Google: Australian Piracy Is An Availability And Pricing Problem

Can I get an 'amen'?! Google Australia's head of public policy, Iarla Flynn, is your new hero: in a letter penned to Malcolm Turnbull on behalf of Google Australia about the state of Australian media, Flynn says that Australia has a piracy problem. A problem which can be solved by taking a look at the availability of content and the price of the content which is available here.

According to a previously unpublished letter to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, obtained by TorrentFreak, Google acknowledges Australia's piracy problem, and has an idea about how to fix it.

We believe there is significant, credible evidence emerging that online piracy is primarily an availability and pricing problem. Google takes many steps to work with copyright owners to protect the rights of copyright owners online. We would encourage the Government to promote new business models and a free marketplace for legal purchasing of content.

Google also says that it would be "disappointed" if the government decided to use the stick to solve piracy and not the proverbial carrot of new business models.

We would be disappointed if the government decided to go down the route of overly harsh regulation to combat piracy without considering the evidence from around the world that this would likely be costly for businesses to implement and with little effect.

Like ordinary content consumers, Google has real reason to fear. The Australian Attorney-General, George Brandis, appears to have a bloody-minded obsession with excessive force to combat piracy. He has signalled that a massive government piracy crackdown is on the way, and indicated that "three-strike" legislation for offenders is something he wants to re-introduce, despite overwhelming evidence that it's as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.

Google has a bit of self-interest at work here: Google Play -- its online marketplace for movies and TV shows in Australia -- would be well served by any government move to strengthen online markets for content. Despite the self-interest at work, however, Google is largely correct: content available on every platform for a fair and reasonable price would cut through piracy figures like a hot content knife through online pirate butter.

Read the full submission here.



    Australia has a piracy problem. A problem which can be solved by taking a look at the availability of content and the price of the content which is available here.

    Bingo. I'd hazard a guess that most people pirate not because they "want stuff for free" but because there just isn't another viable and affordable alternative. We were prolific downloaders in our household, and then we discovered Netflix. Now we rarely download anything and are more than happy to pay the monthly fees associated with it, even though it costs us more than pirating.

    I think people will be happy to pay for content, as long as it's good content, available at the same time as other countries, and offered at a reasonable price.

      I think people will be happy to pay for content, as long as it's good content, available at the same time as other countries, and offered at a reasonable price.

      This is why I, like many others, shop online first and then locally if the savings isn't there.

      I'm not going to lie, I like the ol' cartoons. The likes of Yogi Bear, DuckTales, etc. But getting the cartoons here is just a rip off.

      Here's a frequent experience of mine.

      I saw Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue Rangers on DVD at JB Hifi. It contained around five episodes, come on a single disk, and was called volume one. I could only find two others (Volumes 2-3) and I though, let's see what Amazon has to offer.

      Imagine my shock at the difference. First of all, each volume in the US has 3 DVDs and all up each volume has around 20-24 episodes depending on the cartoon. So even if I got all three volumes in Australia I would still be five episodes short than the first volume in the US. And each disk was around 20-30 AUD while the US only charged around 15 USD for each 3-DVD volume so on average that's 5 USD a disk and I still get more episodes per disk.

      It's the same with the Flintstones and the newer Scooby-Doo cartoons. In Australia, they keep unbundling the disks and calling each disk a volume. At one point, JB HiFi did have the complete volumes of the Hanna-Barberra collection but they didn't stay for too long and now we have this 'unbundled' crud.

      And my absolute favourite: Woody Woodpecker and Friends, Volume 1. The disk only contains around 45 minutes of the old classics but the back of the box still indicates it runs for hours and is a multi-disk collection.

      Don't get me wrong, I love to view things in the PAL format because it has a better resolution and colour control over NTSC but this region is virtually treated with contempt by distributors and various studios.

      Last edited 11/03/14 11:05 am

        Buy it from Amazon then format shift from DVD -> Computer -> DVD. With blank DVD costs, it'd cost you less than buying it from JB.

        I hate the unbundling of stuff, but I do have to hand it to Australia for having the complete Daria collection for $35 or so. There's like 5 seasons of that show and well worth the money.

          Buy it from Amazon then format shift from DVD -> Computer -> DVD. With blank DVD costs, it'd cost you less than buying it from JB.

          I'm forever banging my head against a wall over this. I'd love to. But I don't want that attention seeking organisation AFACT breaking down my door to make an example of me.

          The only consolidation is multi-region DVD/BD players are dirt cheap now. I got a Laser one for less than 100 AUD.

          I do have to hand it to Australia for having the complete Daria collection for $35 or so. There's like 5 seasons of that show and well worth the money.

