Providing Services to Copyright Infringers: Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Ltd
Sydney Law Review, Vol. 33, No. 4, 2011
31 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2011
Date Written: November 16, 2011
In Roadshow Films v iiNet the Australian High Court will consider whether an Internet Service Provider (ISP) can be held liable for authorising copyright infringements committed by its subscribers. The case has significant ramifications for the regulation of the internet in Australia and may colour international debates about the responsibility of ISPs towards copyright owners. The legal issues at stake are, however, relatively self-contained and the authors argue that it would be inappropriate for the High Court to seek to draw on broader issues of policy when arriving at its decision. The authors argue that the Full Federal Court erred in building its reasoning on authorisation around the expectation that termination of user accounts was required. On the contrary, iiNet was not required to suspend or terminate accounts in order to avoid liability. iiNet was, prima facie, required to pass on copyright warning notices generated by the applicants to its subscribers. However, despite having failed to take even this limited step, iiNet avoid liability thanks to the operation of s 112E of the Copyright Act 1968 (Aust.), which deems certain conduct not to constitute authorisation of infringement.
Keywords: copyright, authorisation, secondary liability, three strikes
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation