The trial in the Australian recorded music industry's case against Internet service provider Swiftel began April 6 in the Federal Magistrates Court.

SYDNEY -- The trial in the Australian recorded music industry's case against Internet service provider Swiftel began April 6 in the Federal Magistrates Court.

Leading labels are alleging that Swiftel infringed their copyrights by hosting and maintaining two servers -- referred to as "Torrent Webpages" -- and the Web site Archie's Hub, which deployed BitTorrent technology. BitTorrent allows for high-speed download of large files.

The labels claim that their investigation into Swiftel revealed that users had downloaded unauthorized music videos by Guns N' Roses, Pearl Jam, Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams, along with TV shows and movies.

The Music Industry Piracy Investigation unit attempted to obtain copies of activity logs in a raid of the ISP's Perth offices on March 10. MIPI conducted the raid under a so-called Anton Piller civil search warrant.

The labels' legal representatives on April 6 argued that the ISP has not supplied adequate evidence for the case. The industry's lawyer, John Hennessy SC, asserted that the sole log file handed over had been "manipulated."

At a March 16 preliminary court hearing, the ISP was ordered to surrender evidence that had not been obtained during the raid.

Hennessy told the Sydney court that Swiftel stated that traffic had not been recorded at the sites for a few weeks before the raid. However, the labels noted that a MIPI employee was able to download music videos from the site on March 6.

Swiftel's legal representative Stephen Burley SC said he had "grave reservations" about the Anton Piller order.

First, he claimed that MIPI did not have the authority to check Swiftel's data, so any information regarding infringement would not be admissible.

Second, under changes to the copyright law in Australia as a result of the Australian-United States Free Trade Agreement that went into effect in January, Australia is bound to follow the U.S. ruling that ISPs are not liable for infringement by their customers.