AfterDawn: Tech news

Australian man guilty of copyright infringement for hyperlinks

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 14 Jul 2005 8:44 User comments (41)

Australian man guilty of copyright infringement for hyperlinks An Australian man has bee found guilty of copyright infringement for posting hyperlinks on his website to other sites offering illegal music downloads. Stephen Cooper ran a site called mp3s4free. He has been ordered to pay costs along with two fellow defendants, Chris Takoushis, of ISP Comcen, and Liam Bal, a director of E-Talk Communications. Takoushis and Bal were accused of aiding and abetting Cooper in order to increase advertising revenues.
Federal Court Justice Brian Tamberlin said he was satisfied that there had been copyright infringement in this case. Coopers legal representative was very disappointed with the decision as he had argued that Cooper couldn’t be guilty for copyright infringement due to the fact that his site hosted no illegal MP3 downloads. The Judge simply explained that the links to the sites offering the illegal files had aided their illegal distribution.

A music industry spokesman said it was a "a very significant blow in the war against piracy". Major record labels including Sony, Warner Music Group, EMI and Universal Studios began proceedings against Cooper, Takoushis and Bal through the ARIA's Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) group.

The Register

Previous Next  

41 user comments

114.7.2005 13:38

As many of u know already I am an aussie but... man ohh man MP3's posted or links to other websites is like shooting urself in the foot... Can people think b4 they do somethin like that... What i would like too c is that the international court get involved and make a final ruling on this soo it can b a uniform rulling either for or against mp3's, file sharing, etc... My suggestion doesnt mean that if they bring that in it will stop the illegal distribution of MP3's and all the other types, it just means there will not b sooo much confusion on what is allowed or where and which countries or states cities etc.. laws may differ but if u bring the international law in everyone knows where they stand on the whole thing worldwide... As they say "Watch this space" :D

214.7.2005 15:11

Me too im also an aussie. I agree they should, if they did do that they should send out like a phamphlet with what is and isnt allowed and list some sites that are ok to use. That would be cool :)

315.7.2005 4:13

If pple are stupid enouth to shot them selves in the foot they dont deserve feet. Most pple know the rules and decide to ignore them

415.7.2005 5:04

Hey Wollop, I don't know the rules. Please do tell me. Really I don't. As I see it this Cooper guy was basically telling everyone where he found illegal music. That's like some guy in a city telling everyone who cares to know which businesses don't lock there back door. Ultimately I think the judge screwed up here. He bowed to Sony and Universal's pressure. (I wonder how many big screen TVs will magically appear at the judges house.) Sony and Universal should of tracked down the sites using Mp34free and prosecuted them. I guess killing the "messenger" is what they wanted to do. Some one a bit more wise then Cooper will take up were he left off. To the judge, Justice Brian Tamberlin, are you gonna fine Home Depot for selling sledgehammers and boltcutters next? Why don't you go after the spammers judge? And judge, if it was the sight itself giving away illegal tunes I could buy your decision, but it wasn't. Did you go after the sponsors of his WEB site? NO. They are the one's supporting mp3s4free, dummy. Follow the money trail and leave the messanger alone. Oopsla

515.7.2005 6:18

What about Google, alta vista, Sensis etc Try Googling for mp3s 4 free Surely they are also abetting copyright infringments

615.7.2005 6:56

If this guy has been found guilty for advertising illegal mp3 download sites shouldn't any sites that report this or any other news relating to these cases be prosecuted as well if they mention the name of said download sites. Oh and i hope the guy taking the transcript at the hearing is prosecuted too after all he must have written down the information and thats available to anyone who wants to see it :O Seriously they are going a bit far off the bandwagon if it only takes a set of urls to convict someone now >< I would have thought just making them take down/out the illegal links would have been more appropriate. Gees and the guy who wrote netsky and Sasser gets 30 days... good perspective.

715.7.2005 6:58

Using the judge's logic, if a person, newspaper, a TV show, anybody states that there are hookers operating along 16th street between Bridge Street and Excelsior Drive, any one of these persons can be arrested and convicted for prostitution. I think the courts in most countries are bending over backwards to help the Entertainment industry.

815.7.2005 7:30

will remeber to read up on what he's talking about before he post something about pple wearing socks that cant take a bullet

915.7.2005 10:12

Oh sorry officer. I really didn't mean to give directions to that guy who ended up robbing the bank. Sheesh. Real crime is rampant in every western country and the authorities spend all this time and money helping private orginizations with their propagander campaign. maybe robbing a bank so I can afford to buy the overpriced CD's would be less risky. There I go again, more ranting.