          I have that box set. It's nice but it is a shame the original soundtrack had to be stripped out and replaced with instrumental soundbites because MTV never secured the home media rights for the songs back in the day.

          Last edited 11/03/14 11:44 am

            Just incidentally. *ALL* DVD players are multi region, they're just encoded after production to be region specific. If you google your dvd player model and 'unlocking code' you will find the remote control lock combination. I do this every single time and have never failed to find the combo to unlock my dvd player.

              My bad. I had forgotten about the ye-old unlock code (have a couple myself for my older players).

              Though there are very rare cases where the player does not have an unlock code. The first one my family had was an XMS model and it was fixed to Region 4. It had no unlock code.

              Though I must admit, something you don't even have to change the region. Sometimes the DVD region code is only on the box. The disk itself has no region code.

        Ha, just like me, bought a bunch of dickies work wear from the states, cost me 1/5th the price it would've cost me here :S

      I think some people will be happy to pay for good content available rapidly at a reasonable price. However, there will be people who will never be satisfied with the price or will otherwise pick faults with any distribution system in order to justify (to themselves perhaps, and to others) their continued downloading of stuff for free.
      However, pointing at this while ignoring other research (e.g. that people who pirate actually also tend to buy more) is stupid.

      By not pursing better distribution channels (i.e. desirable content, affordable, fast) I believe media organisations are inadvertently causing the entrenchment of the 'I can get it for free' attitude. If someone has grown up from age 10 to 18 with parents who download TV shows for free (because they are not available another way) then they will be inculcated with the idea that you simply download the TV shows you want. Then later media companies not only have to develop legal means to obtain content (because they will need to do that eventually anyway) but also break the long-developed habits of users who have grown up with downloading torrents being the typical way to get content.
      Similarly, if someone has gotten very used to downloading free content because it isn't available legally, and have done so over a long time, then the media companies have to try to compete with free.

      Anyway, tl;dr; by not having means to obtain quality content fast and at a reasonable price, I think media companies are entrenching attitudes which will make it more difficult to move people onto such a legal platform when they do eventually develop it.

        Im a try buy it first. Majority of things i have downloaded is because they arent available here for purchase.


        There will always be thieves in the world. It's a fact, you can't stop it. No matter how many you catch, there will always be more.

        But if you leave your valuables in plain sight and have shitty locks on your doors and windows, the police are going to be very unimpressed with your repeated complaints about being burgled.

        And you WILL be burgled more than sensible people who take more appropriate precautions beyond having the cops on speed-dial.

          This sounds like a pro DRM argument, more DRM is the last thing we need.

            This is true. But they've tried it and discovered it doesn't work. Which leaves the very last resort to be reasonable purveyors of goods and services, currying favour with customers instead of making us dance and beg for their amusement.

      X2 on this, I had an 8tb server torrenting like hell back in the day to get new shows long before Australia. Now? I have Netflix, Hulu Plus and Xbox Music. That covers pretty much everything I used to pirate, for under $30 a month! There really are only a couple of things now that I can't get legally without spending $70+ a month, like Game of Thrones, or Archer.

        i agree

        its a much lesser headache to have a netflix library than the catalogue every new episode that comes out on torrents.

      I stopped pirating games once steam and other online services made games available at reasonable prices (with a lot of full price exceptions, I know...) and easy to get.

      Make it convenient, make it cheap, and we will spend money on it.

    A thousand times yes. Unfortunately for Foxtel, the internet exists, and we can read about how much other countries are paying for the same content. When you try to charge 10x that price I'd go to 10x the effort to get around that, if only to avoid the feeling of being ripped off. If that means tunnelling to the US, faking an address etc, then so be it. You can't just turn around and say 'We payed for the right to rip you off, stop trying to get around it'. That just doesn't cut the mustard.

      It's the Harvey Norman business model: pretending that they offer the best value and relying on the average customer being too clueless to see otherwise.

        "But people are looking for a deal!"

        Good to see that idiot never appeared on TV again.

    i wish that letter also called out the NBN situation but otherwise i can only hope this acts as the wake up call out gov needs

    Will Google lead by example and review prices for online content. why pay a premium for movies or TV series when you can go to JB and buy a season/box set for much cheaper and better quality.

      Sadly there's only so much the platform holder can do when the content owner says to charge us double for no reason. They can persuade, they can argue, they can complain but ultimately if it comes down t it they'll have to acquiesce because otherwise they won't get the content anywhere which will be bad for them.

      You missed the part where they are forced to charge those prices to us Aussies by the content owners... which is part of what they are talking about.

