Australia: US Copyright Colony or Just a Good Friend?

The Canberra Wikileaks cables revealed the US Embassy sanctioned a conspiracy by Hollywood studios to target Australian communications company iiNet through the local court-system, with the aim of establishing a binding common-law precedent which would make ISPs responsible for the unauthorised file-sharing of their customers.

Both the location, Australia, and the target, iiNet, were carefully selected. A precedent set in Australia would be influential in countries with comparable legal systems such as Canada, India, New Zealand and Great Britain. Australian telecommunications giant Telstra was judged too large for the purposes of the attack. Owing to its smaller size and more limited resources, iiNet was gauged the perfect candidate.

The involvement of major American studios in the offensive was suppressed. The case was filed by … the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and its international affiliate, the Motion Picture Association (MPA), but does not want that fact to be broadcasted, the US Embassy, Canberra wrote. We will monitor this case … to see whether or not the ‘AFACT vs the local ISP’ featured attraction spawns a ‘giant American bullies vs little Aussie battlers’ sequel — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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