He added: "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."
The IIA's initiative was welcomed by the movie studios' representative body, AFACT, which issued a statement saying: "The IIA, on behalf of its members, has finally recognised that ISPs must play a role in preventing online copyright infringement. We said last week following the judgement of the full Federal Court that its decision provided a roadmap for ISPs to deal with repeat infringers on their network. The IIA have agreed that the judgement offers guidance."
Any industry code would, indirectly, have some legal standing. In the wake of the initial iiNet judgement Blake Dawson lawyers Lisa Ritson and Anita Cade commented: "The Copyright Act has since 2001 required a court considering the question of authorisation liability [for breach of copyright] to consider whether the person complied with any 'relevant industry code'...We can...expect copyright owners to use the case as leverage in lobbying government for the introduction of a code of practice for ISPs."
The issue of a copyright code has long been a source of friction between IIA and AFACT. AFACT claimed that it had tried without success to develop a copyright code of conduct for ISPs with the IIA in 2007. Coroneos told Exchange at the time that IIA had engaged in the discussions in good faith but AFACT had failed to respond to the concerns it had raised.
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