back to article Hollywood claims Aussie ISP promoted BitTorrent use

In February, the Australia Federal Court ruled that iiNet, the country's third biggest ISP, was not liable for copyright infringements committed by customers. The plaintiff, the Australian Federation against Copyright Theft (AFACT), which represents the film industry, vowed to appeal and the two sides were arguing the toss in …


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  1. irish donkey

    How did AFACT get hold of these emails?

    Did they steal them, buy them or does RC-08 work for AFACT!

    It seems unlikely to me that RC-08 would volunteer these incriminating emails to AFACT just for the good of helping to save the movie business from oblivion. Could he/she possibly work in some capacity for the AFACT or be a sponsored Pirate.

    It would be interesting to look at the background of RC-08. For example when did he join iiNEt and what his motivation was for sharing these private emails with AFACT.

    Could we have another Google versus Viacom argument/entrapment going on here?

    1. John Angelico

      Hmm, interesting point...

      ...about the quality of evidence, the character of the witness and, as you say, a possible entrapment strategy.

      I am not impressed by the AFACT argument that iiNet, by encouraging the user to pay more instead of having his traffic shaped, has somehow condoned, permitted or authorised the alleged breach of copyright.

      That basically strikes at any business which dares to encourage its customers to spend more.

      Should my humble oil <g> business be prosecuted for selling more engine oil to a customer who (unbeknownst to me) is a drug dealer?

      Should a service station be prosecuted for offering a bulk discount for larger quantities of fuel used by said putative drug dealer?

      Where would this end, eh?

    2. Steve Brooks

      entrapment? This is Australia, the land of convicts, get em however you can

      "Could we have another Google versus Viacom argument/entrapment going on here?"...Its a fact (no not afact) that the way afact (not a fact) got hold of the IP addresses was to have agents join iinet and run a torrent client, use tools to restrict the IP range to iinets IP range, and record the IP addresses of customers uploading suspect files.

      It should also be pointed out that there is no entrapment controls in Australia and afact are quite within thier rights to trap people into giving away information using whatever methods they choose short of criminal.

    3. Annihilator Silver badge


      "Did they steal them, buy them or does RC-08 work for AFACT!"

      Or, did they go after RC-08 (the sensible approach) and cut a deal with him/her?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      The RIAA and MPAA even scam thir own.

      AFACT - they are so crooked even their bogus PR campaign is a lie. [] [],0,4051564.story []

  2. Adrian Esdaile

    Willing to defend my ISP...

    I use iiNet. I have done for the past 6 years, and though they are just as slow as other ISPs in terms of connections (not their fault - they still rely on Telstra(sh) for connections) they do provide excellent service and speed.

    As for BitTorrent use - hopefully someone will point out that BT is as illegal as a screwdriver - it's a TOOL. Plenty of legitimate software vendors and artists use BT as a distribution channel.

    The AFACT should be able to recognise tools - I'm sure they have mirrors...

    Coat because ALL criminals wear coats according to AFACT.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Ah, but..

      Ah, but Lawyers are tools in the AFACT armory too. And it seems like this lot are bigger tools than most.

      Corparate browbeating via the means of lawyers has a long and distinguished tradition all over the world, If they loose, they can well afford it. If they dont.... Well...

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. David David David David (formerly David 22)

      Why not?

      yes it's just you.

      BitTorrent is the protocol - the others you mention are clients that implement the bittorrent protocol.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Happy's just you

      They are on about the Bit Torrent technology (as used by the BT client, Vuze, Transmission, uTorrent, ABC, etc.), NOT the client application called Bit Torrent.

      PS. I would recommend being more careful of your use of the word 'cretins' in your posts in future..:-)

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Tools, everyone of them!

    So if I rob a bank with a Ford Focus or Transit, it's Ford who should be in the dock for allowing me to be out on the road with my dangerous ideas about robbery?

    Stupid idiots in charge, thinking in their tiny little worlds. These are tools, they do stuff, same as crowbars and screwdrivers are used for opening crates or the windows on some poor sod's house.

    I could happily rip half the Hollywood back catalogue using WU-FTP, an FTP client, a browser and a copy of Apache. I don't see any of these tools being removed from any O/S distributions...yet.

    Certainly some "tools" involved and not the utility type of "tools"!

  5. Anonymous Coward

    I would be interested to know if.......

    in the course of establishing the distribution of copyright masterial they are uploading any part of the files they are checking.

    If they are, then surely that would mean that they are sanctioning the distribution in this manner as they are actually uploading to the swarm.

  6. Elmer Phud

    Standard form

    "the ISP advised him to upgrade to "get more of the stuff you love"."