        I have a US and Australian ITunes & Google accounts the pricing for the same things are crazy why the difference? if its all digital were is the extra cost coming into it? Companies can bitch at the government but they should own up to the fact that they them selves wont be changing anything soon.

        Ahoy! yo.

          Its based on this old business ideal, that because of our isolation you can shaft us even if its costs you nothing extra to get your goods here and sell them. We call it the Australia Tax.

    I had a situation where I wanted to watch Disney's Turbo over the weekend. The DVD isn't released for rental at my local DVD rental shop (I've been renting recently to relive my childhood). So, I tried online to see if I could get it legitimately on DVD or stream it.
    I could preorder the DVD at JB for sometime this week for $29 or I could buy it from Google Play for $20. The other option was downloading via Torrent for free (with possible legal ramifications).
    At the end, I decided to wait but a week and just rent it. I've got a voucher for the DVD shop, so I don't end up paying for it anyway!

      Exactly whats wrong with this broken system
      Turbo the movie on Amazon download $9.99 HD... iTunes USA $14.99 iTunes AUS $24.99

    LEGO movie.

      Need we say more. It has most likely already completed its cinema run in the USA and is well on the way to home media but over here it is not even close to starting in cinemas. If there was a single global release date that is the same for both the USA and Australia and there was not an absurd 3 month wait between the release of film made in Australia to be released in Australia compared to when it was released in the USA then there would not be this problem.

      I will still go and see it in the cinema but I already watched a cam of it and it was worth it to at least get the main elements of the story. The details will have to wait until I can see it in cinemas or a DVD screener is released (Whichever comes first)

      Last edited 12/03/14 2:48 pm

    I completely agree with regards to the availability and pricing.

    I get that Australia has certain taxes like GST and the general cost of living is higher here. Which is why when I see content/software I am prepared to pay a 20% premium (10% for GST and 10% for other misc. operating costs).

    However when I see a 50%+ increase on content/software I will automatically refuse to purchase and instead pirate/grey-import the content based on principle.

    If these corporations see Australians as nothing more than cash cows then I will refuse to pay them a single cent.

    NO. This is all wrong. Studies have shown that people who pirate also steal cars, handbags, shoot policemen (then steal their hats, go to the toilet in them, mail them to the widow and then steal them again) and have internet connections so fast that downloads literally take 5 seconds.

    So the real problem isn't availability and pricing, it's the simple fact that piracy makes people CRIMINALS and so we need to fight back using reliable sources of information, like Rupert Murdoch's newspapers and unbiased news sources like Fox.

    I think it's time we had another Don't Copy that Floppy. The Floppy and CD raps worked so well I think I can justify a $20m tag for that.

      I watched that skit years ago, but forgot the name of the program. I spent 4 or so years not able to relieve the I.T. Crowd's majesty.

        The official original:

        The official sequel:

          Parts of the new age just behind the doors of your miiiiind!

          Those have to be parodies. Also, isn't it great that the moral of the first one is "do the right thing," and the moral of the second is "be afraid, you gun get incarcerated?"

          EDIT: Also, I was referring to the I.T. Crowd reference. But thanks for the link.

          Last edited 13/03/14 9:24 pm

            Nope those are real infomercial pieces, created for school students in the US.

            You'll notice that it's under the category of "education" in YouTube.

            Yes I noticed the shift away from morals to enforcement too :) but even now the copyright lobby keep swapping between those two.

    This sums it up nicely:

    I honestly think one of the biggest problems is that the whole "Network TV" model just doesn't make sense in the 21st century.

    Network makes show.
    Show is sold to Australian Network, UK Network, Canadian Network etc.
    Each Network fits show into their schedule, around their local programs and factoring their ratings periods and potential advertising revenue.

    The world is connected, why can't I just watch the show from the network that makes it?

    If I was redesigning the system from scratch, for today there would be no broadcast TV. Networks would be global and digital. Instead of broadcasting a show people can stream ad-supported content at any time after it is 'released' online.

    For example new episodes of Game of Thrones are released at 8:30pm each Sunday night. You can stream it live or any time after that.

      Netflix are of the same mind, and do exactly this with the 'Netflix Original Series', and it's awesome! Every episode of a TV season is made available in one go. Then people simply watch it as their own pace.

      Kevin Spacey gave a fantastic speech on this issue. If you haven't seen it it is well worth watching:

        Good clip. I was totally sold until he pronounced .gif 'jiff'.
        What is wrong with people?

          He probably googled "how do you pronounce gif" and found some unfortunate advice.

          Jif is a dishwashing liquid, not a file format (and "graphics" has a hard "g").

