Day Two: iiNet, Westnet email trails revealed

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Day Two: iiNet, Westnet email trails revealed

Film industry exposes internal iiNet dialogue in landmark case.

The film industry has attempted to use a trail of internal training documents and emails to prove ISP iiNet turned a blind eye to copyright infringement on its network.

General counsel for the industry, Tony Bannon, revealed a trail of emails allegedly sent between iiNet chief Michael Malone and Westnet's operations manager Alan Ariti and chief operating officer Eric Cain during iiNet's acquisition of the fellow Perth-based ISP.

Malone was alleged to have queried Westnet's position on passing infringement notices from the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) to customers.

He was alleged to have said it was the "opposite of iiNet's [position] and that Westnet was "making more work for no benefit" by passing on the notices.

Ariti was alleged to have responded that Westnet was "acting with conscience on the notices" by passing them on to customers.

The film industry's general counsel claimed Ariti's response "didn't find favour" with Malone, who "went on the attack".

"Taking the opposing argument, a random third party is lodging an unsubstantiated accusation against a customer and you're passing it on?" Malone allegedly wrote to Ariti.

"Your current approach is doing damage to the industry and iiNet's position on this matter."

It was also claimed that Westnet had developed a program that was able to automatically forward infringement notices to users that were allegedly sharing illegal files.

The film industry also revealed the text of an email from an iiNet network engineer, allegedly warning management that the email address used for copyright infringement correspondence that was listed on the iiNet website did not work.

"I've just found out the copyright officer at iiNet address doesn't exist on our system," the engineer allegedly wrote.

"It could mean you've been missing crap emails about copyright for some time. If the address is really no longer in use it should be removed from our website."

General counsel for the film industry told the court the "crap" tag "could be how they regard emails addressing copyright infringement".

A separate email allegedly showed Leroy Parkinson, who manages a team that handles issues such as law enforcement and compliance at iiNet, telling Internet Industry Association chief Peter Coroneos by email that "AFACT's correspondence almost constitutes spam for iiNet now."

The case continues.

Read other day two coverage of the case here or follow the case in-full here. For a background on the case, click here.

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