Australian ISPs may be forced to disconnect cheats in new ruling

Australians now face the possibility of having their ISP disconnect or suspend them from the internet if they pirate films or music online, reports The Age.

And with The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) claiming two weeks ago, that one in every three Australians has committed movie theft, and that it lost $1.37 billion in a 12-month period to piracy as a whole, many will probably be targeted.

Although the Federal Court last week dismissed an appeal case brought against ISP iiNet by major film studios, sources say the judgment paves the way for copyright holders to improve the copyright infringement notices they send to ISPs and therefore force them to do something about the unauthorized downloads.

The film studios, represented by AFACT claimed that the ISP had "authorized" their users to commit copyright infringement by doing nothing about it, but in a 2:1 judgment by the Federal Court they found iiNet not liable for its users, but reserved judgment for the possibility that, in different circumstances, an ISP may be held liable for authorization of their users' infringements, according to law firm Freehills.

Litigation lawyer and specialist in intellectual property and technology law at Clayton Utz, John Fairbairn, said that although last Thursday's judgment ruled in favor of iiNet, the film industry was given a very clear way going forward to stop Australians from downloading movies and music illegally via their ISP.

"As it stands, [the judgment] opens the way for copyright owners ... to improve the quality of the notices they provide to ISPs and also potentially put in place a regime where they'll agree to meet [the ISP's] costs [to act on the notices]," Mr Fairbairn said. "And if they meet those requirements, an ISP may then come under an obligation to either send warning notices to those users [who download illegally] or to terminate the accounts of users that are repeat infringers."

In simple terms, this means an ISP such as Telstra, Optus or iiNet, among others, could be forced by copyright owners to warn their customers about copyright infringements alleged to have occurred using a customers' connection - and if the ISP continues to receive notices, terminate the customer's service.

Thanks for this tip in Back Page News.

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28 Comments

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The movie and music industries are making record profits. So much for downloaders killing their businesses. Most downloading is done because they dont want to supply what the consumer wants when the consumers want it. Thev can do it tho. So it their own fault.

Where's the article about iiNet (an ISP) beating the landmark appeal from AFACT (Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft) regarding copyright theft?
http://www.zdnet.com.au/afact-...y-appeal-case-339310221.htm

An ISP beating a coalition of the whole media industry in Australia.

Instead we get crap like this covered? No wonder people think this country is censored. Despite a few stupid things, I'd argue that there is less censorship and more freedom in this country than there is in other developed nations.

To quote the article:

"As it stands, [the judgment] opens the way for copyright owners ... to improve the quality of the notices they provide to ISPs and also potentially put in place a regime where they'll agree to meet [the ISP's] costs [to act on the notices]," Mr Fairbairn said.

Yeah, like the copyright owners are going to cough up that amount so an ISP can disconnect 1/3rd of its users? What happens when those same users go to another ISP and then have to get disconnected again? Sounds like another wrong article title to me as copyright owners would be losing much more if they're paying ISP costs for disconnected users every month for an arbitrary amount of time. That is far from being cost-efficient and I doubt they'd be stupid enough to go ahead with it.

I hate when people write crap like this. Ok dude, I'll give it to you that you're a legend in your own mind, but do you not see the bigger picture here?

Wonder who made that sum and figure up. They probably pirate themselves.

Unfortunately "ISP had "authorized" their users to commit copyright infringement by doing nothing about it".... They're authorizing copying, duplication and sharing by putting it in the public domain.

If you don't want it happening don't put it out simple as that. I'd rather have no movies then have some puppet bs group think they can police the internet.

This whole thread is bull**** and Steve Parker = Fail

None of the article is true.

Neowin.net over the last year has been fighting to stay relevant... FYI your losing the battle.

reap3r said,
This whole thread is bull****

None of the article is true.


Care to back up your remarks with some sources that say otherwise?

Disconnecting 1/3 users may show them.. but in the end the ISP's will not make money from users they turn off... are the ISP's ready to cut the income by that much?

They are trying it in the uk. The whole system will just go encrypted or switch to a more anonymous form of distribution it changes nothing.

Disconnecting 1 in 3 of Australians (providing their figures are correct) would have severe consequences.

Their doing something similar in the UK where on the other foot their pushing to push to get the majority of the country on the internet for educational reasons etc by giving poor families subsidised connections and free pcs. Of course these people are going to be the last people that are going to download and because their not IT savvy their going to be the least likely to get warnings and have their connections cut.

Ummm, they have always sent warnings. But said they will never disconnect on copyright owners complaints just forward the warning on. I get about 5 warnings a week but exetel said they would never act or do anything other then forward the warnings.

Nothings changed.

Vandalsquad said,
Ummm, they have always sent warnings. But said they will never disconnect on copyright owners complaints just forward the warning on. I get about 5 warnings a week but exetel said they would never act or do anything other then forward the warnings.

Nothings changed.

If you're getting warnings you're doing it wrong

Like what they did in France? Or, at least, what they are trying to do?
Sounds fun. I wonder what they'll do to make sure no one gets its wireless network hacked to download pirated stuff.

Strawmouth Pete said,
Great.
My stupid pirate brother could get us disconnected.

Then you threaten to beat him then due to the fact that he was beaten so much he turns to a life of drugs to express his hatred for the world.

Therefore these anti piracy agents want to make your brother a drug addict.

Shame on them I say!

Neobond said,
I thought most Aussies had crazy (highly limited) download caps?
That was several years ago. Industries change. I now have unlimited in Australia.

Long said,
That was several years ago. Industries change. I now have unlimited in Australia.

If New Zealand needs to be a State of Australia to get unlimited downloads within reasonable cost, then I would gladly vote in favour. Apparently 40GB is heavy usage here.

Eddo89 said,

If New Zealand needs to be a State of Australia to get unlimited downloads within reasonable cost, then I would gladly vote in favour. Apparently 40GB is heavy usage here.


Australia is currenly rolling out the "NBN" National Broadband Network which means 100mbit Fibre to 97% of homes and TB+ quotas.
piracy is going to get worse here before it gets better, if it ever does. I think it it is time for a new business model AFACT (well, their clients anyway)

Long said,
That was several years ago. Industries change. I now have unlimited in Australia.

Yep unlimited internet with utter crappy ISP'S like iinet,optus,vodafail,virgin
only one good ISP in australia for communications and thats Telstra.

dont forget to tell the Americans about upload/download speed and the brand new useless fiber network thats going to be censored by the australian government

Neobond said,
I thought most Aussies had crazy (highly limited) download caps?

Since Cable started offering 1TB data cap plans... I dont think this has been an issue

DOCSIS III speeds + 1TB = WIN WIN WIN

Papz said,

Yep unlimited internet with utter crappy ISP'S like iinet,optus,vodafail,virgin
only one good ISP in australia for communications and thats Telstra.

That's sarcasm right? You don't seriously believe that?

offroadaaron said,

That's sarcasm right? You don't seriously believe that?

been with them. telstra only good isp here.

Papz said,

Yep unlimited internet with utter crappy ISP'S like iinet,optus,vodafail,virgin
only one good ISP in australia for communications and thats Telstra.


Telstra GOOD HAHAHAHA Customer service at Telstra just doesnt exist and is only fairly recently that they dropped their rip off priced broadband prices, RETAIL & WHOLESALE.
The BEST ISP in OZ that is recognised as such with repeatedly winning customer satisfaction survey's @95% or around that figure is internode.
In those same customer survey's Telstra is lucky to hit 65 to 70% max.

Edited by Sniper100, Mar 5 2011, 7:03am :