          These days the only time I watch TV it's when I have visitors. 99% of what I watch is from DVD/Blu-Ray or on streaming services. (Crunchyroll make more anime available, legally, in one week than the combined efforts network television typically make available in a month.)

          According to the developers of the format, it's got a soft 'g' like 'giraffe'. That's why he pronounced it 'jif'. I always use the hard 'g' as in 'gift' but he's not wrong to say it the way he did.

      The world is connected, why can't I just watch the show from the network that makes it?

      Distribution laws. Basically to broadcast something you have to approach the right hold and ask for the rights. It's the same with home media, you need to get a license for that too.

      And the real kicker is these licenses can and have been limited to specific regions.

      For example, if I get the rights to stream DuckTales online, I need to talk to either Disney and/or Beuna Vista. They can then say it will be X amount for Y region and only Y region. If I stream the content to other regions (eg: Australia instead of America) this can be termed a breach of license and Disney/Beuna Vista can terminate the license on the spot and even charge damages.

      If I want to stream for multiple regions/countries I will either need a single international license or a license for each region which in turn will demand its own fee.

      And guess which mode the distributors love to go for?

      The root of the problem (for the love of life it ain't %*&(&*(%^ Murdoch!) is that studios have a lot of clout and can charge outrageous fees for these licenses. What's there to stop them?

      Even if we removed our favourite mogul, the problem will still remain because he's not the one controlling the licenses. It's the copyright holders (studios, broadcasters, TV executives, etc).

      If the network itself is the copyright owner (like if you are trying to broadcast a game show made by Channel Z) it might be possible but the bulk of content on TV networks come from studios, etc. The TV network itself most likely has a license for that show for a specific region and maybe a specific channel as well.

      Last edited 11/03/14 1:35 pm

        Just out of curiosity did you miss the fact that Murdoch is a 'studios, broadcasters, TV executives, etc' :p

        So yeah.....still part of the problem.

          No, I didn't miss it. You're just reaching. He is not as studio, etc., as you tried to claim. He has limited ownership in some studios but there are many others out there of which he does not have a stake in.

          Murdoch is just a passer by. He's not a controlling factor in this problem.

          Last edited 12/03/14 7:39 am

            Well... I doubt he's entirely blameless. My guess is that our distribution networks here tend to pay a premium for an exclusive license for Game of Tones, which the upstream people are happy to accept (hell, less risk for them to just sell "all of Australia" in one block).

            When Murdoch or whoever gets this license, they abuse it to force people to sign up for Foxtel Super Happy Plus, which people don't really *want*. They just want to see Tone stopping boats all over Westeros. So yes, Murdoch is being a cock. He is deliberately negotiating for exclusivity so he can force bundles on people. Arguably the upstream guys are also being cocks for allowing people to get exclusive deals - however it seems they are just reacting to demand (demand from cocks that are determined to bundle).

            Either way, you can bet your arse that Murdoch is actively involved, and that there has been discussions on the "extra dollars paid for exclusive rights" on certain shows, and how that transforms into customer retention and acquisition on their various packages.

    I have a foxtel account, but I still need to tunnel in the UK or US to get shows that just aren't available here. I'm happy to pay, but the other issue with a service like foxtel is that far too many shows are only available "live" and when your streaming over the internet, there is no record function, so you can't watch what you want, when you want.

    The "catch up" service has hardly anything on it, and that's why foxtel sucks. They are just working with the contracts they signed in the 90s though. A lot of those need to be burned now and renegotiated.

    Even our free to air networks have better quality "catch up" TV services, but of course the mass of content available on BBC, 4oD and Hulu blows anything here out of the water.

    At least one free to air network is starting to make a change though: Seven has just appointed a big data expert into it's ranks to help "build our presence across all forms of digital delivery of content", but of course what he's really there for is analytics. There could be an interesting year or three ahead.

    Last edited 11/03/14 11:56 am

    I used to buy all my blu-rays and be a nice little boy. Now I have >100TB of NAS HDD space and download everything in 720p for TV and 1080p for movies. Only way you'll get me away from this is if you provide a similar service to sabnzbd/couchpotato/sickbeard and provide TV shows/movies at same quality for only a few dollars.

      I used to torrent everything too, then the electricity costs got too high.

      So now i've moved to 100% streaming. Saves me $40 a month.

    I think gaming was in the same boat. Now with Playstation Plus, Steam sales and Humble bundles .. there is no longer any good reason to pirate

      Steam - where you pay more online than in shop for EA titles etc?


        well of COURSE you pay more on Steam for EA titles.... EA want's you to install a lovely piece of malware called ORIGIN for their stuff now, it's actually a very similar situation to the rest of this discussion... but fcuk getting into that one...