1015.7.2005 11:45

Oopsla- "That's like some guy in a city telling everyone who cares to know which businesses don't lock there back door." I don't like the judge's decision or think that any sort of justice is being served by it. However, what you discribe here might be considered aiding and abetting by some judges. I agree with dufas "...the courts in most countries are bending over backwards to help the Entertainment industry."

1115.7.2005 12:41

So what is going to happen to Afterdawn website now that this stuff is beginning to happen? If this is happening already who's next? I would imagine that this site has a big red target painted all over it. Does anyone agree? Pernie

1215.7.2005 13:08

Gray Area, Well... I guess it is a "gray area" isn't it? I never been to the bloke's sight. I can understand tactically going after the messenger. It would shore up the bigger leak in of illegal downloads then hitting up individuals. It just smells. As for my scenerio. You may be right, I'm not a cop, lawyer, or judical wiz of any sorts. I guess I should rescind it. If it was a website that listed the addresses and directions to all the pharmacies in Mexico which sell steroids, (which is all of them) would they shut down that site? It is the person choosing to go to Mexico and pick up roids, not the website at fault. Is that better?

1316.7.2005 6:09

Yes, a major blow indeed... Music Industry Spokesman: "Hey, we got this one guy with this one site to pay for the copyright infringement of others! I think the piracy rate is pretty much staggering to its knees at this point, what with all the uninhabited piracy barn raids and single citizen suing for several thousand dollars..." Ridiculous, completely ridiculous skewing of facts, once again, thank you RIAA, you've made the world a safer place and stopped the taking of food out of the mouths of the children of the fat greedy executive pigs.

1416.7.2005 6:30

I find it surreal that in the age of vinyl lp's, you could buy them and then loan them to anyone you desired,but since technology created the internet and the ability to (loan) your music worldwide, it has now become illegal.Seems like the more advanced we become, the narrower the focus of the courts and Big Business becomes. Just an observation from an old vinyl album collector. Thanks....Badhabit51

1516.7.2005 12:21

Sony, Warner Music Group, EMI and Universal quick they are to pounce. As mentioned, sholdn't ANY URL - such as those on sites associated with the bove rats, get the same treament? Strange world isn't it..tell the police where a thief is and they charge you for theft. Or what about concrete that is used to advertise illegal raves; does that mean that the owner is thus charged for holding late-night venues without a license? Get real. The next stage in thought policing takes seed..

1617.7.2005 0:31

Geese, what is a "guy" supposed to do against the bottomless pockets of all those record companies. They picked lamb and just made and example of him because there was no way he could win. With the lawyers they can afford they could have convinced a judge that this dude posting picture of his family was some how illegal. I think if they are going to exercise this to it's full mesure, then every single search engine shoudl be sued to? They are after all providing links to the same information.... Now I am just being silly

1717.7.2005 5:01

Mitch B. Bainwol (CEO of RIAA). Anybody got an address for this short balding fat guy? Oops! don't answer that. Your actions could be construed as "aiding and abetting". Ha! I crack myself up. He probably goes to bed at night. Rolls over and says, "Robin, we took a big bite outta crime in Gothem today". What a dweeb.

1817.7.2005 5:19

excuse my ignorance..but doesn't this website go beyond offering links..doesn't it even offer downloads of software to rip and burn Commercial DVD's? I don't understand why this site hasn't been closed down. All you CEO's and such can you answer that question? Netflix's new slogan: "we ship em, so you can rip em, Burn em and return em" What-a-ya think? clever? :) someone should suggest it to them.

1917.7.2005 17:01

its a shame we can not get everybody in the world that has ever downloaded a song or movie to stop buying dvds, albums or going to the movies, just for a month or so, watch the record labels and production companies change their minds on piracy. everybody with a computer has at some point illegally downloaded something meaning everyone is or has been a potential target for the RIAA or mpaa, we should be fighting back by boycotting their overpriced products.

2017.7.2005 17:04

finetco this site hasnt been shut down becuse it is based in a country where piracy laws are more lax. they cant be touched so far.

