High Court of Australia Rules Against Hollywood Studios

In a major setback for rights holders doing business in Australia, the High Court of Australia has ruled that Internet providers have no legal obligation to act on copyright infringement notices sent to them by rights holders. The court ruled that copyright infringement notices provide no "reasonable basis for sending warning notices to individual customers containing threats to suspend or terminate those customers' accounts."

This is the third decision that movie studios have lost in the country related to copyright infringement. Hollywood studios including Warner Bros, Disney and 20th Century Fox were represented by AFACT in its action against Australian ISP iiNet.

Though this latest defeat in court could be viewed as a setback for rights holders, the group representing them – the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) – will now turn its attention to lawmakers for solutions.

"Now that we have taken this issue to the highest court in the land, it is time for Government to act," said AFACT in a statement. "We are confident the Government would not want copyright infringement to go on unabated across Australian networks especially with the rollout of the NBN [the fiber-based National Broadband Network]."

You can read the full decision here (PDF).

Source: Ars Technica

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  1. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "It stops crap like Rapelay coming into the country."

    That's not what a rating system should do.  A rating system should rate things so that consumers can decide for themselves whether they wish to purchase them or not.

    "I laugh when I think that the US had the censored version of The Witcher to start with!"

    I shake my head in sadness, personally.  Not sure what the deal there was, the uncensored version was subsequently released here with the exact same ESRB rating (content descriptor changed from "Partial Nudity" to "Nudity") and there was no controversy.

    I've seen no evidence to suggest WalMart or anyone else dictated the original censoring.  Seems it was CD Projekt's decision.  Who knows what it was thinking?

    "The SA bullshit won't change a thing in that state."

    Which is one of the things that makes it stupid.

    "…as if you have the perfect system."

    The US's system isn't perfect and I never claimed it was.


    Andrew Eisen

  2. 0
    Lichbane says:

    I find the new classification works well. It stops crap like Rapelay coming into the country. The fact that it CAN come into the US spawns its own issues, such as the likes of Jack Thompson and Fox News rattling the cage … and your own forms of private sector censorship … like Walmart dictating what games should contain ( … I laugh when I think that the US had the censored version of The Witcher to start with!)

    As for the South Australia issue … big deal! The State have ALWAYS had the power to administer their implementation the Federal Classification system anyway. It doesn't stop anything. It's like X-Rated movies being available by mail order from the ACT for many, many years and the rest of Australia making use of that while you couldn't get them over the counter in just about every other Australian state.  The SA bullshit won't change a thing in that state.

    I find it interesting that you sit in judgment over there on an Australian system … a system that you are ignorant and have NO practical knowledge of … as if you have the perfect system. Well what we have over here now is a good solution. Australia is not the US. And thank God for that.

  3. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    By taking years and years to get to the point where it is now, which still isn't where it needs to be.  The criteria for the ratings is still crap and the ability to refuse classification is absolutely unpardonable.

    And the stupid is still rampant.  For example, South Australia is introducing a law that would ban anyone under 18 from purchasing a game rated MA15+.


    Andrew Eisen

  4. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    The Australian gov't fails about as hard as you possibly can in the game sector but at least it's getting this right.

    "We are confident the Government would not want copyright infringement to go on unabated across Australian networks…"

    Of course they wouldn't.  No one wants that but that doesn't mean a rights-holder should be able to dictate action against someone with nothing more than an unsubstantiated allegation of infringement.


    Andrew Eisen

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