        Oz Game Shop (google it). Will sell you Steam and Origin keys for cheap (they also sell boxed copies I believe, but I've used them exclusively for Steam titles and Titanfall). Cheap enough that I don't feel the need to pirate games, ever.

    The problem, and the reason Google's letter will unfortunately fall on deaf ears, is that the 'carrot' doesn't funnel money into the pockets of our Nations media fat cats (ie. Rupert Murdoch).

    Instead, the Liberal government and Attorney General will most definitely use the 'stick', in an attempt to herd us rebellious pirates onto expensive Foxtel contracts. After all, the Liberal Government has a 'fat cat' debt to repay after Murdoch's blanket of media propaganda practically won the election for the Liberals.

    Tony Abbott is a pimp, and he has already made agreements behind closed doors to prostitute the Australian people and natural resources to big business. One of those closed-door agreements is the implementation of anti-piracy laws, so that Murdoch can squeeze even more millions of dollars from the Australian people through Foxtel.

    Last edited 11/03/14 12:36 pm

      the Liberal Government has a 'fat cat' debt to repay after Murdoch's blanket of media propaganda practically won the election for the Liberals.

      This is getting old. There is no debt no Murdoch (he did similar tactics with his papers to the Coalition in 2007) and it was Australians that decided. We decided even before Gillard called the election. We Australian's demanded it because we refused to have a government that sat aside and allowed themselves to have a noose put around their own necks by the Greens.

      So no, there is no debt. This Murdoch conspiracy was started by Rudd and fanned by the Greens.

      But by all means, you can say Murdoch holds the strings. But if that is the case you also have to give Murdoch credit as well as blame. If you are only going to place blame then you cannot say Murdoch is pulling the strings.

      And by the way, Foxtel is only half owned by News Corp. Good old Telstra owns the other half. Which weakens an already strengthless claim.

      Last edited 11/03/14 1:24 pm

        And I guessing you learnt all this from a Murdoch newspaper.

          No, you guessed wrong. This all comes from research. And from having memory that lasts longer than three years.

          You can try and push that fallacy all you want, Jon Boy. It is not going to change the fact that Murdoch has little to no hand and their is nothing owed to him.

          Australian's had decided long before Gillard called the election. Labor was ruining our economy. They were even letting their own great ideas (the NBN, etc) fall into ruin because when things got tough they started beating the drum about their new policies and refused to be drawn to prior policies.

          Last edited 11/03/14 1:43 pm

            Can you please demonstrate how our economy was being ruined? I would like some evidence please. Oh, and none of that cheap garbage 'surplus' stuff. Last time I looked around we were doing pretty well...

              Oh, and none of that cheap garbage 'surplus' stuff.

              Just because it does not fit with your view does not make the point garbage. Labor had a good start with the surplus left over from the Howard Government. And if it weren't for that, Labor would not have ridden the GFC so easily.

              Last time I looked around we were doing pretty well...

              Constant budget blowouts? School extensions what were costing 5 times or more than they should? Wayne Swan constantly saying "This is a deficit we needed to have"? The nations debt rising with little to no sign of it being brought down?

              Like many others, my memory goes back further than the six years Labor was power. Labor came into office with a bumper surplus and a stack of good ideas. But they squandered the surplus, let their own ideas fall into ruin, and to top it all off they let the architect of their downfall, Kevin Rudd, back into office.

              You can only say they were doing well if it was before 2009. Even then the early warning signs were there: see Kevin constantly flying about while Gillard had to do his job virtually most of the time in his first term.

              Last edited 11/03/14 10:51 pm

                Labor had a good start with the surplus left over from the Howard Government. And if it weren't for that, Labor would not have ridden the GFC so easily.
                Why can people never figure out the difference between a budget surplus and government debt? The only budget surplus the Libs came up with barely scratched the surface of our debt.

                This may come as a surprise to you: the Libs left the country still in debt to the tune of around $60B dollars. Is that the "bumper surplus" you were talking about? But this isn't a big figure, for an economy of Australia's size - debt/GDP is quite small, so it's all good.

                Then the GFC hit, and every country around the world had to pump money into their economies to prop them up. Debt went up everywhere, including here. Government spending certainly increased - but at the end of the day, Australia was still left with one of the lowest debt/GDP ratios in the developed world. Foreign economists were looking with envy at our economy, particularly in comparison to everyone else's.

                But no, Murdoch had to scare everyone with big numbers taken completely out of context. Any slight dips were laid solely at Labor's feet, regardless of the global economy. Even our historically low interest rates were made out to suddenly be a bad thing. And of course now that Hockey is casting aside the debt ceiling altogether, it seems debt isn't so bad after all..

