Who's right on copyright?

Who's right on copyright?

Summary: As we await the ruling of the High Court on the iiNet-AFACT case, the internet industry and rights holders are battling it out to find an equitable solution to a growing problem.

TOPICS: Piracy, Security, Telcos

As we await the ruling of the High Court on the iiNet-AFACT case, the internet industry and rights holders are battling it out to find an equitable solution to a growing problem.

As I highlighted on ZDNet Australia earlier this week, file sharing, the tool of choice for many copyright violators, is more than twice as prevalent in Australia than it is in the US. It's a sign that copyright theft is a significant issue in Australia.

The rights holders and ISPs each have a vested interest in reaching a sensible approach to tackling the problem — the rights holders want to reduce losses from theft, whilst the ISPs will benefit from the surety of an agreed approach that will remove the threat of future legal action.

Unfortunately, the two sides seem to be some way off reaching agreement on what to do about it. In this edition of Twisted Wire, John Stanton, CEO of the Communications Alliance, talks about the recommended approach from the ISPs. Vanessa Hutley, CEO of Music Industry Piracy Investigations, explains why the proposal hasn't been welcomed by the rights holders.

As you'll hear, it's a complex issue, and there's no straightforward answer. But an answer has to be found.

Can you add to the debate? Leave your suggestions on the Twisted Wire feedback line — (02) 9304 5198.

Running time: 36 minutes, 25 seconds.

Topics: Piracy, Security, Telcos


Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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  • Yes. there is.. theres centently a straigt foward answer.

    All Hollywood have to to be bukle up, and see the light at the end of the tunnel. They digging their feet in deep, but people will just pirate anyway.

    The RIAA was in this exact situation, not long ago. and they saw the sign. Give peopple want they want. Otherwise, it will turn ugly.

    Now its the movie industy's turn.
  • But does availability really fix the problem? Music is available everywhere, but still the piracy remains.
    • I mainly listen to European music and it isn't readily available digitally. Australian sites like Bigpond music don't have it all so I can't buy it legally(digital version). They are sometimes available on iTunes but I would never buy anything off there as I don't support Nazi's....erm I mean Apple.

      I sometimes download an album so I can use it on my computer and then just buy it at JB to support the artist but never actually use the CD.
    • I disagree Phil. It's a bit simple to assert that music is available everywhere. The lossy formats currently available don't suit every one. Admittedly the bulk of the market don't care however personally I would still argue that availability is still an issue.

      This "billions in losses" is a furphy also. A download does not equate to a lose of a sale. In some cases its actually the opposite.

      If content providers and rights holders want to understand why the consumer goes elsewhere they need only look at their business model which insists on region pricing, format / platform lock ins and intrusive DRM.
  • The market has changed: time the film industry took their blindfolds off and faced the fact that they are in a new age and need new and fair distribution models. Blu-ray failure shows propping up old distribution modes is failing. Best they start taking on models like Apple's App store, Netflix and other digital market places. Get a digital model working for the right price, then people will stop putting effort into pirating when the cost of purchase and/or rental along with reasonable viewing terms is easier than ripping, burning and sharing.
  • Well I guess if you train people to be pirates that is what they are going to do. The movie industry has done everything it can to control and monopolise the distribution of their product so they could get the last quarter cent of profit out of it. It isn't anything new or restricted to Australia. The movie industry record in the USA doesn't show them to be any different to here. The Government had to change the Copyright Act so we could copy what we had purchased from one device to another and also allow us to circumvent region codes.

    If the piracy of material is as bad in Australia as AFACT claims it is because they have largely contributed to encouraging the practice. To make matters worse AFACT manage to come up with reports about piracy that the majority of people laugh at because the figures are so inflated.

    It is pretty simple logic that if what you want is easily obtainable and at a competitive price you will buy it. It is already happening in the music industry.

    Will you ever stop piracy? Yes; it will be on the same day you stop shoplifting and stealing.

    I must say that I have a lot of sympathy for the Swiss position of; if you buy a copy then you can lend it to whoever you want. They think transfering stuff by P2P is perfectly reasonable it seems from recent reports..
  • Its not abut fixing the problem, as its clear, that parth is long gone. Its all for the money the movie industrys want. If it WAS just about piracy, how come the RIAA isn't doing this to anymore ?? On their site, they even link you to legal sites, (Amazon mp3, Yahoo Music .etc)

    True, with music, its available everywhere, but you can also buy the tracks (and only the tracks) you like (in addition, in most cases) to albums. So people have a wide choice. Get only the tracks ther're intrested in, at a cheap price.... or or down the illigal path.

    Besides, everyone labels Bittorrent as piracy, but thats not strickly true, as you can share anyting, even your own legal stuff. Its just the fact the vast majority of it is just that "piracy", so the movie studios tartget it as such as a whole.
  • Well if AFACT and the compliant isps were in that far left revolutionary hotbed of activism... Switzerland... they would have been told to grow up, go away and grow several pairs... by the government. Pity our beloved leaders are tied at the hip pocket to the gougers...
  • i hope that iinet don,t win... that will mean that all service providers will be liable. that means if you have a car crash you can sue rta for, givlng you a lic & rego & for giving the other driver a lic & rego. and for giving us the roads to crash on. then you can sue facebook for getting the sack when you call your boss a pratt on your facebook page..... the can of worms will be opened and it will never end!!!!!!
    bruce pulver
    • lol... prat .

      yep.. one day you buy a new car, the next, you use it in a hold up situation ... Suddently, the cars a suspect as well as the owner.
  • "There are over 20 digital services so it is not a content issue" Well thats a load of crap. The other day I wanted to purchase a song, it was not available on bigpond music or itunes Australia but was on itunes America.. how hard is it to allow it to be downloaded on itunes Australia? So I had to illegally download it.. also "there are 600000 illegal software on australians computer" or something like that they said, what is this "illegal software" P2P programs aren't illegal.. just what some people use them for. Its like calling cars illegal because some people use them to break the law..

    Also they didn't mention what is included in this "illegal software" it is, it could include hacking programs for all we know which is irrelevant to this matter..
    • The $$$ could be made elsewhere... I'm sure their are more people hacking then just piracy nowadays,, And lets not leave out Microsoft... Their own Remote Desktop can be used for illigal purposes too.
  • I loved the comment "We will send out education notices, increasing in severity".

    So if someone keeps on downloading, they'll be severely educated!

  • I wonder if "voluntary punishment" might be a solution.

    The ISPs say they won't accuse someone of being a pirate, that users are innocent until proven guilty, and that AFACT has to prove guilt first. But AFACT doesn't want that burden and big court cases, they want warnings and deterrents for users.

    So what if the ISP agreed to tell users that they were accused of downloading a certain film, and that their details could be subpoenaed should AFACT decide to take further action. But if the user accepted 2 days at shaped speeds then it would NOT be considered an admission of guilt but this particular accusation would be dropped - an amnesty on this particular instance of copyright breach.

    That way
    1) iiNet is not accusing people of doing wrong, or giving any identifying information to AFACT
    2) users who insist they did not actually pirate can say "I'm sorry, AFACT are wrong", and keep using their internet at full speed. AFACT may at some stage try to sue those users, and may or may not win.
    3) AFACT can still sue the same users for other downloads that they didn't get a warning for (nor get amnesty).
    4) users have a deterrent from downloading. The same risk as before, plus a slow internet for 2 days.

    They could fine tune this in many ways. For example don't shape access to iTunes or Bigpond or other legal music/film sites, to encourage their use during shaped periods.