Australian Internet Industry Association to develop copyright guide for courts

Australia’s peak internet industry body has moved rapidly to protect its members from liability for online piracy following the Federal Court’s latest ruling in a landmark copyright trial.The Internet Industry Association (IIA) has fast-tracked development of an industry code in order to provide courts with guidance on what steps ISPs should take in response to copyright infringement claims. see:IIA to develop industry code on copyright
The Internet Industry Association (IIA) has revealed it will produce an industry code defining the industry’s obligations to follow up on copyright claims.The code has been planned in the wake of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft’s (AFACT’s) dismissed appeal against the landmark iiNet court judgement. This ruling indicates that providers could be held responsible for piracy by its users in the future. starts on ISP piracy code of practice
The organisation representing Australia’s internet industry today revealed it would “immediately” start working on a new industry code of practice to detail internet service and hosting providers’ rights and obligations when dealing with alleged copyright infringements by their users. Fastracks Industry Copyright Code [news release]
In the wake of the landmark iiNet appeal decision, the Internet Industry Association today announced it would immediately start work on an industry code of practice for internet intermediaries, including ISPs, search, hosting and social media providers.IIA chief executive, Peter Coroneos explained the basis of the IIA’s annoucement: “Having closely reviewed the recent decision of the Full Federal Court, we’ve concluded it’s both necessary and appropriate to develop a code of practice to give a wider range of internet intermediaries greater certainty around their legal rights and obligations. The iiNet case has provided us with welcome guidance on where responsibilities should begin and end, but falls short in defining reasonable steps intermediaries should take in responding to allegations of infringement by their users. The Code will address this gap.”Mr Coroneos said he hoped this renewed push would also provide a stimulus for the development of new business models aimed at giving Australian internet users in Australia access to a wider range of legal, affordable, desirable content.”Market failure remains a core contributor to the infringement problem. If users have access to more and better content, when, where and in the form they choose to consume it, and at a realistic price, we’re quite confident the motivation for infringement will decline. We certainly don’t condone the infringement of copyright – but internet users need attractive, lawful alternatives if we are to see positive behavioural change. There’s no reason why Australia shouldn’t be leading the way here.”In tandem with Code development, the IIA will renew its legislative push to have the safe harbours in the current Copyright Act extended to cover intermediaries beyond carriage service providers.”The 2005 (US/Australia Free Trade Agreement) amendments to the Act failed to deliver Australia equivalent protections that exist under US law regarding who is eligible for safe harbour protection. Here, it is only carriage service providers such as ISPs who qualify,” said Mr Coroneos.”This has left search providers, social network media, universities, auction sites, hosting and cloud services, corporate networks and others exposed to potential liability for the infringing acts of their users.””This serious omission impacts on the risk position of such players and impedes innovation and investment in the digital economy. We are therefore grateful the Federal Attorney-General has recently reopened consideration of this area and we will be making the appropriate representations as a matter of priority.”

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