The High Court of Australia this morning granted film and television studios the right to appeal against the decision made earlier in the year in the case against Australian ISP iiNet.
The approval means the studios will have the opportunity to argue against the interpretation of the laws concerning copyright infringement by authorisation, rather than the facts of the case made against iiNet.
iiNet CEO Michael Malone said he wasn’t surprised by today’s decision, but called on the industry to come to a “workable” solution to piracy problems. “I know the Internet industry is eager to work with the film industry and copyright holders to develop a workable solution,” Malone said. “We remain committed to developing an industry solution that sees more content readily and cheaply available online as well as a sensible model for dealing with repeated copyright infringement activity.”
A group of 34 parties, comprised of most major Australian and American film studios, took iiNet to court in 2009 after claiming iiNet had “authorised” its users to download pirated movies and television over the Internet. After the original decision of not guilty made in February last year was appealed, the Australian Federal Court ruled in February this year that iiNet was not responsible for the illegal downloading.
However the parties against iiNet decided to attempt to appeal the decision yet again, lodging an application soon after on the 24th March with the High Court of Australia for a special leave to appeal grant.
The grant means that within the next 14 days, a notice of appeal must be filed with the High Court and sent to iiNet, otherwise the leave grant will lapse. iiNet is given the option to cross-appeal up to seven days after receiving the notice from the Studios. A lengthy number of legal procedures which must be undertaken and court sitting times mean it’s unlikely the court hearing will occur before the 25th October.
It could, however, stretch out until early December, with the next available sitting times after the 3rd of November not until the 29th of November. “We will continue to defend our position in these proceedings if necessary. I remain convinced that a genuine industry-wide solution is a better outcome for allconcerned and I’m hopeful it will be developed,” Malone said.
Image credit: Delimiter