AFACT: 94,942 iiNet customer copyright infringements in 59 weeks

Legal representatives for the film studios and TV stations waging a civil court battle against Internet Service Provider, iiNet, have claimed a 59-week investigation into the ISP and its customers discovered "rampant copyright infringements".

In outlining its arguments at the beginning of a the much-anticipated civil case today in the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney (October 6) lawyers for AFACT - which represents the film studios - said "there were 94,942 instances of iiNet customers making available online unauthorised copies" of movies that included titles such as Batman Begins, Dark Knight and Harry Potter.

In a statement, barrister for the studios, Tony Bannon SC, said Wanted was the most infringed title with over 1000 instances of it on the iiNet network.

”These unauthorised copies available via the iiNet network represented free handouts of my clients copyright,” he said in the statement. “Films and video require a large amount of bandwidth to share via Bit Torrent, which is the programme of choice for internet users intent on infringing copyright. iiNet profits from selling bandwidth to its customers.

“In this case there is no issue that infringements have been occurring on the iiNet network weekly, daily and hourly since 23 June 2008. There is no issue that iiNet was made aware of the infringements on its network – they were aware because AFACT informed them every week for fifty nine weeks."

Bannon went on to say that iiNet has not done enough to discourage users from illegally sharing files or act on infringements of copyright.

iiNet has not commented on the proceedings or claims put forward by AFACT. The ISP is expected to make its arguments to the court from Wednesday, October 7.

The case will run for two more weeks, then rest for two weeks before coming back for a final two weeks. However, it is expected to be taken to the High Court regardless of who wins this round.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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