Awesomely awesome Australian copyright news: scrappy ISP beats Hollywood fatcats

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31 Responses to “Awesomely awesome Australian copyright news: scrappy ISP beats Hollywood fatcats”

  1. teapot says:

    Stephen Conroy and these AFACT clowns have no interest in helping Australians. They use technical language to seem knowledgeable, but anyone with any understanding of technology knows these dinosaurs are in over their heads. They are nothing but bumbling, foolish men who are hunting for the almighty $. Lucky that the internet never forgets – Neil Gane & AFACT’s barraster, Tony Bannon SC, need their reuptations dragged through the dirt. Thank the imaginary omnipotent being that our courts did the right thing in this case.

    Here is my little contribution to the hatred these fucks deserve:
    http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/9596/neilgane.jpg

  2. teapot says:

    Anyone interested in telling Mr. Gane what they think of his recent failure may find this link useful.

    Anyone interested in telling Mr. Bannon what they think of his recent failure may find this link useful.

  3. Orky says:

    Funny how on one hand, you guys slam the RIAA/MPAA and their equivalents in other countries, and on the other hand, you take their money and run their ads.

    I’m not actually criticizing you guys, I mean, hey, they probably paid a lot for the ad, and you guys have bills to pay, and it’s just a website ad, and the movie seems pretty cool, and their website is entertaining, so, why not?

    But still. MPAA! RIAA! Bad! Bad! Right? Ooh… money! Money good!

    So, why can’t we comment on the ad? Apart from the usual whining (see earlier in my post), you’d get a pretty interesting discussion about the legality of reposessing artificial organs (I think it would be highly illegal), or about the commercials during the infomercial (funny sex, and torture violence).

    So… when will we be able to find a torrent for this movie?
  4. Hirsty says:

    Yes and huzzah!

  5. Anonymous says:

    But…. 4,000,000.00 is not a bet most ISPs are willing to take. If faced with a slight possibility of defeat, would you still let Hollywood take you to court or would you bow your head?

    This needs more than judge rulings: it needs legislation to prevent trolls like AFACT from carrying on.

  6. Kimmo says:

    : D : D : D : D : D

  7. toyg says:

    @cubicblackpig, the Kookaburra case is shameful. A copyright troll (completely unrelated to the author’s estate) buys the rights to a very popular children song years after the author died, then goes after a pop band, wins millions that the band will probably be unable to pay, and all along it has the gall to paint itself as “the underdog”…

    These bastards are like the “Happy Birthday” owners, a bunch of money-sucking parasites, the perfect example of everything that’s wrong with modern copyright laws.

  8. musicman says:

    Indeed, it was only 2 days ago that I bemoaned my country, and now I am happier. But cubicblackpig and toyg are correct – 2010 – 1934 = 76 years. Way beyond reasonable time for copyrights. Am calling shenanigans, let’s hope they appeal.

  9. Anonymous says:

    > making movie costs

    Obama wants the banks to cut the super wages
    i suspect someone is billionaire also in the Holliwood business

    so i dont think its a matter of cost of production, but more of how many Villas 20000 people (managers actors etc) have in Beverly Hills, with luxury over luxury after luxury

    to make a movie it costs ?
    to make you rich it costs (to us)

    this is what they defend, waving with their hands the ‘copyright’ thing

    i do have a Dvd collection, all original movies
    but i bought them at low price (i will never, i think, spend much for a NEW movie, ill wait few years)

    sell at reasonable prices
    the people will pay
    the piracy will die

  10. Anonymous says:

    A very small victory until the real game changer comes along: the ACTA. That’ll bring laws that overhaul the obligations of ISPs so they have to police their users over only allegations of copyright infringement without recourse through the courts. And no doubt this course of action will only be open to the industry groups… not individuals or independents who seek to protect their copyrighted works.

  11. Itsumishi says:

    Hooray! Someone in power in my country has made both a sane and fair decision on a technology issue.

    Now I can cross that off my list of stupid technology moves Australia has made or is likely to make.

    Classified animations of young popular cartoon characters as child pornography.

    Created a giant, expensive, ineffective, easily abused (by those in power), non-transparent mandatory filter on the internet.

    Decided ISPs should violate their users privacy and become ‘the internet police’ on behalf of the international entertainment industry. Cross that off the list

    Decided an R18+ rating system would somehow make it easier for young children to get a hold of games not suited to them, whilst denying the right of adults to chose which entertainment they consume.

  12. efergus3 says:

    Happy dance, happy dance! Now if we can only get some judges in the US who see it that way.

  13. dooglio says:

    Getting something for free that you should pay for is called stealing.

    Ah but the problem with your sentiment is that copying stuff isn’t stealing. Theft happens when you deprive someone of the use of their property without their consent. The studios were not deprived of the use of a movie if it was copied to someone else–they still have the original. If you broke into their computers and copied it, well there is the act of trespassing. If you broke in and physically stole the master copy, then yes that’s theft. But theft of a copy of a copied file? No. Not unless the owner was deprived of its use.

    I believe the mantra is, if it can be copied, it will be.

  14. f sharp a sharp infinity says:

    It’s genuinely good news and has very much sold me on wanting to move my business over to iinet so it’s probably wound up as good advertising for them.

    Can this decision be used as a precedent in US cases now?

