iiNet victory in AFACT copyright case

The Federal Court has dismissed the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft's (AFACT) piracy case against iiNet.

AFACT had already lost a court battle against Australia's second largest Internet Service Provider (ISP) in 2010, with the anti-piracy group accusing iiNet of failing to discourage customers from infringing copyright.

Although iiNet has won the latest battle, the war may not be over as AFACT could still appeal to Australia's High Court.

AFACT represents 34 film companies who believe iiNet did not take reasonable steps to stop large scale copyright infringements by its customers.

After losing the case in February 2010, AFACT Executive Director Neil Gane said "turning a blind eye" to copyright theft "harms not just the studios that produce and distribute movies, it but also Australia’s creative community and all those whose livelihoods depend on a vibrant entertainment industry."

The group claims the Australian economy loses $1.37 billion a year from movie piracy. iiNet has always maintained it has not supported, encouraged or authorized illegal downloading in any way.

A win for the AFACT in this case could change the way ISPs deal with alleged copyright infringement by their customers.

Prior to the case, AFACT had been sending weekly notices sent to iiNet identifying the IP addresses of customers who had allegedly infringed copyright. However, while some ISPs forward these notices onto customers, iiNet had not.