iiNet Update: High Court hears the iiNet copyright “conundrum”

Last week, the High Court heard the iiNet v Roadshow Films appeal. The case concerns whether iiNet can be held liable for authorising its customers’ copyright infringements. For some further background on the case, see our previous Whiteboard posts here, here, here and here.

The question of how copyright can be protected in an internet age is a difficult one. During the hearing, Justice Hayne identified a basic conundrum in this area of law:

“It is the existence of the network of networks, namely the Net, which enables unauthorised sharing of copyright work. The prevention of it ultimately depends upon the individual choice of the user of the Net. You [Roadshow Films] seek to achieve the result through the medium of the company that provides access of the user to the network, and the conundrum is the power that the ISP has, the steps that the ISP can take depend ultimately for their effect on the individual user’s choice, for all that the ISP can do is switch off.”

The transcripts of the High Court hearing are now available online (Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3). We will be eagerly awaiting the High Court’s decision and will

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keep you updated on iiNet news.

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