Govt tells industry to agree on piracy measures -or else

2014-12-10_2316The Federal Government is moving against online piracy by asking industry players to agree upon an industry code, to be registered with ACMA by April, or it will do it for them.

It wants broadcasters, copyright owners and ISPs to work together on a warning notice scheme for infringements, but will also introduce legislation to block piracy websites.

Attorney General Senator Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote to “industry leaders” advising:

We expect the code to address the following objectives:

  • that ISPs take reasonable steps (including the development of an education and warning notice scheme) to deter online copyright infringement on their network, when they are made aware of infringing subscribers, in a manner that is proportionate to the infringement
  • informing consumers of the implications of copyright infringement and legitimate alternatives that provide affordable and timely content
  • providing appropriate safeguards for consumers
  • fairly apportioning costs as between ISPs and rights holders
  • ensuring smaller ISPs are not unfairly or disproportionately affected, and
  • include a process for facilitated discovery to assist rights holders in taking direct copyright infringement action against a subscriber after an agreed number of notices.

The Government has also decided to introduce legislation that will enable a court to order the blocking of overseas hosted websites that can be shown to be primarily for the purpose of facilitating online copyright infringement.Foxtel today welcomed the Government’s decision to legislate to help address the issue of online piracy.

Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein was quick to welcome the steps.

“We recognise that there are a number of things that need to be done to address this problem. At Foxtel we are addressing the issue by making content available quickly, through our Express from the U.S. initiative, and affordably, with new pricing and the launch of the Presto service,” he said.

“The introduction of legislation will have two main effects. First, it gives us tools to deal with the operators of pirate sites. The people who run pirate sites are criminals who steal content from creators and profit from their theft.

“Secondly, it will allow us to reach out to people who download illegitimate content to educate them that what they are doing is wrong and that there are many legal options they could take. The fact that there will be legislation will itself be an important factor in sending the message that piracy is wrong.

“We look forward to working with the Government and other industry participants to develop a workable regime.”

In unrelated news raids this week by Swedish police saw torrent sites The Pirate Bay, EZTV, Zoink, Torrage and the Istole tracker all taken offline.

According to TorrentFreak, a police raid targeted a data centre in Nacka which is ‘built into a mountain.’

Paul Pintér, Sweden’s police national coordinator for IP enforcement, said “There has been a crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm. This is in connection with violations of copyright law.”

But the move appears to have been short-lived with The Pirate Bay already back online at a Costa Rican top-level domain.


  1. Lol you can’t control the internet and if you do someone find a way around it, I don’t feel sorry for the industry anyway as they are still raking in record amounts for movney @ the Box office and my bet is there is already a premium on tickets to cover this anyway.
    I wouldn’t want to even think of taking this on anyway in fear Anonymous would step in and crash government systems lol

  2. Its not Foxtel that is pushing the Goverment, there is a clause in the free trade agreement with the USA that says Australia has to do more to stop piracy, The Distributors in the USA have flexed their muscles and the USA has told Australia it is not doing enough and if they don’t do something soon it will effect the free trade agreement

  3. Never in a million years will ISP and copyright owners agree on anything. The Government needs to modernise intellectual property, telecommunications, consumer rights and privacy laws, it can’t just leave it up to multinational companies to make up the rules.

    ISPs will never agree to shafting themselves and their customers to boost the profits of multinational media companies. And the multinational media companies are demanding criminal sanctions, funded by taxpayers, to boost their profits at no cost to themselves. They may get that in the US, where you can buy congress, but here they only have Brandis backing that crazy idea.

    Foxtel is reducing not increase the number of shows they fast-track. And Presto has very little new release content on it. Because just like with music illegal downloading is not the main threat to them. It is low cost legitimate service like Spotify…

  4. Why don’t the copyright holders make their content legally more accessible to customers and in a timely manner from overseas? It’s obviously what consumers are demanding if piracy stats are anything to go by.

  5. They’ve just got it so backwards. Educating people on the legal way to get content? Remember, there was an old legal way of getting Game of Thrones in HD through iTunes, then Foxtel took that avenue away by locking up content.

    We do truly live in a global village, and with the invention of the internet, it’s now more so. People want to enjoy their content at the same time the rest of the world do, so they can be a part of the global discussion, and it seems the providers here are taking every opportunity to take that away from Australians.

  6. What a waste of Tax-payers money. The policies are very weak and do they really expect them to be a deterrent? This reeks of some ploy to just shut up all the whingers against illegal downloads?

  7. “Secondly, it will allow us to reach out to people who download illegitimate content to educate them that what they are doing is wrong and that there are many legal options they could take.”

    Those many legal options include lining the pockets of Mr Murdoch’s pockets with children’s tears. Or waiting for shows that will never make it to FTA television and if they do, get shafted by the FTA networks.

    If this is the way it is going to go, networks here will need to invest in buying rights to shows and have them streaming on their “catch-up” sites, same time as across the globe. But noone has the kahunas to take the risk of possible lower advertising revenue from some of the lesser known cult shows.

  8. It's on tracks 3 and 4

    I welcome the policies, with one caveat. How about we check the accounts of every member of the federal government first? Just to be totally transparent, of course.

  9. Maybe China can help with censoring websites. Instead of blocking truly harmful sites containing child pornography or terrorism, they’re going to waste money blocking content sharing websites. Which can easily be circumvented with a VPN.
    Next, Foxtel peddling the same old lies- 
    “Express from the U.S.” Waiting weeks for Flash, Jane The Virgin, Penny Dreadful, The Leftovers, The Knick, Tosh.0, Million Dollar Listing, countless more. If they’re express, I’d hate to see late. 
    “Affordable new pricing” Forced to pay for channel packages without giving consumers, who beg them, the choice of individual channel selections, charged more for HD.
    “Presto service” SD. Enough said. 
    The entertainment industry is doing just fine. So why is this an issue? If they’re truly concerned they should be forcing content providers to deliver day and date with other countries at an affordable…

  10. I don’t see anything there about providing content as soon as possible, at a reasonable price, without DRM, in decent quality.

    Perhaps Australians should donate $4 million to Labor and the Coalition like Village Roadshow did. Then they’d be listened to?



Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.