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