iiNet chief executive Michael Malone (video, above) this afternoon said the Federal Court verdict in favour of his company was a relief after two years of a court case which cost the company about $6.5 million in legal costs.
The Federal Court today dismissed an appeal by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft following its loss against iiNet in a high-profile copyright infringement and internet content piracy case decided early in 2010, handing a second victory to the ISP in its battle against the organisation and its movie studio backers.
Addressing the press after Judges Emmett and Jagot revealed their verdict, Malone said iiNet has never authorised or encouraged customer to breach copyrights laws. He said the issue would only be resolved by the Government stepping in and give more clarity to current regulations.
The executive maintained all the legal action taken hadn’t stopped one customer from downloading anything anywhere in Australia. He said the content should be made available legally and legitimately so that customers could get access to it, and authorities could police those who do not comply with the law. “We wasted two years now and it really hasn’t done anything to address this point,” he said. “iiNet’s costs [are] approximately $6.5 million.”
Malone added current copyright legislation need to adapt to new situations, as other European countries moved to update their own. “We’d say as it’s happening around the world, in other places like the UK and France, the only way to get clarity on this is if the Government steps in,” he said.
The iiNet chief said the ISP industry had come together and had a common view to not encourage customer to breach copyright laws. He said authorities should police those who authorise the download of protected material. Asked if technology could fix the problem, Malone maintained only the Government could solve the situation. “I don’t believe this is a technology problem, this is not going to be solved by technology means; this is a society problem,” he said.
Malone said the court case impacted on iiNet’s business as it had been very distracting, bringing expenses as high as $6.5 million.
“During the appeal — the appeal only lasted a few days — and then we have been sitting on our hands for the last six months, waiting for judgment,” he said. Malone concluded he didn’t know how much of its $6.5 million iiNet would be able to get refunded. He said in the first hearing the company had been awarded accounting costs but previous decisions could be reviewed on the next hearing on March 11th.
Video credit: Marina Freri