US studios avoided Telstra battle and went after iiNet instead in copyright case

Leaked documents from the US Embassy in Canberra reveal that Hollywood studios chose to go after third-largest internet provider iiNet, rather than Telstra, in a hard-fought online copyright case set to be heard for a third time by the High Court in Sydney.

The group of 34 companies, including Village Roadshow and the Seven Network, has this month been granted special leave to appeal a full bench Federal Court decision in February upholding Justice Dennis Cowdroy’s landmark 2010 ruling that Perth-based ISP iiNet had not authorised its customers to infringe copyright online.

WikiLeaks‘ latest release of cables includes one dated November 30, 2008 — just 10 days after the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) filed legal action claiming iiNet had infringed copyright by not taking reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised use of films and TV programs by its customers.

And the cable, from US Ambassador Robert McCallum, shows the studios wanted to avoid a stoush with the big guns Telstra BigPond, which holds about half of the local market — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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