Day 12: iiNet has no written repeat infringer policy

Ry Crozier | Nov 3, 2009 4:47 PM
Film industry questions whether any policy exists.

ISP iiNet's chief Michael Malone admitted that iiNet has no written policy on what to do about repeat infringers of copyright on its network.

The film industry's senior counsel Tony Bannon brought before the Federal Court copyright infringement policies allegedly downloaded from the websites of ISPs People Telecom, Netspace, iPrimus and Beagle Internet.

"We've been through a number of different published sites of ISPs and seen what their copyright infringement policies [were]," Bannon put to Malone.

"Is there any reason why iiNet, if it has a copyright infringement policy, would want to keep it a secret from copyright owners, the general public, the press or customers?"

"No," Malone stated.

"You won't find a page [on the iiNet website] which sets out iiNet's repeat infringer policy?" Bannon quizzed.

"No," Malone stated.

"That would be because you don't have one?" Bannon asked.

"No, that's not correct," Malone alleged.

"Why is it a big secret? Why don't you publish it on your website?" Bannon pressed.

"[Because] we haven't been provided with a case of a repeat infringer," Malone alleged.

"Did you just hear what you just said Mr Malone? That the reason you haven't published a policy is because you haven't had a repeat infringer. Would you like to think about that for a moment?" Bannon asked.

"No sir," Malone stated.

Bannon accused Malone of treating the proceedings as "some [sort of] game", a suggestion Malone denied.

"You have a repeat infringer policy? What is it?" Bannon asked again.

"If someone is found to infringe on multiple occasions we may disconnect them," Malone responded.

"It's not actually written down anywhere, don't you agree?" Bannon claimed.

"Yes," Malone confirmed.

Bannon accused Malone of having the policy "in his head". Malone later alleged iiNet chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby was also "in on the policy".

Bannon then accused Malone of changing the policy "depending on how many times I keep asking the question".

"I suggest to you over the last couple of days you've come up with slightly varying answers in setting out what is in policy?" Bannon alleged.

He withdrew an offer to verbally run through all the alleged variances using Federal Court transcripts.

But Bannon continued to press Malone on specific details of iiNet's repeat infringer policy.

"You don't have a repeat infringer policy do you?" Bannon again posed to Malone.

"The policy would be if someone was found to have infringed on multiple occasions that we'd take action," Malone alleged.

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