WikiLeaks: MPAA behind Aussie ISP lawsuit (but don’t tell anybody)
As a crucial Australian copyright lawsuit goes to its High Court for consideration, a new WikiLeaks cable from the US State Department suggests that the force behind the action is anything but local. On the surface, it appears that the suit against iiNet—on the grounds that the country’s third biggest ISP hasn’t done enough to crack down on illegal file sharers—is an Australian content initiative. But according to the cable, the prime mover behind the suit is actually the Motion Picture Association of America, through the Motion Picture Association, its international arm.
The MPA, “does not want that fact to be broadcasted,” the 2008 communiqué from then Ambassador Robert D. McCallum Jr. explained. “MPAA prefers that its leading role not be made public,” the summary of the case added, to dodge the impression that it is “just Hollywood ‘bullying some poor little Australian ISP’.”
This revelation, along with earlier leaks, once again raises a disturbing question. How far are the US State Department and US-based content industries intruding into the IP affairs of other countries—particularly members of The Commonwealth?