iiNet Copyright Decision Imminent

POSTED BY Rick Shera
13 April 2012

posted in l@w.geek.nz | Intellectual Property | Copyright

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The long awaited decision of the High Court of Australia in Roadshow Films Pty Limited & Ors v iiNet limited is scheduled to be handed down next Friday 20 April 2012 (ASX announcement by iiNet).
The case is rightly described as a landmark one in terms of ISP/host liability for the actions of users, in this case p2p users. It is being watched worldwide.
It will of course influence discussions taking place in Australia and elsewhere on whether and how to implement copyright graduated response systems (of which New Zealand's infringing file sharing regime is an example) and Australian discussions on extension of their safe harbour regime.
Comments by the High Court could also impact on Australia's position in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations - particularly any comments on termination of internet accounts as a remedy for repeat copyright infringement or graduated response systems generally, since those are both part of what the US is pushing for in those negotiations.
For us in New Zealand, some or all of these issues and more will be in play:
  • We have our own landmark case focussed on intermediary liability - Megaupload. While that is a criminal prosecution and iiNet is civil, at the heart of the Megaupload allegations is the same copyright question - what responsibility does an online provider have for the actions of its users and what steps are reasonable for it to take in respect of copyright infringement?
  • There is currently a review underway in New Zealand on the level of the fee that copyright owners must pay to ISPs (IPAPs) under our infringing file sharing regime (the fee is currently set at $25 per notice).  Submissions on that close at the end of this month.
  • We also are part of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations and are under pressure to accede to so called "stronger" IP laws, including repeat infringer internet termination and beefed up graduated response.
  • We have a full review of the digital provisions of our Copyright Act due to start in 2013, which will no doubt ask questions on intermediary liability, the new file sharing regime, ISP safe harbours and other issues which are central to the iiNet trial.
So watch this space.

POSTED BY Rick Shera
13 April 2012

posted in l@w.geek.nzIntellectual PropertyCopyright

VIEWED 3721 TIMES

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