Yesterday, AFACT announced to the world that movie piracy was costing the Australian economy $1.3 billion each year. Everyone was sceptical given AFACT's raison d'être, but today Electronic Frontiers Australia have come out swinging, issuing a statement questioning the report and giving eight areas in particular readers should be wary when reading AFACT's findings.
The EFA response takes aim at many of the inconsistencies within the AFACT report. Beginning with the claim that 45% of downloads result in a loss of revenue, which the EFA claims, "is unproven and insufficient evidence is provided to support it," the response is logical and well argued.
It's definitely worth heading to the EFA response and reading it through yourself, but we can't help but quote from their conclusion, which is both unsurprising and scary at the same time:
We presume that the release of this report is a precursor to a renewed campaign for tougher penalties against file-sharing in Australia, such as a mandatory "three strikes" scheme to remove families from the internet completely.
Given how our Communications minister has previously announced his feelings on the AFACT v iiNet court case, plus how different governments around the world continue to change legislation to make it easier for individuals to be sued by massive corporations for copyright theft, this is a troublesome thought. EFA push for movie studios to offer more and more legal, easy and affordable ways to access content as an alternative to litigation, and while it makes sense, it's doubtful AFACT will listen...