High Court ruling clears iiNet of authorisation of copyright infringement, but the battle is far from over

The High Court of Australia was unanimous today in finding that internet service provider, iiNet, could not be held responsible for the unauthorised file sharing of their subscribers under the doctrine of authorisation of copyright infringement in Australia.

The Australian Digital Alliance, the peak body representing copyright users and innovators in Australia, filed to intervene in the proceedings on behalf of libraries, universities, and other intermediaries providing internet services.

“As a copyright advocacy body, we’re very happy with the High Court’s decision. The High Court has delivered a strong and practical judgment on the scope of authorisation liability in Australia,” says Australian Digital Alliance Chairman, Derek Whitehead OAM.

However, Chairman of the ADA Derek Whitehead doesn’t think the battle between content industries and ISPs is over yet.

In their ruling, the High Court left open the possibility of a targeted legislative scheme to address unauthorised file sharing issues.

Whitehead cautions that any legislative response to the High Court ruling must be carefully balanced and informed by the needs of consumers, as well as the content industries and ISPs.

“The Attorney-General’s Department has been working on an industry solution with the ISPs and content industries for some time. Consumers should be included in these discussions, because consumers, as end users of copyright material stand to be greatest affected by any legislative or industry outcome.”

The ADA encourages the Government to take wide consultation on this issue, and to ensure that consumer representatives are brought into the discussions.

 “A fundamental issue to be taken into account in any legislative or industry response is the lack of legitimate content available to consumers in Australia. More needs to be done to make content available in an affordable and accessible way.”


The Australian Digital Alliance is the peak body for copyright users and innovators, advocating for balanced copyright reform in Australia.

For interviews, contact Derek Whitehead: ph (03) 9214-8333 mobile 0412 996 025

For other inquiries, contact Ellen Broad: ph (02) 6262 1666 mobile 0434 278 910


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