AFACT v iiNet: ISP kicks off its closing arguments

ISP begin its closing arguments in the landmark copyright court case

iiNet senior counsellor, Richard Cobden, has told the Federal Court of Australia that although 97,000 copyright infringements have been allegedly detected within its customer base there is only adequate evidence to hold one user liable.

The comments formed part of the closing arguments in the civil case with the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

Cobden, who was speaking for the first time in two weeks, said AFACT's infringement counting method showed iiNet users "might" average two or three film downloads over the representative body's 59-week investigation.

He also said there was no evidence of users burning copyrighted material onto CDs and DVDs and distributing them, therefore significantly decreasing the number of copyright infringements claimed by AFACT.

The senior counsellor added there has been no previous case where the provider of general facilities or another major ISP, such as Telstra and Optus, has been sued because of infringement by its users.

iiNet accepted the claim its users downloaded copyrighted files through BitTorrent and peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, but Cobden said the ISP was never obliged to suspend users.

iiNet is expected to outline more of its closing arguments when the case enters its fifth week, resuming on November 19.

On Wednesday, AFACT’s closing statements focused on the admission by iiNet (ASX: IIN) executives they considered the information provided in AFACT’s copyright infringement notices as ‘compelling evidence’ rather than ‘mere allegations’.

Check out more background on the case.

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