Gutless studios have the wrong target

I have one word for the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT). Gutless.

I have one word for the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT). Gutless.

In its quest to justify its own value to its stakeholders, AFACT has decided to choose an ISP with a mere five per cent market share in a landmark court case to somehow make ISP's responsible for the content that passes through their pipes.

It is the same mistaken premise that has Senator Stephen Conroy convinced that the Internet can be effectively filtered at ISP-level without having adverse affects on network performance.

This is not a case about iiNet 'allowing' copyright theft. It has nothing to do with the technical reality of being an ISP. It is about media conglomerates losing control of their stranglehold on the content people enjoy, and desperately trying to stem the tide. Few of these studios who claim to be aggrieved by iiNet's customers have made any attempt to negotiate to sell their content on the web legitimately. They can only blame themselves.

This court case is symbolic. At best it could wipe out one per cent, if not less, of the total number of copyright infringers traversing the web in Australia. At worse, it will be a protracted legal battle that reduces competition for Internet connectivity in Australia by wiping out one of the few ISP's that has managed to grow at Telstra's expense.

If AFACT is serious, if they want to create a true precedent, they would go after an ISP that holds 50 per cent of the market, not five.

So go on AFACT. Take on Telstra's legal team. Then we'll know you're serious.