Convict alleged file sharers and we’ll cut them off: iiNet

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Convict alleged file sharers and we’ll cut them off: iiNet

iiNet has defended itself against allegations by the Australian film industry that it encouraged customers to download films illegally, saying it has supplied the alleged list of breaches to police and will disconnect any customers proven to have breached their service agreements and applicable laws.

The ISP yesterday found itself the subject of a landmark Federal court action filed by Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

AFACT claims to represent the interests of Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, and Disney Enterprises.

The Seven Network is also involved in the action as the licensee of some of the copyright works in question, according to a statement issued by AFACT.

AFACT executive director, Adrianne Pecotic, claimed the action was necessary because iiNet ‘ignored repeated notices over many months identifying thousands of illegal file transfers via iiNet’s network carried out by its customers’.

But iiNet’s managing director, Michael Malone, has hit back, saying the ISP ‘repeatedly’ passed on the list of alleged breaches to law enforcement agencies for investigation.

Malone said that AFACT had been advised that the complaints had been referred to the relevant authorities ‘and that they should follow up the matter with them’ [directly].

“iiNet cannot disconnect a customer’s phone line based on an allegation,” said Malone.

“The alleged offence needs to be pursued by the police and proven in courts. iiNet would then be able to disconnect the service as it had been proven that the customer had breached our customer relations agreement.”

Not good enough, according to AFACT.

“iiNet has an obligation under the law to take steps to prevent further known copyright infringement via its network,” said Pecotic.

Roadshow Entertainment managing director Chris Chard added: “Our titles have been pirated by iiNet’s customers via its network using bit torrent technology.”

Proceedings are due back before the Federal Court on 17th December.
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