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Disney, Viacom Lose Bid to Hold Internet Provider Liable For Users' Piracy

Walt Disney Co. and Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures are among Hollywood's biggest movie studios that lost a piracy lawsuit in Australia as an appeals court upheld a ruling that a local internet provider wasn't responsible for customers illegally downloading films.

The Federal Court of Australia Full Court, in a two-one decision, today upheld Judge Dennis Cowdroy's Feb. 4, 2010, verdict that vindicated iiNet Ltd. The studios can appeal the ruling to the country's High Court and a notice must be filed within 28 days, unless an extension is sought.

Village Roadshow Ltd.'s Roadshow Films led the companies trying to stop iiNet customers from using BitTorrent software to illegally download copyrighted films, in a precedent-setting case for all Internet providers in Australia. A ruling in the studios' favor would have made all Internet providers liable for their customers' conduct.

Read the complete Bloomberg story, "Disney, Viacom Lose Bid to Hold Internet Provider Liable For Users' Piracy."

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