The IPKat learns from Andrew Fuller that the Australian Full Federal Court yesterday confirmed a finding of infringement by authorising copyright infringement against the owners of a file-sharing website, MP3s4FREE.com, an ISP and their respective directors.
The court found that
"Mr Cooper [the director of MP3s4FREE] had power to prevent the communication of copyright sound recordings to the public in Australia via his website…. He had that power because he was responsible for creating and maintaining his MP3s4FREE website….It was not reasonably open to Mr Cooper to claim mere indifference to the use internet users made of the website”.Moreover,
“E-Talk [the ISP] countenanced the infringing downloading by internet users who visited the website that it hosted.”Likewise, the ISP’s director had failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the infringement.
The IPKat is a little worried by this decision – is it imputing to ISPs knowledge of everything on the websites that they host? If so, it place a policing burden on ISPs, and therefore have a chilling effect on the internet.