The High Court will hear a landmark case on the liability of internet service providers for authorising the copyright infringements of their customers.

The High Court today granted special leave to appeal from the Full Federal Court’s decision in Roadshow Films Pty Limited v iiNet Limited [2011] FCAFC 23.  The Full Federal Court upheld Justice Cowdroy’s 2010 decision that iiNet was not liable for authorising the copyright infringements of its customers.  

One of the key issues to be considered by the High Court is whether an ISP such as iiNet is required to take steps to prevent the copyright infringements of its customers, and if so, what would constitute reasonable steps.  Although iiNet was not found to be liable for copyright infringement, the Full Federal Court found that an ISP could in some circumstances be liable for authorising the infringements of its customers.

Justices French and Crennan heard the application.

The High Court case will be watched with keen interest in Australia and around the world, where the role of internet service providers everywhere in preventing copyright infringement is a highly contentious issue. 

See our earlier post about the Full Federal Court decision here and our post about the original decision here

Watch this space for further updates about the High Court appeal.