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Hollywood Says Court Ruling Bad, ISPs Are Evil

The AFP reports that Hollywood is striking back against a recent ruling that said ISPs are not responsible for illegal movies downloaded by their subscribers. The appeal, filed on Thursday by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), said that the Federal Court's ruling was "out of step" with copyright law. The AFACT represents 34 Hollywood studios in Australia.

"The court found large scale copyright infringements (proven), that iiNet knew they were occurring, that iiNet had the contractual and technical capacity to stop them and iiNet did nothing about them," said Neil Gane, executive director of AFACT. "In line with previous case law, this would have amounted to authorization of copyright infringement."

The judge's ruling that iiNet was not responsible for its customer's actions was a blow to Hollywood and its copyright owners. The case proved that nearly 90 films and television episodes were downloaded in a period of 59 weeks via iiNet's broadband service. Hollywood hoped the case would force ISPs to act against the copyright violators, however the ruling swung the other way.

Gane said that the organization filed the appeal because the Federal Court "erred on 15 grounds." He said the current ruling would allow ISPs to turn a blind eye to piracy. "The decision harms not just the studios that produce and distribute movies, but also Australia?s creative community and all those whose livelihoods depend on a vibrant entertainment industry," he said.