Court Orders iiNet To Hand Over Sample Records Of Customers
from the privacy? dept
iiNet is the Australian ISP that has been standing up for its customers’ rights against the entertainment industry which is suing the ISP for not magically stopping copyright infringement. iiNet’s argument, from the very beginning, has been that if the entertainment industry believes that iiNet customers are breaking the law, then they should sue those customers. It shouldn’t be iiNet’s responsibility to act as the industry’s police:
They send us a list of IP addresses and say ‘this IP address was involved in a breach on this date’. We look at that say ‘well what do you want us to do with this? We can’t release the person’s details to you on the basis of an allegation and we can’t go and kick the customer off on the basis of an allegation from someone else’. So we say ‘you are alleging the person has broken the law; we’re passing it to the police. Let them deal with it’.
iiNet has also raised questions about whether or not a user making use of BitTorrent is technically violating copyright, especially since they may only be sharing a tiny fragment of a file based on the way BitTorrent works.
Either way, a court has now ordered iiNet to hand over a small sampling of customer data requested by the anti-piracy group AFACT, which AFACT claims will show infringing activities on the part of iiNet subscribers. Of course, it would be no surprise at all that a group of folks hand picked by the industry can be shown to be infringing. The real legal question is whether or not (a) there’s enough evidence to prove who was actually infringing and (b) more importantly, why this is iiNet’s responsibility.