Sunday, February 14, 2010

Australian Court Rules in Favour of ISP's Safe Habour

An Australian Federal Court has ruled that an ISP (iiNet) was not liable for the copyright infringement of its customers. The judge said that even if he had agreed that the ISP had shared culpability for the copyright infringements it would not have been liable because it had an adequate policy for dealing with infringement in place and so enjoyed 'safe harbour' under Australia's copyright law.

The Uk is one of a number of countries in the process of passing laws that demand that ISPs a ‘3 strikes’ and then disconnect the subscribers accused of copyright infringement. The judge said that it was not the ISP's job to protect the business interests of the film company, "The law recognizes no positive obligation on any person to protect the copyright of another. The law only recognizes a prohibition on the doing of copyright acts without the license of the copyright owner or exclusive licensee, or the authorization of those acts. In the circumstances outlined above and discussed in greater detail in my judgment, it is impossible to conclude that iiNet has authorized copyright infringement."

The Australian Copyright Act prohibits the doing, or the authorizing of the doing, of anything that infringes someone else's copyright. This mirrors many countries legal systems and promotes the entitlement of the ISP to 'safe harbour' protection from liability for the activities of their users as long as they are simply a channel through which those users act and as long as they have appropriate policies in place to deal with illegal behaviour.

To read more and the court ruling

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