Telstra and the Internet Industry Association have welcomed the "legal clarity" the Federal Court provided internet providers by ruling in favour of iiNet in a case levelled by the film industry.
As reported live from the court by iTnews.com.au, Justice Dennis Cowdroy found Australia's No.3 ISP iiNet did not authorise copyright infringement on its network. He ordered the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft representing film studios ordered to pay iiNet's costs, about $4 million.
"We welcome the legal clarity today's judgement provides regarding the role of ISPs," said a spokesman for Telstra, Australia's largest ISP.
"As one of the major content publishers in Australia we do not condone piracy and we encourage the lawful use of our services. Allegations of wrongdoing should be dealt with in accordance with due legal process, with which we will always cooperate fully."
Internet Industry Association chief executive officer IPeter Coroneossaid it was a "very important decision for the internet industry in Australia" and one that will "no doubt be watched globally".
"There is an international campaign afoot to try and force ISPs to accept responsibility for the acts of their customers," he said. "Our position has always been to argue for balance - the balance between legitimate rights of content owners on the one hand and the legitimate rights of those that make the internet possible as intermediaries."
Coroneos said the association will continue to explore "new commercial models for consumers to be given access to affordable, accessible and legal content" with content owners.
But the response from Federal Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy was far less jubilant.
The Minister had vowed to tackle illegal file sharing, labelling iiNet's defence as "stunning", will help him inform policy.
Today the Minister was only prepared to release a brief statement through a spokesman.
"The Government will examine the Federal Court's decision in the AFACT/iiNet case and will consider what the implications for the industry are."