Video: AFACT takes heart from dissenting judge


The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft this afternoon said it took heart from the fact that one of the judges overseeing its appeal in its copyright infringement case against ISP iiNet had found for it, despite the fact that it ultimately lost the appeal in the end, two judges against one.

The Federal Court today dismissed an appeal by AFACT, 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.

Speaking outside the court, AFACT executive director Neil Gane said copyright infringement was now going on “unabated” on the internet.

“This is a case where the ISP admitted to tens of thousands of copyright infringements on its network, but doesn’t have to lift a finger to prevent them,” he told journalists. “It cannot be right, that in effect, the ISP, who has the power to prevent copyright infringement online, and admitted they were taking place, does not share the respoinsibilty fro stoppping it.”

Gane said it was too early for AFACT to comment directly on the decision or whether AFACT would appeal the case again, a move which many expect it to take and which would send it and iiNet to a stand-off in the High Court. However, he said, there was a lot in the judgement to “take heart from”.

“We take heart … that Justice Jagot found for us, and that Justice Emmett said that we were successful on many grounds,” he said.

Gane also said the judgement today supported the idea that Australian copyright laws are currently out of touch with the state of technology being used.

“Outside of Australia, governments and courts around the world have understood, and have legislated, that there is a role for ISPs to play in combating rampant online infringement,” he said, noting that associated legislation had been passed in countries like the UK, France and Taiwan — and was going through the parliamentary process in New Zealand.

“Courts in Europe have mandated that ISPs must block access to well-known customer websites,” he added.

The executive also addressed the question of whether Australians were turning to illegal avenues to source content because of a perceived lack of availability of legal options for getting the latest music, movies and television in Australia, noting that he didn’t agree that Hollywood had been reluctant to make the content available in Australia online.

“There are currently 27 online business models which make not just our content, but other rights holders’ content available to the Australian public,” he said. “If you look at current businesses, there are many which do provide the latest movies online.”

Video credit: Marina Freri


    • Doorstop interviews of this nature usually don’t go on for too long — the people concerned don’t want to go too far past their prepared statements, as it leaves them on shaky legal ground.

  1. Boo Hoo AFACT :(

    Terrorism acts perpetrated via burn phones don’t hold the phone companies liable!
    Speeding on the public roads is known to occur, is the government liable for not doing enough!
    Paedophiles use airlines to traffic kids all over the world, are the airlines liable!

    AFACT: get your members to release their content in a timely manner with packaging the consumer wants (aka MKV/AVI without DRM that we can backup anywhere we like and play on any device we like!)

    I aint buying a crappy iTunes copy of “HD” video content that is encoded to crappy baseline profile destroying all the detail that makes the thing “HD” to start with! Give me access to material encoded with High Profile @ Level 4.0 and above and I am willing to folk over $5 per episode!


  2. It’s only $1.3billion lost to the movie industry. The money people don’t spend on movies/music isn’t saved, it’s spent elsewhere. There is no net loss to the economy.

  3. Ahh cmon, the pure greed and moral corruption of the MPAA/RIAA and their gimp the AFACT disgusts me. How do these guys get off making a 30billion dollar profit in 2010 (not only an 8% increase from 2009, but also enough cash to feed and clothe an entire 3rd world nation) and then winging that they’re not making enough. Not only do to they continue to reap in massive profits and gains each year, they lie and contort the truth of how file sharing really does boost sales and brand loyalty in a positive aspect, and use these same lies to push legislation through Government so they can sue MORE people and make even MORE money. I suppose it is only 30 billion, these fat cats are just b-hurt they didn’t make 100 billion dollar mark.

  4. what/who/where are these 27 online businesses???

    as a consumer i know of only two: itunes (which a previous commenter raised issues with) and bigpond. i dont want to be forced to use either of these so what are the alternatives??? i’d be willing to pay if i can get high quality content packaged with necessary metadata that i can play and store on whatever device i want, in a timely manner. unfortunately, as far as i’m aware, no one is offering that in australia.

    i’ll be happy to admit i’m wrong but it seems that if these 27 businesses are doing this then they need to seriously invest in some good marketing so that people become aware of them…

  5. The same old pathetic argument, you can’t claim the 100% of pirated movies would have been purchased if pirating wasn’t possible.

    Here is the solution and it’s simple.

    Lower the price of owning or renting the movie so the time it takes to pirate the movie isn’t worth it.

    Expand “all you can eat” services like Netflix, any movie for $10 a month. You would eventually have every household in Australia.

    The market has gone through a paradigm shift and poor old AFACT is struggling to comprehend it.

    Your products are not worth what you are charging for them.

    You can either have some money or no money.

    How about refunding money when people have paid for movies that are crap?

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