Internet service provider, iiNet, has hit back at claims by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) that its Notice of Contention is in essence an appeal against the Federal Court’s ruling, which found in favour of the ISP ordered the studios to pay the costs of the case.
But iiNet chief regulatory officer, Steve Dalby, said the ISP was simply responding to the studios' court actions. AFACT first brought the case against iiNet in December 2006 and has also lodged an appeal against the findings and a cost hearing is set down for May. AFACT's legal counsel has argued its court costs should be reduced.
“The original claim was lodged by the studios and this appeal has been instigated by the studios, not iiNet,” Dalby said. “If the appeal had not been lodged, we would not have the opportunity to respond.
“They are entitled to appeal and they have. We are entitled to respond and we have.”
He said AFACT’s response to the Notice of Contention was similar to the tactics the studios employed throughout the case.
“They seem to think that iiNet should sit quietly and accept whatever fate AFACT demand,” he said. “They were outraged when we defended their flawed claims and now they are outraged because we are responding actively to their appeal. That outrage may indicate a lack of confidence in their arguments and a futile wish that we would just roll over and surrender.”
Dalby said the ISP was pleased to have the opportunity to respond to the appeal and address aspects of the case.
“We think we can come out of this process in a stronger position even than that provided by the primary judgment,” he said.
Dalby also reiterated the earlier comments of iiNet’s chief executive officer, Michael Malone, that the legal case had failed to reduced piracy.
“They have not reduced copyright infringement one iota. We are open to discuss new distribution models with content owners at any time, we believe that approach has much more chance of reducing infringements,” Dalby said.