Day 21: iiNet sample users didn’t take up quota offers

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Day 21: iiNet sample users didn’t take up quota offers

Customers not scared by the prospect of shaping.

ISP iiNet’s sample of 20 customer accounts surfaced in the copyright case showed there was “no correlation” between infringing activity and download quotas, the Federal Court heard today.

As the case resumed, iiNet’s lead barrister Richard Cobden provided a brief analysis of the accounts in his closing address in an attempt to dispute the studio’s assertion that iiNet was encouraging infringement on its network by offering customers upgrades to higher-capacity plans.

The upgrades would allow users to download more illegal copies of films because they would avoid being shaped (having their transfer speeds reduced), the studios had alleged.

In his analysis, Cobden said that user "RC01" used only half of its allocated quota in June. Another, "RC05" used 23 percent of its quota in October, 2008.

Cobden said that of the accounts sampled, “15 were shaped at some point during the year”. He said 10 upgraded to higher download quotas over the year but there was “no correlation” between the upgrade and the users wanting to download the applicant’s films.

“And one of them downgraded [during the year], which is inconsistent with the applicant’s assertion,” Cobden said.

“We’re not suggesting it’s excusable for somebody to download these films [illegally]. What it does demonstrate is that when offered an upgrade, they’re not taking it to download more of the applicant’s films.”

Cobden said that telling customers when they were approaching their quota limit for the month was a “business service” offered by iiNet that enabled them to either budget their remaining quota for the month or upgrade to prevent being shaped.

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


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