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Saturday, 07 November 2009 08:58

We're not going to do AFACT's job for them: iiNet

Australia's third largest ISP iiNet chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby has admitted in Federal Court to dismissing AFACT allegations of iiNet customer copyright infringement, saying, "we were not going to do AFACT's job for them."

Dalby has said that after his impressions of AFACT notices alleging copyright infringement he could not see any iiNet ability or obligation to act.

"I had formed a clear opinion that we were not able to comply [with AFACT's wish to link alleged offending IP addresses to customer accounts] and it did not matter what other information was supplied," said Dalby.

"We did not think it was our job to do AFACT's job for them and it would be a waste of resources."

Tony Bannon QC of the AFACT bench alleged that iiNet understood the claims of AFACT and iiNet's legal and technical ability to act on AFACT notices.

Dalby agreed that iiNet was technically able to link IP addresses from AFACT notices to customer accounts, though denied they had a legal right to do so without a court order.

"The IP address leads to a username from an account which can then be used to link them to a customer account," said Dalby.

"But that does not identify the user of the service."

Dalby brought up the example of misleading IP address information stemming from a person piggybacking on another's wireless router to use their internet connection for copyright infringing activity. In this case, the individual customer would not be identifiable as the offender.

Bannon countered this by reciting iiNet's Customer Relations Agreement that states that the customer is responsible for the security of their own connection.

The Telecommunications Act was once again brought into the debate when Bannon alleged iiNet was face with no difficulty in linking IP addresses to customer accounts based on the Act, to which Dalby agreed.

When Dalby disputed the merit of AFACT notices and said that "it would help if AFACT were clearer in the notices," Bannon suggested that iiNet correspondence that were examined in court indicated no interest on iiNet's part to receive or consider more AFACT information.

"Not a sentence, a word, or a smidgen of a paragraph," said Bannon.

The end of Dalby's cross examination has marked the ending of the presentation of evidence, and the court has adjourned until Monday, November 9 in the Federal Court.

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