As predicted by industry members, Hollywood's ongoing battle against iiNet has finally reached the High Court.
On the final day of a 28-day period in which to lodge an appeal, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) announced yesterday (24 March) that it has sought leave to appeal a February ruling by the full bench of the Federal Court in favour of iiNet.
According to AFACT - the organisation representing the Australian and US film companies behind the action launched back in 2008 - the film companies will seek to overturn the ruling that iiNet did not authorise acts of copyright infringement.
"The Full Federal Court unanimously found that iiNet had the power to prevent the infringements of its users from occurring and that there were reasonable steps it could have taken, including issuing warnings," said AFACT executive director Neil Gane.
"However, two judges of the Full Court went on to find that iiNet had not authorised the infringements of its users and that is what we are appealing. We say they did not apply the legal test of authorisation correctly."
According to Gane, AFACT will also argue that the court's approach with respect to iiNet's knowledge of copyright infringement was incorrect.
"In response to the Full Court's conclusion that iiNet did not have sufficient knowledge of the infringements to authorise them, the film companies will argue that iiNet did have sufficient knowledge, that it admitted the acts of infringement and that its CEO admitted on the stand that the evidence was 'compelling'."
Responding to the news that AFACT has sought leave to appeal, iiNet's chief executive officer Michael Malone said that another court challenge will not stop illegal downloading and that legal proceedings are not the solution to the issue of copyright infringement.
"It's time for the film industry and copyright holders to work with the industry to make their content legitimately available," Malone said.