Australia: IIA to develop copyright code

The Internet Industry Association (IIA) is set to draw up an Industry Copyright Code to clarify the role of ISPs should they be accused of content piracy online.

The move comes after the Full Bench of the Federal Court dismissed AFACT’s appeal of its copyright case against Perth-based ISP, iiNet. While it was another victory for iiNet after initially winning the case in February 2010, the appeal judgement raised questions around circumstances in which ISPs are liable for copyright infringement by its users.

The judgement opened up the opportunity for rights owners to make ISPs disconnect customers suspected of online piracy provided that additional information and indemnities for wrongful disconnection were offered along with a copyright infringement notice.

“What we want to do now is define for the industry clearer standards so if certain circumstances were to arise, slightly different from the exact issues in the iiNet case, which involved liability we would have an appropriate industry response,” IIA chief, Peter Coroneos, said. “In some respects the ground rules have shifted a bit so therefore we need to develop an appropriate code that enables ISPs to manage their risk in this new environment.”

IIA will first consult with the ISP industry to gather their views on what they see now as their liabilities in order to get a general consensus around an appropriate industry response.

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