iiNet outcome an "application of common sense": EFF

Online freedoms advocacy group says the case against iiNet was "absurd"

AFACT vs iiNet court case

AFACT vs iiNet court case

Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFF) has hailed the outcome of the iiNet vs AFACT case in favour of iiNet, calling the decision an "application of common sense".

"The case, in which it was argued that a business simply providing its service was against the law, seemed absurd to us,” a spokesperson for the online freedoms and rights lobby group told Computerworld.

“We’ve certainly never seen a case in which a electricity company was sued for providing power to a house which had a [marijuana] grow room. [The outcome] upholds the intermediary concept and we are delighted that it survived the test.”

The spokesperson said the case could cause a change in which copyright law was applied in Australia, however it was important to remember court cases against ISPs were only one arena in which the ongoing battle between copyright owners and infringers was fought.

“[Court case against ISPs] are a big way in which the fight gets fought, but they are just one way. AFACT and other big copyright holders sue individuals and lobby governments to introduce measures such as ‘three strikes’ legislation,” the spokesperson said.

“While this is a massive blow to copyright enforcement groups, the fight goes on elsewhere.”

The spokesperson also reaffirmed the view, expressed by telecommunications analyst, Paul Budde, that ISPs could no longer be expected to regulate the activities of their end users.

“It’s really popular at the moment to expect ISPs to be the internet’s police – RC material, copyright material etc,” the spokesperson said. “We hope this causes the government to pause and reflect on the idea that perhaps police work is best done by the police.”

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