ISP wins copyright downloading case in the High Court

Today the High Court of Australia unanimously dismissed the appeal by Roadshow Films and other major Australian and U.S. film and TV companies in the iiNET case. The High Court held that internet service provider, iiNET, had not authorised infringement of the copyright in films downloaded by its customers.

It was found that iiNET did not have direct technical power to stop its users from infringing copyright by illegally downloading movies and television programs using the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing system. iiNet’s power to prevent its customers from engaging in online copyright infringement was limited to ending its contracts with customers. In addition, authorising infringement could not be inferred from iiNET’s failure to send warning notices to its customers threatening to suspend or terminate their accounts on the basis of information contained in infringement notices served by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).