Australian HC rejects studios' allegations on infringement

MUMBAI: The Australian High Court has dismissed allegations of a group of international and Australian studios who said that Perth-based iiNet authorised the infringement of their copyright when its customers downloaded movies and television programs.

The entertainment industry claimed that iiNet, Australia‘s third-largest ISP, should be punished for illegal video downloads made by its customers. In 2010, Australia‘s Federal Court said companies like iiNet could not be held accountable for Internet piracy. The case put forward by thirty four American and Australian film, television and music companies including Warner Bros, Disney and 20th Century Fox was seen as an ambitious attempt to force Internet service providers to act against piracy.

But the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) insisted that the judgment set a dangerous precedent that allowed ISPs to ignore the widespread plundering of online material. Though its appeal has been thrown out by Australia‘s highest court but its managing director Neil Gane feels that tougher anti-piracy laws will follow soon.

"We are disappointed by today‘s decision. You know the judges in the High Court have, you know, unanimously recognized that legislative change is now required to deal with the widespread copyright infringements that are occurring across Australian networks," Gane has reportedly said.

The global film and television industry says it will now pursue other avenues including targeting software developers who help internet users watch illegally downloaded videos.

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