Day 20: AFACT snoops “arguably” committed crimes in iiNet probe

 

Reason for iiNet to forward notices to police.

ISP iiNet was justified in sending the film industry’s copyright notices to Western Australian Police because it was “strongly arguable” the notices were evidence of copyright crimes committed by investigators, the Federal Court heard today.

As the copyright case entered week five, iiNet’s lead barrister Richard Cobden told the court it was “very likely” that the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) investigators had engaged in criminal activity in their investigation of alleged copyright infringement on iiNet’s network.

This activity occurred despite film studio bosses telling the court under cross-examination that they would not sanction investigative techniques that could be classified as unlawful or that infringed the studio’s copyrights.

“It was a constant theme of the cross-examination of [iiNet chief regulatory officer Steven] Dalby that, by reason of absence of commercial scale of the activities, [the AFACT notices] could not possibly be of interest to the police, that [the notices] could not be [evidence of] a crime,” Cobden said.

“The problem with that, and that [AFACT investigators] would face, is it is strongly arguable that [the investigator’s actions] were crimes.”

Cobden said that section 132AJ(1) of the Copyright Act, it could be argued, prescribed an indictable offence that may have been committed by AFACT investigators in collating evidence.

The suggestion appeared to draw a wry grin from the film industry’s lead barrister Tony Bannon.

iiNet’s belief that the notices were evidence of crimes being committed would mean the ISP was justified in forwarding the AFACT notices to police, Cobden argued.

However, he believed it was “arguable whether a crime had been committed or not” due to lingering questions over whether the studios had in fact ‘licensed’ investigators to download all or parts of the films and TV shows covered by the case.

Cobden argued the fact that because a number of titles were added to a Motion Picture Association of America SharePoint site under the classification “cleared for Australian litigation” prior to the start of AFACT's investigation, there had been a licensing of the investigator’s activities.

“‘Cleared for Australian litigation’ plainly carries the notion that the films were ready [for investigation],” Cobden alleged.

“It’s clear the studios knew what the investigation involved - downloading pieces and entire copies of the films.”

The case continues. You can follow the case in-full here. For a background on the case, click here.


Day 20: AFACT snoops “arguably” committed crimes in iiNet probe
 
 
 
Top Stories
First look: Microsoft Outlook for iOS
[Update] Office productivity suite for iOS completed with Outlook.
 
NewSat defaults on $26m in overdue Lockheed payments
Jabiru-1 satellite build hits further hurdles.
 
IBM denies plans to cut 112k jobs
But admits to further restructuring.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Microsoft Outlook is now on iPhone and iPad: why could this be useful?
Jan 30, 2015
Microsoft today released Office for Android and Outlook for iOS - complementing the other Office ...
Franchisees, here's something you should know about
Jan 23, 2015
You need to know the Code if you are a franchisee or franchisor as the penalties are significant.
Xero users rejoice! Quoting has finally arrived
Jan 23, 2015
It has taken years, but Xero has at last added integrated quoting to its online accounting software.
You can now get a no-contract wi-fi tablet from Telstra
Jan 17, 2015
Telstra has began selling wi-fi tablets out of contract without paying extra for cellular ...
Get your business ready for 2015: mobile payments
Jan 2, 2015
These handy apps from MYOB, Xero and others can reduce your administrative load and improve ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  36%
 
Your insurance company
  5%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  9%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  8%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  4%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  18%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  14%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  7%
TOTAL VOTES: 3083

Vote
Do you support the abolition of the Office of the Information Commissioner?

   |   View results
I support shutting down the OAIC.
  27%
 
I DON'T support shutting the OAIC.
  73%
TOTAL VOTES: 981

Vote