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Australia's Oldest ISP Sued For Profiting From File Sharing

by Mary Swire, for LawAndTax-News.com, Hong Kong

24 October 2003


It emerged this week that Australia's oldest internet service provider, ComCen Internet Services (which trades as E-talk Communications) is being sued by the country's record industry for profiting from illegal file sharing undertaken by its users.

According to reports in the national media, the firm is being sued by Universal Music Australia, EMI Music Australia, Sony Music Entertainment (Australia), Warner Music (Australia), BMG Australia, and Festival Records, following an 11 month investigation into file sharing conducted by Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI).

The case centres on the mp3s4free.net website, owned by Stephen Cooper, who reportedly failed to attend the federal court in Sydney on Tuesday.

In his affadavit, MIPI manager, Michael Speck explained the reasoning behind naming the ISP as a respondent in the case, apparently the first of its kind:

"In my experience investigating the revenue structure of websites such as [mp3s4free.net], the ISP hosting the website stands to benefit economically from the increased consumption of bandwidth that would result from an increase in the flow of traffic to the web site and an increase in the number of sound recordings downloaded by visitors to the web site due to the large size of music files."


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