A leaked cable between the US and the Australian governments has shown how far the land of the fee is having its foreign policy dictated to it by Big Content.
The Canberra Wikileaks cables, found by Torrent Freak revealed the US Embassy blessed a conspiracy by Hollywood studios to hit an Australian communications company iiNet through the local court system.
The big idea was to create a binding common law precedent which would make ISPs responsible for the unauthorised file sharing of their customers.
Big Content selected Australia and iiNet, carefully. If it managed to set a precedent in Australia, then it would be influential in other Commonwealth countries.
Telstra had too many legal resources to see off such a complaint so, iiNet was gauged the perfect candidate.
The US embassy cables noted that the case was filed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and its international affiliate, the Motion Picture Association (MPA), but neither wanted the fact to be broadcasted.
The case was bought by the local Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT). It is a consortium of American movie studios with token Australian representation, began legal action against iiNet in November, 2008.
The US Embassy, in Canberra wrote that it would monitor this case see whether or not the ‘AFACT vs. the local ISP’ featured attraction spawns a ‘giant American bullies vs. little Aussie battlers’ sequel.”
As it turned out the Americans and MPA and US Embassy badly misjudged their target and found iiNet put up the legal fight of their lives. AFACT was routed in every court in the land.