Internet service provider (ISP) iiNet has accused the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) of lying.

The company released a statement indicating AFACT’s suggestions that ISPs are refusing to negotiate the availability of content online are completely untrue.

“Contrary to the false claims made today by AFACT, iiNet and other ISPs have always been ready to negotiate online content matters with copyright holders,” said the statement.

The spat is the latest in a long running dispute between the two, intensifying when iiNet was facing court action in late 2009.

The ISP has countered the AFACT claims by asserting the association is not part of the solution, but hindering the process of developing mutually beneficial business relationships.

iiNet’s statement has also pointed to the fact that, having lost comprehensively in the Federal Court and continually refused to accept offers to have constructive discussions, AFACT’s latest claims are well short of the facts and continue their uncooperative and unproductive approach.

“The internet industry and copyright holders had been in detailed discussions for a number of years, before AFACT and its executive director, Adrianne Pecotic, called off negotiations in August 2007 to commence their unsuccessful legal proceedings against iiNet in the Federal Court. In fact, a number of Australian ISPs including iiNet have successfully negotiated with rights holders for a range of online rights such as Village Roadshow, Fox Sports and Bloomberg.”

According to the statement, iiNet ‘continues to sponsor and participate in the Internet Industry Association’s Synergy events, the major business development roundtable with leading ISPs and leading content owners’.

“It is clear that in an election year AFACT is now seeking to force an unworkable political solution rather than work with the internet industry to develop a practical and commercial outcome that protects and benefits copyright holders,” said the statement.