iiNet wants it all in AFACT case


iiNet has filed a Notice of Contention in the Federal Court in an attempt to win those aspects of its court battle with the Australian Federation in which Justice Cowdroy did not find in the ISP’s favour.

On February 4 Cowdroy handed iiNet a sound victory in the company’s long-running battle against AFACT and the coalition of film and television studios it represents, finding that iiNet did not authorise copyright infringement carried out by its customers.

However, AFACT has since filed an appeal in the case. Today in a statement (PDF), iiNet said its Notice of Contention would seek to reconsider two aspects of Cowdroy’s decision.

Firstly, the ISP wants the full Federal Court to “distinguish” or overturn the 2006 case of Cooper vs Universal Music — which raised the key point about whether an ISP knew copyright breaches were taking place using its facilities.

Secondly, iiNet noted that Cowdroy had found that iiNet was correct in its claim that the Telecommunications Act prohibited the use and disclosure of information the manner AFACT had demanded (namely, customer information), but that he had also found that some exceptions applied, which meant iiNet could use the information in some circumstances.

The ISP wants the full Federal Court to reverse Cowdroy’s exception ruling as it said this would provide an additional basis for finding that iiNet did not have the power to prevent an infringement of copyright and that it would not have been reasonable for iiNet to take steps demanded by AFACT.

iiNet chief Michael Malone said he was confident of the company’s legal position.

“We go into this latest legal round anticipating we come out in an even stronger position than when we won last month,” he said. “Justice Cowdroy’s judgment was unequivocal and we are confident the full court will confirm his ruling and strengthen it.”

Image credit: iiNet