Foxtel has responded to the government’s piracy discussion paper, and wouldn’t you know, it’s in favour of it!
The discussion paper is designed to seek comment from vendors, content creators and you the people about what the government should do about piracy. Proposals include overturning the landmark iiNet decision that found ISPs aren’t liable for the copyright infringement of their users, while simultaneously blocking pirate-friendly sites like The Pirate Bay and EZTV.
The paper was leaked late last week, but became official today following the release of the document by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney-General George Brandis.
Foxtel has since responded to the proposal publicly, saying that it just loves the idea that the government is protecting the rights of content creators. Foxtel is arguably one of the biggest victims (read: drivers) of piracy in Australia, following its stranglehold on Season 4 of Game Of Thrones which led many to simply pirate the show than pay $20+ per month for a service that wouldn’t even let users keep the episodes once the season was over.
Foxtel’s CEO, Richard Freudenstein, called for ISPs to help combat piracy, and to ensure that their products can’t be used for “unauthorised purposes”. He also added — without a hint of irony — that content owners need to make content available “quickly and conveniently”.
Here’s the full release from Foxtel, with emphasis added:
Foxtel today welcomed the arrival of the Government’s discussion paper outlining possible steps designed to protect the rights of content creators and distributors from online piracy. Foxtel is pleased at the Government’s recognition of the importance of the creative industries to the economy and society.
Richard Freudenstein, Foxtel Chief Executive Officer, said, “illegal downloading is not just an issue for businesses, it affects the livelihoods of actors, writers, directors, set designers, caterers and everyone else involved in the production of these programs. Foxtel acknowledges the comments in the discussion paper that everyone has a part to play in reducing the incidents of online piracy and we look forward to constructively engaging in the discussion of how to give effect to the principles that underpin the Government’s position.”
Foxtel believes the responsibility for combating illegal downloading doesn’t just stop with the government, it’s something that needs to be shouldered by everyone. Government should put in place a regulatory system that encourages legitimate use and discourages illegitimate use of content, while content owners need to make content available quickly and conveniently.
ISP’s should also assist by mitigating, to the extent they can, use of their networks for unauthorised purposes. All parties have an obligation to ensure that consumers are educated about the implications of unauthorised use of content and how to get access to legitimate sources of content.
For its part, Foxtel goes to great lengths through its “Express from the US” effort to bring content to subscribers as soon as possible. Moreover, Foxtel has made a massive investment to maximise the number of ways in which people enjoy content by making it available on tablets, mobile phones and other popular devices, while offering flexible, no lock-in contract, subscription via its internet delivered service, Foxtel Play.
If you need a reminder as to why so many people dislike Foxtel for its stranglehold over content — especially around the season four airing of Game Of Thrones — go watch the below video for a refresher course.