iiNet wins video piracy trial


Update: A comprehensive overview of the judgement can be found here.

Australian ISP iiNet was today announced as the victor in its long-running defence against a lawsuit by major film and TV studios represented by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

Justice Cowdroy announced the verdict to a packed courtroom in Sydney today.

The studios first dragged iiNet into the Federal Court back in November 2008, arguing that the ISP infinged copyright by failing to take reasonable steps — including enforcing its own terms and conditions — to prevent customers copying films and TV shows over its network.

iiNet CEO Michael Malone (pictured) was among many to take the witness stand at the trial.

The action was filed by Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises and the Seven Network (Australian licensee of some of the infringed works).

The trial has been viewed by Australia’s ISP industry as a major landmark case to help determine how ISPs will react in future to users using their networks to download copyrighted material. iiNet had not been forwarding email communication from AFACT to users who AFACT had alleged had breached copyright, whereas some other ISPs have been complying with the request.

More information on the verdict to follow.

Image credit: iiNet


  1. Hell yea!

    about time the movie/music industry get told to do their own damn work. yes this will be appealed etc, but iinet now have the momentum and it will be harder for afact to overturn this.

    one big clear message to all the US film studio's: do your own damn dirty work we will not be your puppets!

      • great news. Between this and iinet's opposition to Conroy's stupid filter, iinet has a customer in me for life. I'd rather pay slightly more for slightly less bandwidth to be with a reliable company that actually cares about its customers and stands up to money grubbing industry dickheads. Those ISPs that support filtering and cave to the **IA can go to hell.

  2. Common sense prevails. The Sooner the Film industry embraces New technology and looks for ways to leverage off it the better. They just waste their money and the Courts time with actions such as those just completed

    • Unimpressed, you are a tad recalcitrant as its a no brainer what IINET won,

      I main deal is, you cant disconnect someone without first due process.

  3. I am thrilled to hear this. Truely a win for common sense. And another loss for those who abuse what the copyright system is there for. Good to see democracy working as it should tho these "trolls" should never get to court in the first place.

  4. Unimpressed, Why does iinet have to take up the financial burdon of investigating it's users when it has no responsibility to enforce the copyrights of others? (who I might add, can very easily afford to enforce there own, its there copyrights so its there job yes?) What has AFACT done to help other than sue the pants off them and loose? Why does the public hate AFACT and give them zero support?

  5. This is a good day for civil rights and freedom of the Internet. How refreshing to see a courageous and independent judgment by Cowdroy against the might of Hollywood giants. While I understand the film and music industry's torment, I have no sympathy for their tactics and for holding a small ISP to ransom in an uneven legal battle.

    Perhaps this can serve as yet another wake up call to those (including Conroy and the Rudd government) that still dream of controlling the Internet and wish to curb its potential as the most effective tool to enforce civil liberties and protect democracy in 21st century.

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