Australian ISP's Create Plan to Deal with Copyright Infringement, Rights Holders Reject It

November 29, 2011 -

While Americans were enjoying Thanksgiving last Thursday Australia's Internet service providers held a meeting to come to a consensus on how to deal with illegal file-sharing in the country. Their solution is a plan called "Scheme to Address Online Copyright Infringement," and it basically compels Australian ISPs to send "education and warning" notices to consumers who use their broadband connections to infringe copyright laws, according to an Ars Technica report.

The deal is the result of discussions between the Communications Alliance and five of Australia's largest ISPs that include Telstra Bigpond, iiNet, Optus, iPrimus, and Internode. The plan is a trial scheme to be reviewed over an 18-month period.

"The trial would be followed by an independent evaluation of its effectiveness including whether it produced a real change in consumer behavior and whether the Scheme should be continued in its initial form or modified for improvement," reads a press release announcing the plan.

The system uses four stages: in the first stage and within 14 days of a perceived infringement, a copyright holder can send a "Copyright Infringement Notice" to an ISP. In stage two the ISP tries to find the related IP address, and will then forward the account holder an "Education Notice" about copyright infringement. In the third stage - if the copyright holder believes that further infringements have occurred over the course of a year can continue to file complaints about the subscriber, who will then receive "Warning Notices" regarding the activities. If a subscriber gets one education and three warning notices it will trigger stage four, a "Discovery Notice" that informs the subscriber that legal action may be on the way.

At this point the rights holder can request access to the subscriber's details by a preliminary discovery or a subpoena application, for the purpose of taking direct copyright infringement action. If the ISP is served with an order, they would then disclose the offending account's information.

The Australian proposal also includes various safeguards including a "pre-approval" process for any Rights Holder that wants to participate in the trial of the plan. This apparently includes an inspection and audit of the rights holder's infringement detection technology and the system to create the infringement notices that will be sent to ISPs.

As part of this plan, a Copyright Industry Panel will be launched that will create an appeals process allowing the accused who think they have not engaged in infringement to "query the basis" of their notices "and gain further information" about the complaints against them. Finally, if an account accused of infringement has no further complaints in a 12-month period, the status of that account will be reset. If trouble should arise with the account again it would be treated as if the previous infringement claims never happened.

Interestingly enough, the plan is already under fire, but not by rights groups or internet advocacy groups. Rights holders don't think it goes far enough and have flatly rejected it, according to a report in The Australian.

The Australian Content Industry Group (ACIG), which represents music and film interests including the Australia Recording Industry Association and APRA-AMCOS, said on Monday that it would not ratify the plan. ACIG spokesperson Vanessa Hutley said the plan does not meet the industry's expectations.

"ACIG does not think the scheme proposed by the 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," Hutley said. "We continue to hope that we can engage in positive discussions to bring about a solution to this important issue."

Pay-TV provider Foxtel also said it would not ratify the plan, complaining that it did not provide measures like the ability to slow down the connections of copyright infringers who are "repeat offenders."

"Piracy is undermining the business models and employment of thousands and thousands of Australians employed in our creative industries," the spokesman said. "It won't be addressed by one side, namely the ISPs, furiously agreeing with itself on what they believe is the solution without content providers agreeing to the proposed approach."

Source: Ars Technica


Comments

Re: Australian ISP's Create Plan to Deal with Copyright ...

Unfortunately they consider any check on them to be 'unbalanced'... 'how dare people be able to defend themselves and see the evidence of what they are being acused of! you should just act on our words!'

 
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Goth_Skunk"The New Totalitarians Are Here" from The Federalist. http://ow.ly/Pjz3b07/07/2015 - 11:31pm
MattsworknameThere was a time in america when we needed unions and they served a good purpose, but that time hasnt been tbe case for about 20 years or more. The same could be said of our current system for teachers in higher educatoin,but thats a whole nother story07/07/2015 - 10:22pm
TechnogeekIn large part, though, that's an extension of the level of unjust deference given to police in general. Kind of hard to find any real grievances to defend against when the organizational culture views "complains about coworker" as worse than "murderer".07/07/2015 - 8:45pm
TechnogeekThat's a police union.07/07/2015 - 8:43pm
TechnogeekNo, police unions are worse by far. Imagine every negative stereotype about unions, then add "we can get away with anything".07/07/2015 - 8:43pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: No, I do not agree they are union members.07/07/2015 - 7:48pm
E. Zachary KnightTeachers unions are just as bad as police unions, except of course you are far less likely to be killed by a teacher on duty than you are a cop. But they also protect bad teachers from being fired.07/07/2015 - 6:29pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, so you agree they are still union members. Thankfully we have a first ammendment that protects people from being forced to join groups they don't support (in most cases any way.)07/07/2015 - 6:27pm
E. Zachary KnightAh, police unions. The reason why cops can't get fired when they beat a defenseless mentally ill homeless person to death. Or when they throw a grenade into a baby's crib. Or when theykill people they were called in to help not hurt themselves.07/07/2015 - 6:26pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: Non-union employees have no right to attend meetings or union convention/AGM, or influence policy. The only time they get to vote is whether or not to strike.07/07/2015 - 6:24pm
Infophile(cont'd) about non-union police officers being given hell until they joined the union.07/07/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileParadoxically, the drive in the US to get rid of unions seems to have left only the most corrupt surviving. They seem to be the only ones that can find ways to browbeat employees into joining when paying dues isn't mandatory. I've heard some stories ...07/07/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew WilsonI am old school on this. I believe its a conflict of interest to have public sector unions. that being said, I do not have a positive look on unions in general.07/07/2015 - 3:59pm
TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
james_fudgeCharity starts at home ;)07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
james_fudgeSo mandatory charity? That sounds shitty to me07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, if Union dues are automatically withdrawn, then there is no such thing as a non-union employee.07/07/2015 - 2:38pm
Goth_Skunka mutually agreed upon charity instead.07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
 

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