iiNet Paper Says Downloaders Punished Worse Than Speeding Drivers

The entire time AFACT was trying to sue the pants off of iiNet (and not in a sexy way), the ISP was telling them they needed to make accessing their content easier and more affordable if they wanted to reduce piracy. Now that the court case is out of the way, iiNet is taking the proactive route and has released a paper entitled, Encouraging Legitimate use of On-line Content. It makes for some interesting reading.

The crux of iiNet's argument is that at present, the Hollywood marketing machine does a fantastic job at creating demand for their product, often spending hundreds of millions of dollars to do so, but then limits availability, which creates a frustrated and unsatisfied market.

When it comes to piracy, iiNet is quick to point out that the current approach to finding and stopping pirates by Hollywood doesn't include any independent body verifying the accusations, let alone being responsible for determining the appropriate punishment. As a result, they have come up with a model, which they summed up rather nicely in this illustration: This is how iiNet want the process of finding and dealing with piracy to proceed:

The process illustrated by the diagram, is as follows: 1 . A content owner will carry out their own detective work and identify an offending computer making unauthorised copies of their content available for sharing via (typically) bit-torrent software . This will provide them with an ‘IP Address’ that can be traced by the issuing ISP to a specific internet service . 2 . The independent body will determine whether the evidence meets a test of ‘cogent and unequivocal evidence’ . 3 . IP addresses can be provided to an independent body who is able to identify the issuing ISP and ask that ISP for contact details for the service account holder . The ISP provides those matching contact details to the independent body . 4 . Using those contact details the independent body can issue notices to the account holder informing them that they had been detected making unauthorised copies available, provide educative information, advise the consequences that may follow continued behaviour and ask the account holder to ensure that the behaviour stops . 5 . The independent body keeps records of the notices and may modify the notice for a repeat infringer, or seek further sanctions . Some of those sanctions may include fines, court charges or changes to the internet service . 6 . Consumers who believe the allegations are incorrect will be able to appeal the notice to the independent body . These appeals and/or complaints would be dealt with by the independent body . 7 . Consumers who believe an insecure wireless access (or other technical issue) may be involved, will be referred, by the independent body, to their ISP for technical assistance

When it comes to penalties for illegal downloads, iiNet makes a point of comparing piracy to traffic offences:

iiNet considers that a more appropriate scheme (when compared to termination) is one similar to that used for traffic offences . Authorities regularly equate speeding as a cause of death, injury and major economic loss to the community . In spite of the seriousness of the offence, the graduated penalty structure for speeding never culminates in the total denial of access to transport.

The entire paper is worth reading, and from a consumer standpoint sounds to be logical and reasonable, especially compared to the current approach taken by AFACT. But it's a long way away from becoming a standard - it will be interesting to see how the copyright holders react to the proposal.

While we wait for that, tell us what you think of the iiNet proposal in the comments below.

[iiNet paper (PDF)]



    after reading the paper, have to say fits in with the type of internet service that iinet was pushing from the start - unmetered access to abc iview and unmetered itunes downloads. After switching from bigpond, I use these services a lot more to get content legally than I had before. Ease of access has to be a serious consideration for AFACT, rather than constantly going through the litigation route. They way iinet suggest offenders be dealt with is a lot more progressive than the 'make an example of them' approach.

    I like the statement "In spite of the seriousness of the offence, the graduated penalty structure for speeding never culminates in the total denial of access to transport". We live in an age where the internet is (essentially) a required utility. Removing access to the internet -especially without any solid, independent research into the legitimacy of the claims against someone- is, simply, not on in my books.

    Seems like the framework of a pretty common-sense & level-headed proposal. I like it.

    As long as the content owners & the independent body don't get too comfy with each other...

    Wow, sounds like it's modeled off of the current legal system: offender (pirate), offended (content owner), potentialy an unwitting intermediatary (ISP) and an independent body (court with judge) to hear all sides and provide a judgment and course of action. Rocket SCIENCE!

    It makes sense on more then one field, not only do i agree that if it would be easier (and cheaper) to get movies there would be a lot less piracy around but also do i agree with the fact that the content owners should not be allowed to know personal details of people they suspect of being pirates.
    As far as I know you yourself will not be told the personal details of someone who is suspected by the police of commiting any kind of crime against you. I think it is noted somewhere as being called innocent until proven guilty?
    The same goes for trying to punish the provider, if the provider would be held acountable for what a pirate did with their tools then they might as well start closing all the weapons factories, car factories and any other factory were they make something that can be used for illegal things.
    Some might argue that there is a difference between using a car wrongly or internet wrongly but that is just a matter of money. you can make a car safer by adding alcohol locks, finger print databases, speed limiters etc and you can go very far in that. Yes that will cost a lot of money but it will seriously reduce misuse. If you don't make this happen then why would you say an internet provider has to spend a lot of money on spying programs to see that someone that is using your computer will not use it for bad things?
    Anyway, it is a long discusion that comes down to the simple thing of money, who has most of it, who wants more and how can they get it.

    'The entire time AFACT was trying to sue the pants of of iiNet'

    of of


    go iinet! nice that ur proactively reacting to the dicks that tried to sue u! very interesting and valid plan

    Who on iinet's crap plans are bothered to download anyhow ?

      Grammar check please. That made absolutely no sense :P

        iiNet has bad plans if you get a bad plan...

        I get 1TB on peak 1TB off peak with them.
        Maybe because I'm willing to pay more than $13 a month.

    I LOVE iiNET

    So who pays for this "Independant Body"? Are we talking about new Government department or the Police?

    Nice in theory but aligns with iiNet's own policy of refusing to take responsibility.

    tell you the truth im a sucker for a 3 dollar purchase or even a 15 dollar one if i think its worth it and can have my content right now. this means steam has killed any urge to pirate a game years ago cause its just to damn easy to buy and play good games that dloading and fucking around with pirated ones just stopped being worth the effort. if hollywood could get their movies to me in a timely manner with barely any charge id be buying 3-5 dollar movies left right and center especially if their servers were good and i could get them fast and i can tell you right now id be spending much more over time then the 20-30 bucks i DONT spend in stores atm.

    For all its worth, Andre is what one can now call a legend, which will qufaliy him as someone I would like to meet at least once. Thanks to this blog post. LOL.

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