what creates wealth in business and any business that stifles innovation should be treated as a threat to all businesses.

Indirectly the content industry is a threat to every Technology professional's livelihood. Altruism aside, any legal change that enforces the status quo threatens the deployments of new technology in business models. IT has never been about 'doing old things the same old way'.

IT is a behemoth compared to the Music industry, I don't understand how or why we've let them push us around for this long.

Sure... (2, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#31272262)

While were at it, lets make the telephone company responsible for phone fraud, and the postal service responsible for mail fraud,,, none of these silly "common carrier" exemptions should apply!

Does anyone else misread AFACT? (1)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 3 years ago | (#31272698)

I've been reading through the threads here in my usual shallow manner, and I can't seem to stop reading AFACT as AFAICT. Thus "AFACT is an organisation..." becomes "As far as I can tell is an organisation...". I just have to give up.

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