  15. Anonymous says:

    You missed the judge’s best quote! I want to print this and frame it.

    “The law recognises no positive obligation on any person to protect the copyright of another”

  16. Spikeles says:

    For those who care:
    Full legal text of the ruling

    The Judge also said: “although it must be recognised that the BitTorrent system can be used for legitimate purposes as well.”.

    If you read the full text it really shows the Judge understood the technology and how it works, and generally what was going on.

    • Anonymous says:

      probably cause the judge downloads full length movies from iiNet also

      • Anonymous says:

        #7: Even if he does, that don’t make the decision wrong. Read the judgement.

        And quoting a quote:

        #4: “You missed the judge’s best quote! I want to print this and frame it.
        “The law recognises no positive obligation on any person to protect the copyright of another””

        Gwahahhahahaha!!!!
        The most fun part is that they are gonna pay!

  17. realgeek says:

    @ #3, IANAL, but my understanding is that US ISPs are already not liable for their users’ actions, much to the chagrin of the Hollywood cabal. That hasn’t stopped most ISPs from sending warning letters to their users on Hollywood’s behalf, though.

    What would be nice is if someone at Comcast wakes up and realizes that by offering to act as copyright cops of their users (all in the name of a right and just cause, of course, when they’re really just trying to cut off bandwidth hogs), they may be inadvertently exposing themselves to litigation. Why? US ISPs have enjoyed freedom from prosecution by saying that it’s infeasible to them to police all their users’ activity. Encrypted transmissions are enough to prove that. If Comcast breaks the status quo by saying that they can in fact police their users, then whose fault is it when some infringement takes place?

  18. libraryboi says:

    Hollywood fatcats? So they’re making too much money?

    It costs a lot to make movies. They are the product of the studio that produces them which has every right to make as much money as it can. Watching films and listening to music is not an entitlement that allows you to decide to pay if you feel like it.

    Getting something for free that you should pay for is called stealing. This used to be considered immoral but not so much these days. Uploading a copy to a file-sharing site and making it available to possibly the entire world does not constitute sharing which is a common defence for this behaviour.

    None of this legal action would be necessary if individuals would respect the property of others rather than selfishly wanting everything for themselves. There was a later BB post about a comic speculating on the total collapse of civilization. We’re witnessing it.

    • robulus says:

      libraryboi cautioned informatively “Getting something for free that you should pay for is called stealing.”

      Oh goody! I get to link to this!!!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALZZx1xmAzg

    • Anonymous says:

      None of this legal action would be necessary if individuals would respect the property of others rather than selfishly wanting everything for themselves.

      Yeah, because — as everyone knows — the studios would never stoop to anything as heinous as not respecting another’s intellectual property or resorting to subterfuge to avoid paying a fair price for something they desired.

    • Mazoola says:

      None of this legal action would be necessary if individuals would respect the property of others rather than selfishly wanting everything for themselves.

      Yeah, because — as everyone knows — the studios would never stoop to anything as heinous as not respecting another’s intellectual property or resorting to subterfuge to avoid paying a fair price for something.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Hollywood fatcats? So they’re making too much money? It costs a lot to make movies.

      Studio execs pocket hundreds of millions every year. Poor people get shaken down for thousands that they can’t afford based solely on unproven accusations of downloading. Your attempt to position yourself as the guardian of pubic morals would be laughable if it weren’t so reprehensible.

  19. Jerril says:

    libraryboi – You seem to have confused what everyone’s happy about. If I sell you a car, and you use it to run over someone’s grandma, I did not murder grandma. Heck if I sell you the GAS to put in a car, which you use to run over grandma, I’m STILL not a murderer.

    The court here is recognizing the same sort of relationship – the ISP is not the copyright infringer, nor are they a copyright infringement enabler. Attempting to paint the ISP as culpable in any way is not in the legal interests of copyright holders, any more than MADD (mothers against drunk driving) suing everyone who ever sold gasoline to a guy who then got drunk and ran over grandma would be honestly in persuit of safer streets. It would instead be a blatant attempt to grab money.

    Just like this case was.

  20. aeon says:

    Cheering from the green and rainy side of the Tasman too: New Zealand’s copyright laws are pretty similar but AFACT becomes NZFACT (but still the same bunch of losers) so they’ve effectively lost credibility here too.

  21. Anonymous says:

    “Can this decision be used as a precedent in US cases now?”

    Whilst not binding on US Courts, it is of pursuaive value to the extent that the US and Australian copyright/ISP laws are comparable.

    “AFACT, the Hollywood front organization that brought the case, will have to reimburse iiNet’s AU$4,000,000 legal bill.”

    This may not entirely be true. Under Australian costs laws, the usual order for payment of legal costs by the loser is for payment at rates set in the rules of the relevant court. The Court rates are vastly lower than what commercial law firms charge. iiNet will probably only get 60-70% of their actual costs back.

    That said, the Court does have the power to order AFACT to pay the whole amount in some special circumstances, but not being aware of the full history of the matter I do not whether this is a possibility or not.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Great decision, but let’s not get carried away here folks – this is a Federal Court judgment based on existing law. AFACT will no doubt lobby the Government to legislate to overturn this decision. The battle has been won but the war continues.

  23. Orpheus84 says:

    Heheh. Based on a technical finding, eh? So iiNet is technically correct. Which is the best kind of correct, according to Futurama.

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