    I wonder if this was ever seen by a human until it reached the customer. I'd expect something to trigger a response starting with a mailmerge on to a form and then off to the mail room.

    "get more of the stuff you love" - I get these from BT Vision even though I don't use the PPV. service.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Doesn't "get" imply download? So wouldn't that be leeching, and not seeding?

  7. The BigYin


    "Dear User, You are using too much bandwidth and we are shaping you traffic. Please purchase and increased allowance. Toodles! A.N.Isp."

    So a letter along those lines is now collusion/conspiracy to assist piracy?

    I have zero sympathy for pirates, but the action of the MAFIAA and their bull-boys is just beyond the pale.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    @The BigYin


  9. Winkypop Silver badge

    AFACT and a FACT

    Never confuse the two.

    There is a vast difference.

  10. JaitcH

    How refreshing: an informed and enlightened judge

    Perhaps being independently appointed to the bench is better than having a judge beg and scrounge for campaign donations as happens in the U.S.

    Most U.S. judges simply bow to the wishes of these Hollywood distorters, so it is refreshing to see not all judges are bedazzled by the glitz of the movie industry.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Glitz to slime

      Hollywood and in many ways the recording industry have become a pathetic bunch of slimeballs and whiners relying on cheap gimmicks and dishonest precedents instead of evolving with the times/technology.


  11. joe 4

    can of worms

    if they somehow manage to get away with this bullshit, they've just opened up a whole new industry...a terrorist goes over their mobile cap and a CS rep rings up and suggests they move to a bigger plan, BAM, contributing towards terrorism and profiting from the proliferation of handsets of mass about if a terrorist went to mcdonalds, and the acne-afflicted wastrel suggested they upsize their meal? surely that's receiving the profits of a terrorist organisation, and providing material support to a terrorist organisation in the form of another 2,500 calories? might be just enough to wire up an underpants bomb...

    as an aussie i'm looking forward to this load of shit being laughed out of court in the way that RIAA cases against kids etc in the US previous posters have mentioned, said "evidence" was either a stooge planted by these idiots, in which case, they should be liable fo entrapment, or they bought or stole the emails, in which case they should be liable for bribery or theft...

    in short..fuckwits.

  12. Kelvari
    Thumb Up


    The way the Reg expanded the acronym summarizes perfectly the way that most Americans feel about it.

  13. Tom 35


    So what would the ISP have done if they were Open Office torrents and the customer went over the data limit? The same thing right?

    They don't care what the data is (not their job) just that you don't use more then you paid for.

    If the ISP is notified of a problem (running a spam bot, or phishing site) then the ISP should have a look and see if it is breaking their TOS or the law.

  14. SleepyJohn

    Piracy? - check the definition

    Seems to me that the behaviour of the MAFIAA and its cohorts fits the definition of piracy far more closely than that of a web-savvy teenager who finds a song on the internet and listens to it.

    Well done that judge. Do I detect justice and commonsense beginning to rise up against this ludicrous campaign of extortion - by a bunch of greedy bullies who have historically treated their artists with even more contempt than their customers?

    If a Rottweiler goes berserk on having its juicy bone taken away, it should be put down, not protected by the courts. It should most certainly not be allowed to dictate the fundamental rights of the people, and access to the internet is rapidly becoming accepted, in civilised countries, as just such a right.

    If the media industry really needs to lie, cheat, bribe, bully, extort and cynically subvert the law in order to make its business model work, then perhaps it should be told to develop a new one. Or walk the plank. Life really is too short for we ordinary folk to have to put up with this immoral and vindictive claptrap.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Well stated

    "It is interesting that AFACT has directed its legal guns at Australia's third biggest ISP and not at Telstra, a corporate giant.

    This seems to be a case of pour encourager les autres: get the smallest first, establish a precedent and the others will fall into line."

    Perfectly summarizes the strategy of US media lobbies in Europe and Australia. They adopted similar stratagem against smaller filesharing networks and used the precedent against larger networks. It's a shame that they won't end their evil anytime soon.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    "get more of the stuff you love"

    Where do AFACT establish that the iiNet process or employee that sent the e-mail (suggesting RC-08 upgrade the data plan) was aware of RC-08's pirated shared material, *and* that this was a corporate policy (as opposed to individual human error, broken or non-existant policy etc)?

    AC - because i'm with iiNet.

  17. Combat Wombat

    I for one..

    still applaud the stance that iinet has taken against these bastards.

    The argument they put forward (which was vindicated by the judge) was that determining whether copyright was actually being infringed, was not up to an ISP.

    ISP's do not have the ability to determine this (legally or in practical terms), and it is up to the copyright holders to chase down people on an individual basis.

    This is exactly what the media companies DON'T want to do. They want the ISP's to take all the risk, and do all the work for them.

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