Friday, 05 August 2016 11:49

Anti-piracy body's fund cutbacks lead to lawsuit

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The Australian Screen Association, formerly known as the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, has been sued by its former managing director Mark Day.

Day was fired by the ASA when he was on sick leave in November 2015, with director Mike Ellis' decision to sack Day coming soon after ASA bankroller, the Motion Picture Association of America, decided to reduce its funding to the Australian organisation.

The MPAA is the main lobby group for the major Hollywood studios and has bankrolled anti-piracy lawsuits in Australia. The best known of these was the case it launched through AFACT against the ISP iiNet.

iiNet won that case and a subsequent appeal. When AFACT went to the High Court, the internet service provider prevailed again.

According to a published report, Day is seeking damages for economic loss, psychological injury, pain, suffering, humiliation, and damage to his professional reputation.

The MPAA has also decided to cut funding to its UK front, the Federation Against Copyright Theft, by the end of the year.

Instead the MPAA is increasing financing to a larger hub that focuses on Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

AFACT, which was set up in 2004, changed its name to ASA in 2014.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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