Stilgherrian writes at Crikey: iiTrial: ISPs not responsible for users’ copyright infringement
Film industry claims that iiNet, Australia’s third-largest internet service provider, was responsible for its users’ illegal file sharing were dismissed. [...]
“I understand this is the first Australian trial to be twittered or tweeted,” Justice Cowdroy said. “It seems rather fitting for a copyright trial involving the internet.” [...]
“The law recognises no positive obligation on any person to protect the copyright of another,” Justice Cowdroy said. “The law only recognises a prohibition on the doing of copyright acts without the licence of the copyright owner or exclusive licensee, or the authorisation of those acts.”
Delimiter: Judge: iiNet did not authorise infringement
Delimiter: Video: iiNet and AFACT face the media
The full judgement at Austlii: Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Limited (includes summary) (No. 3)  FCA 24 (4 February 2010)
A couple of excerpts from the judgement:
14. Thirdly, I find that iiNet simply cannot be seen as sanctioning, approving or countenancing copyright infringement. The requisite element of favouring infringement on the evidence simply does not exist. The evidence establishes that iiNet has done no more than to provide an internet service to its users. This can be clearly contrasted with the respondents in the Cooper and Kazaa proceedings, in which the respondents intended copyright infringements to occur, and in circumstances where the website and software respectively were deliberately structured to achieve this result. [...]
19. The result of this proceeding will disappoint the applicants. The evidence establishes that copyright infringement of the applicants’ films is occurring on a large scale, and I infer that such infringements are occurring worldwide. However, such fact does not necessitate or compel, and can never necessitate or compel, a finding of authorisation, merely because it is felt that ‘something must be done’ to stop the infringements. An ISP such as iiNet provides a legitimate communication facility which is neither intended nor designed to infringe copyright. It is only by means of the application of the BitTorrent system that copyright infringements are enabled, although it must be recognised that the BitTorrent system can be used for legitimate purposes as well. iiNet is not responsible if an iiNet user chooses to make use of that system to bring about copyright infringement.
20. The law recognises no positive obligation on any person to protect the copyright of another. The law only recognises a prohibition on the doing of copyright acts without the licence of the copyright owner or exclusive licensee, or the authorisation of those acts. In the circumstances outlined above and discussed in greater detail in my judgment, it is impossible to conclude that iiNet has authorised copyright infringement.