Australian ISP Stops Kicking People Off The Internet Following iiNet Ruling

from the evidence-needed dept

It looks like the iiNet ruling is already having some positive impact in Australia. The crux of the ruling is that copyright infringement is not an "I know it when I see it" violation, but rather a complex issue that requires a court to weigh in. Asking an ISP to simply assume that someone is infringing, and thus to kick them off, is problematic and potentially goes against basic due process. It appears that other ISPs are now realizing that they were being too hasty in blocking internet access. Competing ISP Exetel, who used to block access to accused file sharers, has now announced a change of policy. Of course, it could have stood up for its customers' rights in the first place, like iiNet did...

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  1. icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), 11 Feb 2010 @ 2:39am

    Re: Re:

    Paul, I know that.

    But what is the process?

    Let's see. You get an IP address that has an infringer on it, you record all that information, you get your case all set up and ready to go, and then who do you take to court?

    Ahh, yes... the ISP.

    So now you start with the ISP. Since the ISP isn't obliged to give up customer data easily, you effectively have to spend all the time in court, with all the rules of admissibility of evidence, all the back and forth, maybe depositions, summoning of records, proving without a doubt, etc. Depending on how the ISP decides to play the game, it could take months or even years just to get the customer information that shows who you should have been suing in the first place.

    Congrats. Now you know who you should be suing. Now you get to go back to square 1, and start all over, except that all of your evidence is now in public record, and the offender has had a year to completely scrub his computer, destroy and CDs he might have made, empty out his ipod, and perhaps even buy a new computer, get another ISP, etc.

    So now you get to spend maybe another year or 5 in court trying to prove that the guy is guilty, but you don't have access to the computer that did the deeds, you have no evidence from his home, etc.

    Then you win, finally, and you get a judgement. The user contests the judgement amount, and you spend the next 2 or 3 years wandering from court to court getting contradictory rulings that say the amount should be higher, lower, different, the same, and so on. In the end, you get a judgement for an amount, right from the supreme court of the land, and guess what? The user you sued is broke, and can't afford to pay you anything.

    I wonder if the industry will take this opportunity to offer Australians a comprehensive legal alternative to torrents for most of their content, or if they'll keep up the windowed and restricted release schedules that encourage piracy in the first place

    What would you consider a comprehensive legal alternative to free entertainment? All movies played at a miniputt with the director? Sorry, I read comments like that, I really can't imagine anything that competes with "and you get it for free, right now".

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