                  But no, Murdoch had to scare everyone with big numbers taken completely out of context.

                  OK, this is taking reaching to a new low. Murdoch isn't balancing the books so your last paragraph is void or relevance.

                  And of course now that Hockey is casting aside the debt ceiling altogether, it seems debt isn't so bad after all.

                  Hockey attempted to have the ceiling raised so that the Coalition (it's not just the Liberals) has a buffer. Labor refused so the Coalition made a pact with the Greens (which will come back to bite them) to have the ceiling removed.

                  If the ceiling had stayed, Australia would have defaulted. That is a hard fact and no frequent mention of Murdoch and trying to attach him in the same manner as a Kevin Bacon game is going to change the facts.

                  The budget crisis was not a invention from the News Limited media, it was a real scenario and Murdoch is only coming about because the Rudd fan base held onto Rudd's false claim that Murdoch owns 70% of News papers.

                  I think that @Wisehacker tried to articulate that the Murdoch press wouldn't highlight Joe Hockey's failure as Treasurer. Because words contradict their pathetic self-perpetuating view of the universe..

                  Speaking of, where has the old mate 'free-market, end-of-the-age-of-entitlements' gone? Now it seems to be the no man show...

                  Cheers Namarrgon.

                  Murdoch isn't balancing the booksNo, he's just trying to scare the voters into giving him a less-regulated environment.

                  the Coalition made a pact with the Greens (which will come back to bite them)Because having to tell the public what you're spending their money on is a dangerous thing, right? Can't have that.

                  If the ceiling had stayed, Australia would have defaulted.Only if the Libs kept on borrowing, instead of giving us that budget surplus they promised. But Hockey claimed it was either more borrowing, or face "massive spending cuts". Apparently there's no problem with debt when they're the ones adding so much. Sure, let's double our defence spending, we just raised the debt ceiling again.

                  And not just the $100B extra that Labor supported, either - Hockey insisted he be allowed to add another $200 billion (!!) to our government debt! Even without the GFC to deal with. And you really still think it's Labor that's fiscally irresponsible?? That's going to drive our debt/GDP ratio from an impressively low 19% (less than US, UK, France, Germany, China, NZ etc) up past 30% (yeah, not so good).

                  The so-called "budget crisis" before the election was a complete fabrication by the Libs, pushed and perpetuated by News Ltd, when we were (and still are) one of the strongest economies in the developed world (according to the IMF). Even after the GFC trashed the global economy, our growth was solid, our unemployment and inflation stayed moderate, our interest rates were low, and our foreign debt still well under control by any normally-accepted metric, despite stimulus spending. But the Libs had to make it out to be some huge disaster ($200 biiillion dollars! /pinky finger) to win the election - and now that they want to add another $200B of government debt instead of delivering a budget surplus as promised, everything's fine, nothing to see here, just the usual lies & hypocrisy we've come to expect from all politicians.

                  Seriously mate, if you really think your "research" backs a different conclusion, I'd love to see some actual facts. Feel free to educate me, if you can find some relatively unbiased links to support your point of view, but it'll take more than large-looking numbers with no context.

                  Last edited 13/03/14 11:56 am

                I was looking for some decent arguments, instead you just regurgitated John Laws and Ray Hadlee after a hard night on the vitriol.

                Thanks for proving my point.

                  I was looking for some decent arguments, instead you just regurgitated John Laws and Ray Hadlee after a hard night on the vitriol.

                  Transference: it does not work on me.

                  If your only response is attacks of a personal nature instead of taking the facts presented face on then walk away.

    I actually Tweet the companies I want to watch. I ask them hey any chance of offering your product outside of the US. I really dont want to Pirate your stuff, but you arent leaving me much choice. do you have a paypal account I can send donations. after I download it so I can still give you something?. that way I didnt steal it. I tried all I could to buy it, pay for it ect. so they have no leg to stand on in court.

      Sorry, but that's bollocks. They don't have to accept any form of payment as they are not forced to sell anything to you. I'm not fussed about you pirating things, but don't pretend to yourself that you're any different in legal terms to someone who doesn't offer to pay.

        The 'leg to stand on in court' is utter nonsense obviously, because you can't just dictate terms to a company on how they sell things then steal/pirate when those terms aren't met. There are obtuse, archaic, and inescapable labyrinths of legal bullshit and corporate assholery to extract the optimal quantity from the market you are unfortunate enough to reside in, and the LAW says that's OK.


