Malone confident about iiNet's future

18/03/2010 - 10:45

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Internet service provider iiNet says it is confident it will succeed in defending an appeal in its legal stoush over illegal downloading and emerge in an even stronger position.

Internet service provider iiNet says it is confident it will succeed in defending an appeal in its legal stoush over illegal downloading and emerge in an even stronger position.

iiNet today filed a notice of contention in the Federal Court seeking to reaffirm the court's finding in February that the internet provider could not be held responsible for what its customers did online.

A consortium of 34 movie studios that took the original action against iiNet are appealing Justice Dennis Cowdroy's ruling.

The studios are headed by Village Roadshow and include News Ltd's Twentieth Century Fox and Seven Network Ltd.

They are seeking to prove iiNet failed to take steps to stop illegal file-sharing by customers, and breached copyright itself by storing the data and transmitting it through its system.

"We go into this latest legal round anticipating we will come out in an even stronger position than when we won last month," iiNet chief executive Michael Malone said.

"Justice Cowdroy's judgement was unequivocal and we are confident the full court will confirm his ruling and strengthen it."

The original judgement found against iiNet on several points. The company will ask the Federal Court to reconsider those points, he said.

Prolonging the legal action would not stop piracy, Mr Malone said.

He urged that new models be adopted for online content usage by major movie and television studios.

"More legal proceedings are not the solution, but we have filed the notice of contention to secure and strengthen the original judgement," Mr Malone said.

The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) said iiNet was attempting to shore up its defences to the claim of authorisation of copyright theft because if the decision on authorisation was reversed on appeal the company would be liable.

"The court already 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," AFACT said in a statement on Thursday.

"In line with previous case law, this would have amounted to authorisation of copyright infringement.

"iiNet wants all the protection of the law but none of the responsibility that comes with it."

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