While there have been lofty discussions about who was right and who was wrong in the court stoush between the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) and iiNet, it all gets down to authorisation.
While iiNet has put forward its own version of how copyright infringements should be policed, for now it’s the draconian 1968 Copyright Act that determines who is acting beyond the law.
In this week’s Twisted Wire podcast, Troy Gurnett, a senior associate at law firm Middletons, says the principle of the law is still valid, and it gets down to one word: authorise. By knowing that users may have been downloading copyright content on their network, was iiNet authorising this behaviour?
iiNet’s attempts to come up with a workable model is a gallant attempt to arrive at a solution where liability for being seen as sanctioning copyright infringement is reduced through the introduction of an independent review body.
In the meantime, we can’t expect AFACT to go silent on the issue. It could still take its appeal to the High Court, or start all over again. At the appeal hearing Justice Emmett gave the federation some big clues about how it could potentially achieve a different outcome next time. All AFACT needs to do is issue iiNet with fresh demands for suspension warnings to customers thought to be breaking the law and the whole process could start again.