Internet service providers (ISPs) have failed to win over content groups to a new proposed copyright-infringement notice scheme aimed at reducing incidence of piracy.
The proposal, released by the Communications Alliance, Telstra, Optus, iiNet, Internode and Primus last week, would see an ISP provide one education notice, three warning notices and one discovery notice to customers alleged to have infringed on copyright by the copyright holder, and, if a customer continued to infringe after this, the ISPs would tell the rights holder, which may then decide to apply for a subpoena to get access to the customer's details for legal action.
Although lawyers suggest that such a system may shield ISPs from legal action from content owners — such as the ongoing dispute between iiNet and the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) — it is reliant on those content owners taking part for it to be successful.
The Australian Content Industry Group (ACIG), which represents organisations such as the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA), Microsoft, the Business Software Alliance (BSA), Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) and the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), has yet to be convinced of the benefits of the ISPs' proposal, saying in a statement that the system does not balance the process between ISPs and content owners.
"The ACIG and its members had been working hard to focus on the best possible solution to address the continuing and growing damage which internet piracy has on content owners. ACIG does not think the scheme proposed by Communications Alliance and its members creates a balanced process, and it falls well short of the expectations we had had for an open, balanced and fair solution," ACIG spokesperson Vanessa Hutley said.
"We continue to hope that we can engage in positive discussions to bring about a solution to this important issue."
The lobby group has previously advocated a US-style system (PDF) that would see repeat infringers have their accounts suspended for a period of time.
Two of the members of the ACIG — ARIA and the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA) — will argue tomorrow afternoon in the High Court in favour of AFACT's case against iiNet over authorising copyright infringement. AFACT itself has thus far declined to comment on the proposed piracy model, instead focusing on this week's landmark court case.