        There's a better reason to do it. The point of social protest. Unless you have a better form of social protest, of making yourself heard quickly and succinctly in the noise of the internet and its easily-ignored forum rants and filtered emails? Piracy proves a demand, but doesn't say much else. Boycotts only send the message that the content wasn't desirable enough. It's as good a method as any.

        Though it probably totally flags you as a potential target for investigation when someone could be bothered. :P

    I'm glad someone sees the light. The Lego movie is a great example currently. It came out in the States on 7th of Feb but releases here in NZ on the 17th of April!

    Ah, I'll be downloading it I think.

    Rant Mode: On

    A mate decided to stop pirating one day and go legit. He signed up with Apple and was hoping to get the new (at the time) BSG episodes but he couldn't get them because he wasn't in the US. So he turned to music because a few of his favourite bands had released albums - same story: not available because he was in OZ.

    Now sure there are ways to fool the system and get around it but the whole idea of world segregation (apartheid?) within the companies such as Apple annoyed him so much (and myself too after listening to this story) he decided to dump it all and go back to his old fashioned way of doing things.

    So a solution seems fairly simple to me - Google, Apple and everyone else on the bandwagon need to release everything to everyone at the same time across the world and it has to be fairly priced. I know it's a little too straight forward and simple to have it happen, but there is enough new content in music, movies, tv shows, games etc., released every single day to keep this running smoothly. Keep the pricing reasonable enough and pirating would very soon be a reduced to a small insignificant amount.

    Oh - and get rid of BS departments like Afact and co. They're only in it for the $$ as well which is someone else that the artists have to pay therefore reducing the amount the artists make. Case in point - i know someone who is in a well known australian band. They sold 10,000 copies in the first month of an new album released last year . Wanna know how much they made that month? 5 band members. After the likes of Apple, Google et al taking their cut? About $120. Each. They make more doing gigs than they do making albums.

    So who are the real pirates (perhaps theives?) here?

    Rant Mode: Off

      Oh - and get rid of BS departments like Afact and co.

      Actually, AFACT is an organisation. And from what I can tell, it's a locally founded arm of the MPAA.

      i know someone who is in a well known australian band. They sold 10,000 copies in the first month of an new album released last year . Wanna know how much they made that month? 5 band members. After the likes of Apple, Google et al taking their cut? About $120. Each. They make more doing gigs than they do making albums.
      So who are the real pirates (perhaps theives?) here?

      Do I get five points for guessing Content Distributors? Al la Apple, etc.?

      Last edited 11/03/14 1:55 pm

      I love reading a good rant.

      I think a lot of existing companies are extremely reluctant (or even unable) to embrace the business model that you are (rightly) proposing, i.e. universal digital access. For this reason I think change will most likely NOT come through persuading these companies to update their business model, but instead through supporting newly emerged or emerging companies that have business models conceived in our current times, where there are no digital borders and a download or view in originating in Australia is no different to a download or view in the USA.

      An example is Machinima. These guys are producing a lot of content and plenty of it is of high quality. They deliver it through YouTube and their channel thrives internationally. Unfortunately a small amount of their content does have region restrictions, so they are not perfect, but at least it's a step in the right direction in that content is, for the most part, available internationally and on demand.

      Last edited 12/03/14 11:42 am

      Mossman if your friends band really sold 10,000 copies of an album and only got 120 each they deserve to only get that money.
      they should have spent more time reading over their contract with their label instead of bumming around.
      if memory serves me right apple etc take something like 30-50c in the dollar per sales.
      If your friends signed a contract that only gave them that sort of revenue share they are idiots.
      they should have negotiated and if the label wouldnt they should have gone somewhere else.

    Just because it's about video piracy:

    Not really related to the topic but a bit of a laugh

    I'm all for paying but the lack of content here is freaking ridiculous. I'd love for the likes of netflix or a similar service to set up shop here in Australia. Of course, I still pay for netflix, and spotify premium, everything else I either watch at the cinema or download because I have not much other choice. is a similar service based here in Australia... Online streaming as well as mailing out DVDs to your home. It's $9.99 per month (for streaming only, no DVDs) vs. Netflix (US) which is $6.99 per month. Netflix is cheaper and has more content...

    The Australian consumer pays far more for its media content than almost any other country on the planet. With the likes of Channel 10 & Foxtel actively trying to block competitively priced foreign media companies such as Netflix from entering the Australian market, unfair pricing / availability is set to continue long into the future.
    I'm sick & tired of reading about the government standing up for the rights of big business, much of which is foreign owned. What about the rights of the Australian consumer / TAX payer? Just this week we learn that Apple is paying less than 1% TAX in Australia, whilst at the same time charging Australian customers more for its media / hardware than it does any other world region, with no plausible reason as to why.
    I say let the Australian Government try to introduce a multi-million dollar internet monitoring / censorship scheme...see how quickly the greater Australian tech-savvy population learn how to use a free proxy account & see who they vote for in 2016.

