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ISP sysadmins to face lawsuit for music piracy

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 28 Jun 2005 0:22 User comments (4)

ISP sysadmins to face lawsuit for music piracy Overturning an earlier decision, an Australian federal court has ruled that two Swiftel sysadmins can be sued by the music industry for alleged music piracy. The Perth based ISP has been accused of copyright infringement by major record labels who claim some of their employees and customers setup a BitTorrent hub which "hosted" thousands of pirated music files. The allegation that it actually hosted pirated files is strange considering that’s not usually how a BitTorrent site would act – it would host torrent files, not pirated files.
In fact, some people are claiming that the Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) claims are false and that it was a DC (Direct Connect) hub and had nothing to do with BitTorrent. Nevertheless, sysadmins Melissa Ong and Ryan Briggs allegedly ignored attempted contact by the labels and "treated the warnings as spam". Back in April, magistrate Rolf Driver refused to allow the pair to be added as respondents, citing lack of evidence that they acted any way beyond the scope of their employment.

Justice Catherine Branson overturned the earlier decision on Friday however. "We'll be demonstrating that the company had knowledge of what was happening, and that these two individuals knew of this [piracy] activity," Tony Bannon, counsel for the labels, said. However a lawyer for the IPS protested and claimed that only customers were responsible for the piracy. Branson ordered Swiftel to produce data backup records by July 8 and the trial is expected to start in October.


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4 user comments

128.6.2005 1:29

hmm, didnt take long for american laws to reach australia once they signed the fair trade agreement

228.6.2005 21:40

it sucks to be those guys. how big u think their legal fees are going 2 be?

329.6.2005 3:58

Well as a guy that lives down under. i personally dont c it going to happen any time soon... In the past Australian courts have tried to take out othe p2p networks and lost... soo again this is a long battle that is far from the end. :)

429.6.2005 6:58

It doesn't matter right or wrong all it matters is these two folks that probably are just working stiffs like the rest of us are being threatened by a rich movie studio with expensive lawyers. What chance do they have? Absolutely none, you watch, the ISP will just fire them and wipe their hands of the whole thing so they don't have to pay. The legal system as it stands has gone way beyond fair, it's no longer about the law and what's right, it's about who has the most money to pay the fanciest attorney.

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