The ICT community is coming to grips with the implications of the latest outcome in the ongoing battle between film right holders and internet service providers over copyright infringement, with legal briefings set to be heard over the next few weeks for industry personnel.
NextDC chief executive, Bevan Slattery, told Computerworld Australia the data centre operator would look to establish in-person briefings over coming weeks in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne for industry personnel, in an attempt to better understand what effects, if any, the court battle and resulting judgements could have on content and internet service providers.
Slattery said the briefings would look to take advantage of a wide variety of legal expertise to best address the issue.
At least one other group is also planning briefings for industry this week, though details are yet to be confirmed or announced.
The briefings are expected to allow industry to come to grips with the Federal Court’s recent dismissal of an appeal requested by Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), who alleged Perth-based ISP iiNet had authorised the copyright infringement over its users.
Based on the two-to-one judgement in favour of iiNet, preliminary analysis has suggested ISPs may in future be held liable of allowing copyright infringements by their users, should rights holders better work with service providers in collecting evidence and providing notices of infringement.
Though a further appeal and hearings in the High Court are yet to be determined the AFACT v iiNet case, the judgement could spark the Federal Government into action on clarifying current copyright legislation.
Federal Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, on Friday used a speech to copyright professionals to announce a review into the expansion of safe harbour provisions for content service providers and the intention to provide the Australia Law Reform Commission terms of reference on copyright.
Slattery commended the Attorney-General’s department for the initiative.
“That’s been a very big hole in the current [copyright] regime and I think that it’s just an outstanding development,” he said. “Companies like Google have enjoyed those safe harbour provisions overseas and they currently don’t enjoy them here.
"It should be something that’s weighing very heavily on their mind.”
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