AFACT v iiNet: Decision timing still uncertain

Parties and public in the dark on when Justice Cowdroy will hand down his verdict in the landmark case

The timing of a decision in the AFACT v iiNet case is yet to be known with the respective parties unsure of when their fortunes will be decided

The timing of a decision in the AFACT v iiNet case is yet to be known with the respective parties unsure of when their fortunes will be decided

The timing of the verdict in the much-publicised civil court case between the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) and ISP, iiNet, is still unclear some six weeks after closing arguments were given.

While the presiding judge, Justice Cowdroy, told the court in the closing days in November last year he would come back to the parties with a decision as soon as possible, it is still uncertain when this will occur.

A spokesperson for iiNet told Computerworld the company expects a decision to be made within the first six months of the year.

AFACT declined to comment on when it is expecting Justice Cowdroy to hand down his verdict on the landmark case.

The Sydney branch of the Federal Court of Australia said it was not able to provide details on when the decision will occur and does not provide an alert system for notifying interested parties (outside of those involved in the case).

Instead, it advised those following the case to check the online listing of the court case for updates.

In October, Melbourne University Associate Professor of Law, Professor David Brennan, said those interested should not expect a result for some time and that a decision could take months to arrive at.

Last week, another legal professional said Justice Cowdroy will likely consider rulings by foreign courts, including many favouring anti-piracy campaigners, in making his decision.

iLaw director Andrew Chelvathurai said the judge will likely consider the outcomes of several instances of legal action in copyright cases that have transpired around the world.

Cases include:

  • The French Constitutional Council passing the controversial Hadopi (High Authority for the Diffusion and Protection of Internet Creations) law in October last year
  • The UK's Digital Economy Bill currently being debated
  • A ruling by Italy's highest appeal court in September last year that saw a nation-wide ban on access to notorious bit torrent site The Pirate Bay
  • A court action in Norway that was thrown out last year after the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) threatened the country’s biggest ISP, Telenor, with legal action unless it blocked access to The Pirate Bay

Some of the legal issues at stake and the tactics employed by AFACT have their origins in a landmark copyright case involving the University of NSW library in 1975.

See more background and articles on the AFACT v iiNet court case

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Tags AFACT v iiNet

More about ACTBillBrennan ITIinetInternational Federation of the Phonographic IndustryTelenorUniversity of NSW

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