Internet piracy ruling challenged

U.S. and Australian movie and television studios are challenging a landmark court ruling that an Internet service provider cannot be held accountable for illegal movie downloads by its customers.

In February, a full Australian court upheld a judge’s decision that Internet provider iiNet Ltd. had not authorized copyright infringements by customers who downloaded thousands of pirated movies.

A lawyer for a group of 34 movie companies, Tony Bannon, told an appeal court Wednesday that iiNet had authorized the copyright violations by failing to take reasonable steps to prevent them.

The movie companies include the Australian branches of Hollywood studios Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox.

The hearing continues Thursday.

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Internet piracy ruling challenged