The studios — including Disney, Universal, Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros and Fox — had attempted to stop customers of local Internet service provider iiNet from using BitTorrent software to illegally download movies. The High Court in Oz upheld previous rulings that iiNet wasn’t responsible for the piracy, dismissing the appeal unanimously. In a summary of its judgment, the court said iiNet had “no direct technical power to prevent its customers from using the BitTorrent system to infringe copyright in the appellants’ films.” Led by Village Roadshow’s Roadshow Films, the studios initially filed suit in 2008 and were appealing earlier decisions and seeking damages including royalties on illegally downloaded movies, Bloomberg notes. This is not the end of the road, however, as it’s expected more ISPs will be targeted. The Sydney Morning Herald points out that the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), which has been representing the studios, is already pressuring the government to change copyright laws. On behalf of the film and TV business, AFACT said in a statement: “Today’s decision by the High Court exposes the failure of copyright law to keep pace with the online environment and the need for Government to act.” Content owners want ISPs to be obliged to send warning notices and cut off customers who are involved in copyright infringement.

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