AFACT v iiNet: Cost hearing set for 4 May

Court retracts its order for the Australia Federation Against Copyright Theft to pay iiNet's court costs pending a later hearing

The Federal Court of Australia has retracted its order for the Australia Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) to pay iiNet's court costs pending a later hearing on 4 May.

The parties will share evidence regarding their cost claims and submit it to the court.

The Internet Industry Association is also seeking cost. It’s claims for money spent on supoenas will be heard by a closed court, with a caveat that parties may appear if required.

Federal Justice Cowdroy told a small court turnout he "queried the utility of the excercise" by AFACT to lower its payable court costs.

"Without knowing the grounds with which that AFACT is not liable for costs, we are effectively dealing with this case in a vaccum," Cowdroy said.

AFACT legal counsel said its court costs should be reduced as iiNet should pay indemnity costs for its abandoned primary case.

"Each party should identify costs on [an] issues [basis]... we sumbit that this should be made clear," the court heard.

AFACT has also announced it will appeal against the decision in the landmark copyright infringement case.

Justice Cowdroy dismissed the case brought by AFACT against Perth-based Internet service provider (ISP), iiNet, following a five-month investigation that uncovered instances of copyright infringements by users of iiNet’s services. Justice Cowdroy found the ISP did not authorise the acts of its customers despite instances of copyright infringement.

The appeal marks the start of a potentially long legal war, according Melbourne University copyright law expert, associate professor, David Brennan.

He said an appeal was likely and interested parties are "probably looking at 2011 or 2012 before a final judicial determination".

AFACT represents several large film companies including Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises and the Seven Network.

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