2117.7.2005 17:09

Although the report is that music sales are up, movie sales are down nearly 18 percent. I do not buy music or movies or go to the theatre anymore. Since the RIAA and the MPAA likes to sue 12 year old girls, 85 year old women who don't even have computers, even dead people.. They are going to have to get their next Lamborgini without my help... Before anyone says that not buying their products will hurt the little guy, remember that the entertainment industry loves to call for a boycott against any industry that doesn't fit their view of how the world should be and they do not care how many "little people" get ran over in the proccess.....Besides, my life is not dependant on them, but their's is dependant on people such as me.....

2218.7.2005 10:01

DUfas, I second that comment! "Before anyone says that not buying their products will hurt the little guy, remember that the entertainment industry loves to call for a boycott against any industry that doesn't fit their view of how the world should be and they do not care how many "little people" get ran over in the proccess.....Besides, my life is not dependant on them, but their's is dependant on people such as me..... " I also heard the same in regards to the Movie industry stating their sales are down, could it be they are producing crap? I have seen alot of remakes as of late, they must be running out of ideas or people to rip their ideas off of. I agree that all should stop buying their crap and see how far they get without their customers. Free the music I say! Starcruiser

2318.7.2005 11:11

The remake syndrome is in full swing. 4 out of 5 movies lately have been remakes of some good, older movie. The original [older] movie was usually a winner. The remake usually was a dis-jointed story that was similar to the original with the addition of a truck load of special effects. I think Hollywood beleives that computer graphics can carry anything they decide to make. They seem to have forgotten the special effects are suppose to enhance a good story line and not be tha only reason for a movie. An arguement for the movie studio's case could be that the advent of 250 plus TV channels will certainly create a drain on the talent pool. I think that even I would rather be an employee of a TV network and make good wages all year around instead of waiting for some studio to call me up for a month or two's work, then have to set around for another four or five months until the studio calls me up again. The old studio system where everybody was under contract [read under studio's control..] has died The studio system was good for money but one could kiss their personal life goodbye.....

2418.7.2005 11:46

Thanks tin23 for answering my question. Some might of shied away from it thinking I was sympathetic to the movie/music industry. I agree about the boycotting comment you made earlier. Isn't it funny how the biggest pirates out there are so afraid of being pirated themselves. Look at Bill Gates (One of the bigest Pirates of silicon Valley) he raped and pillaged Apple computer (stole windows operating system from them) and of course Apple stole the Mouse directly from Xerox. Just look at his (Bill Gates') stepped up efforts to curb "piracy" of Microsoft's software and operating systems. Look at the crybaby wimpering about how people are Stealing from him. There is not one single person out there copying software without buying it, that could be accused of doing as much damage to a company as Bill Gates has done to Apple Computer by his pirating activities of the past. His entire wealth almost has been based on piracy. Although the world has forgiven him for that, he wouldn't hesitate for a second to put some little guy in jail for copying his software or helping others copy it without paying for it. Now that is typical of many of the Pirates who have made it to the top of these entertainment conglomerates. CRYBABYS!!

2519.7.2005 8:38

There is only ever one original of anything and nothing original has surfaced in the past 50 years. Everything today is either borrowed, stolen, re-invented from an original idea. Originaltiy is squashed by those who have a vested interest in keeping the status quo and Governments who supports those vested interests. A good example is we are driving around in vehicles that are based on a designed that is over 100 years old. Nothing better has come to surface in 100 years??????? Todays computers run on technology that has way passed it's use by date. The net is struggling on an system designed back in the 50's. Will w ever bit the bullets and move forward. I doubt, well not until the existing systems just crumble in a heap ala Roman Empire.

2621.7.2005 5:02

Anyone give any thought to the products we all buy to make back ups. Sony makes disks for burning. Did they think that the disks were being used as coasters? The companies that produce products for backing up are just as much to blame as this guy for posting free mp3 sites. I don't think he is wrong. Is Sony going to sue itself? The music industry has been putting out garbage for years and expecting people to put out good money. They are the creators of their own problem.

2721.7.2005 11:03

I have decided to buy a tin whistle, sit on a street corner and play songs. Then wait till I get my ass sued off for breaking a load of copywrite laws. And why aren't schools, major events and a whole bunch of folk paying royalties for singing that anthem, you know the one about the land of the FREE.

2821.7.2005 15:43

In alot of places, judges are elected. Would you go against a billion dollar industry because it's right. Yeah all say you would, but when the billion dollar industry suddenly gives a million $ donation to your rival on your next campaign and you find yourself replaced as judge, you now have to find another job. It's self preservation for these judges too, they're not just idealists on riaa's side. Oh and to the guy that said bill gates stole windows from apple, that's true, except that apple stole it from xerox first. That's why apple lost the lawsuit againt Billy Boy.