    Last edited 11/03/14 2:17 pm

    I may be completely wrong about this, but I reckon the Australian Government just needs a complete reconstruct. It feels old and outdated! I bet 25MB/S is massive toTony Abbot, but I reckon Mr. Abbot never tried to watch an educational video on youtube in Toowoomba QLD on a home point being...this government doesn't know what capacity people want/need when it comes to anything. Especially when it comes to entertainment...and it's price in relation to the rest of the world.

    I'm 20 years old...and I fear for my kids if Australia doesn't catch up to the rest of the world...and i don't have kids yet either.

    I have said it before - in numerous places - and i'll say it again. The reason most of people pirate, myself included, is two-fold.

    One, the availability of content is much to restricted. Lack of competition and lack of access creates an environment were a very few (see, Foxtel) can gate the most sought after content behind the biggest paywalls. This in turn means that hey complete control over the cost and the availability of the most desired content and will charge the most for it. Without government control to keep the price in check, or provide competition they have no reason to make content available, or competitively priced.

    Two, the price of content is much two high. And by content, i mean all content. We pay twice (or thereabouts) more than Americans for exactly the same content. Even after taxes and currency exchange rates, you will pay more for a downloaded video game ($40-$60 more) on average, than an American. The only difference between the two is you are downloading from a AU IP and they are downloading from a US IP. That is the only difference.

    Companies (such as adobe) were asked, by the government, why they changed SO much more in Australia. There answer was "we charge what the market will take". In other words, they change as much as they can, until they can't anymore. It is the governments job NOT to fight its citizens for big business, it is their job to or big business, for us.

    Notice how the music industry doesn't complain quite as much anymore? Because they all got on board, understood that things hand changed, eventually (finally) adjusted their pricing (and their expectations) and got with the times.

    Our government needs to fight for us, not against us. If they brought the price of content down, and increased the availablity of it across the board, the amount of piracy would drop drastically. Would it disappear? No, it will never disappear, but it would be massively reduced almost overnight.

    People download things, I myself do, primarily for these reasons. Sure, i could watch Game of Thrones on foxtel, if i'm willing to pay the highest price, get a ton of stuff i don't want AND gets ads, or i could not. I could buy $100 games on steam, or i could not, because why should I why they charge Americans $60? If the government got on board and started actually fighting for us, to make those companies charge us a fair price, just like they charge everyone else. If they pushed for content to be available and open, and not locked into content blocks at high prices, people would be much less inclined to illegally download these things.

    Why? Because people are generally lazy, and generally don't want to break the law. Its much easier to pay 99 cents for a song on itunes, than it is to find it and download it and hope its good quality. Its much easier to watch Game of Thrones on netflix, than way a day, download a copy that could be good, or not, and worry about it all.

    Give us the options, and watch piracy drop. Continue to not only ignore these things and side with (primarily) foreign companies, let alone actively fight US, for THEM.. And watch piracy continue to grow, and continue to cause you problems.

    google is the biggest pirate of all time.
    They do not pay their share of Australian tax, you and I pay their share (we also pay apple's).
    Legislation has not worked to have them paying their share so their game is distraction (looks like it is working here).
    google and the like will have all their lobbyists working on ways to ensure enough distraction and finally the poor old consumer who pays and takes the heat off them. Do not be fooled and mention it to your local MP.

    1. The Internet in Australia is too slow, so the streaming media services can't succeed. Nobody wants to watch the shows buffer.
    2. The prices for the shows are too much higher here than elsewhere, especially because the quality is poor due to 1 above.
    3. The shows don't even come here until too late. We know there's a good show been released but are supposed to wait a year while reading all the spoilers and then pay the high prices to see the old show?

    Basically this means that Australia won't stop piracy because the Internet is too slow, and the government doesn't want to fix it so they will instead allow media companies to ruin some greedy viewers' lives, sending them bankrupt for wanting to watch a fun new show.

      Andddddd... have you seen the amount of shows we never see here... I mean never... some are into the 4th or 5th seasons ive never heard of them... There are dozens of them... No network (pay or free) will show them and yet well be pinged for downloading them.
      I watch The Walking Dead, legally, but who will show The Talking Dead... hmmm no one... again another reason why the system is broke

    i don't have an income, but do have (partial) access to the internet. thank god for file sharing. yeah that's right -- sharing: what a radical concept!

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