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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Andrew EisenNow, having said that, what sites are you reading that are claiming that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem" or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"? Or was that hyperbole too?09/21/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenFirst of all, ONE person in the Shout box suggested an obligation to call harassers out on their harassing but only after YOU brought it up. Plus, Techno said "when you see it happening." If you don't see it, you're not under any obligation.09/21/2014 - 1:02am
Sleaker@Craig R. - at this point I don't even know what the hashtags are suppsed to be in support of. what does GamerGate actually signify.09/21/2014 - 12:21am
Sleaker@AE - Hyperbole for the first 2, but it seems like some of the comments in the shout are attempting to place blame on fellow gamers because they aren't actively telling people to stop harassing even though they don't necessarily know anyone that has.09/21/2014 - 12:16am
Andrew EisenSleaker - Who the heck are you reading that is claiming "all gamers are bad," we "need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers," that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem," or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"?09/20/2014 - 9:44pm
erthwjimhe swatted more than just krebs, I think he swatted 30 people http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/05/teen-arrested-for-30-swattings-bomb-threats/09/20/2014 - 9:31pm
Craig R.Btw, the guy who swatted security expert Brian Krebs? He got picked up recently. It can be done.09/20/2014 - 8:55pm
Craig R.Such things are not done in a vacuum... hence why the 4chan and other logs show what fools you've all been, tricked into doing the trolls' work09/20/2014 - 8:49pm
Sleaker@Technogeek - How do you call someone out that anonymously calls in a SWAT team, or sends threats to people?09/20/2014 - 7:04pm
Technogeek"It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so." I'd say you're certainly obligated to call them out when you see it happening.09/20/2014 - 5:17pm
SleakerNow if you disagree with anything in my last 2 posts then we obviously have a difference in world view, and wont come to any sort of agreement. I'm fine with that, maybe some people aren't?09/20/2014 - 5:09pm
SleakerIt also doesn't mean that just because a news outlet says that Gamers are the problem and you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem. It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so.09/20/2014 - 4:59pm
SleakerJust to re-iterate: People getting harassed is wrong. Just because someone is harassed by so called 'gamers' doesn't mean that all gamers are bad. nor does it mean that you need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers.09/20/2014 - 4:56pm
SleakerAnd furthermore just because someone doesn't 'crusade against the evil' that doesn't make them the problem. You can have discussion with those around you. There's a thing called sphere of influence.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
Sleaker@Conster - one person getting harassed is a 'problem' only so far as the harassee's are doing it. Just because a select few people choose to act like this doesn't make it widespread. Nor does it immediately make everyone responsible to put an end to it.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
james_fudgeno worries09/20/2014 - 4:15pm
TechnogeekI misread james' comment as "we can't have a debate without threatening" there at first. Actually wound up posting a shout about death threats and "kill yourself" not technically being the same thing before I realized.09/20/2014 - 3:59pm
james_fudgeDon't hit me *cowers behind Andrew*09/20/2014 - 3:20pm
ConsterYou take that back right now, james, or else. *shakes fist menacingly*09/20/2014 - 3:00pm
james_fudgeOur community is awesome. We can have a debate without threatening to kill each other.09/20/2014 - 2:50pm
 

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