2921.7.2005 22:48

PcGuru I apppreciated your comments acknowledging my earlier post. About The heads of these big companies being the bigest pirates of all. You mentioned that Jobs (Apple) Stole windows from Xerox. If this is true it just adds to what I am saying about the whining of these pirates that smaller pirates then themselves are stealing from them. Doesn't matter if its Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, Xerox. the Music or the Movie conglomerates doing the whining I have no sympathy for any of them. However FYI PCGuru and for the benefit of the posters here: Here is a quote from someone with specific insight on the Theivery of the Big guys... "Again, USPTO (5:31pm EST Tue Jan 13 2004) If anyone has doubts about a company's or individual's innovation, you can do an assignee search at USPTO.GOV Last year's corporate winner was IBM. Their Power5 lead only got 53 patents that year, down from 78 patents the prior year. And really we need to define "stealing." To a PeeCee person, buying something can be "stealing," such as when Apple paid Xerox for some GUI developments. (N.B. that Apple was investigating GUIs years before the Xerox deal, and invented much more than they bought: such elementary things as double-clicking, overlapping windows, and pull-down menus are Apple's innovations, not Xerox PARC's) But appropriating technology without paying for it is, to these sad imbeciles, "innovation" or "competition," or some other euphemism they use to hide their vendor's corporate malfeasance and their own intellectual bankruptcy." - by Unix Daemon

304.9.2005 5:37

OK so COTUSA (Citizen Of The USA) law operates here so it's now time for Aussies start bringing in those banned computer games and their favourite (but banned) dodgey pr0n. If it's illegal to do something in Australia such that you get extradited to the USA, then using my own perverse logic if anything is legal over there it must be legal here. prove me wrong philip ruddock (he's the ineffectual Attorney General who set up all of the australian concentration camps for "illegal" immmigrants)

314.9.2005 9:29

borhan9 AND Alien13 i presume you'll have nothing to do now your cricket players aren't worth watching, LOL The ashes will be won by Sunday i don't think it will trail into monday :P @ borhan9, nice suggestion about stopping mp3s and filesharin :P

324.9.2005 13:35

@J-Kwon Well firstly to the mp3 suggestion.... I feel Red tape is makin this 2 complicated for people today they dont know if they can move left or right, there not sure what is legal and what is not... The only reason we will not c this happening soon... But eventually it will happen is cause the governments at this time do not c any benifits at givin in and workin 2gether... The day will will come though... that things will b soooooooo badddddddd that they have no choice.... (General comment, that will effect not just computers and tech) sorry just my 2 cents...

Edited by DVDBack23

"the mediocre teacher tells. the good teacher explains. the superior teacher demonstrates. the great teacher inspires."- William Aruthur Ward

334.9.2005 14:15

Oh well, ya win some, ya lose some :)

My Sig.. By ME!

Join us on ad_buddies-
My site -
Mine and DVDback23's Forum -

344.9.2005 14:20

Alien are you refering to the cricket?

354.9.2005 14:21

Yes, yes i am :)

My Sig.. By ME!

Join us on ad_buddies-
My site -
Mine and DVDback23's Forum -

364.9.2005 14:38

Yes but Ricky and Shane wouldn't want a negative approach to their nations game. I think they still think they have it in the bag and their gonna save the ashes LOL you may have the best team in the world but you dont have the most ambitious team in the world :P

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Sep 2005 @ 14:39

374.9.2005 14:55

Yes, i agree with you there. there are not many cricket watches i know.

My Sig.. By ME!

Join us on ad_buddies-
My site -
Mine and DVDback23's Forum -

384.9.2005 14:58

I believe Kinza takes an intrest in the sport aswell :P

394.9.2005 15:00

Does she, i think i read somewhere she does, not sure tho.

My Sig.. By ME!

Join us on ad_buddies-
My site -
Mine and DVDback23's Forum -

404.9.2005 18:23

FYI Guys and girls were goin off topic here b careful :) just a note :) if u wanna discuss this u can post it in my thread i created b4 about australia here

Edited by DVDBack23

"the mediocre teacher tells. the good teacher explains. the superior teacher demonstrates. the great teacher inspires."- William Aruthur Ward

412.10.2005 22:38

did the guy get sued or what and how did he get caught?

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive