Malcolm Turnbull Has The Answer To Online Piracy

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is a big advocate for freedom on the internet, and the freedom of markets. But this morning he drew a line in the sand: Aussies shouldn't download movies illegally, and at the same time, content owners shouldn't gouge Aussies. The solution to piracy according to Turnbull is to make content available quickly and at a fair price. A good idea, to be sure, but how will we get to Turnbull's perfect, pirate-free world?

Image: Getty

"I'm a big believer in freedom on the internet," Malcolm Turnbull said in a radio interview today, but added that "freedom on the internet does not mean freedom to steal [content]".

The radio interview was designed to spruik the government's recently released Discussion Paper on copyright infringement. The Discussion Paper on online copyright infringement asks respondents to discuss 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.

In the interview, Turnbull was asked specifically whether he thinks that Australians are overcharged by rights-holders for content like TV, movies, music and software, and if that has led to an uptick in piracy rates. Up-to-the-minute research certainly exists saying that's the case.

A new survey out today reveals that we are still being charged the so-called "Australia Tax", which is driving us to pirate content. Research from Essential Media Communications found that 58 per cent of Australians are "concerned" that content isn't available in Australia as quickly as it is in other territories. Additional research from CHOICE found that most of the top movies in the iTunes Store charts are priced higher for Aussies than they are for those in the US.

The research comes a year after a document was tabled in Parliament detailing how to handle the so-called "Australia Tax" once and for all, but so far nothing has eventuated from the report.

Turnbull laughed off the term "Australia Tax" in this morning's interview, but despite the dismissal, Turnbull added that it is time for rights-holders to justify why they are charging Australians extra for their content: behaviour is being used as a justification for piracy.

"People are entitled to sell their products for whatever price they like: the government shouldn't be setting prices here, that's not what I'm saying. But if you want to discourage piracy -- and the music industry's response here has worked well -- [you should] make content available globally, universally and affordably. You keep on reducing and reducing and reducing the incentive for people to do the wrong thing.

The debate here is for the content owners to justify what they are doing [charging Australians more for content]," he added.

The Discussion Paper certainly mentions pricing and availability as a cure to the spiralling rate of piracy in Australia, but doesn't ask respondents any questions on how they would execute a more open system for content.

Turnbull went on to cover more topics that weren't mentioned in the Discussion Paper that he wants answers on. For example, despite the fact that the Discussion Paper doesn't explicitly mention a graduated, strike-based response to piracy, Turnbull offered up New Zealand's three-strike, anti-piracy system as an example of how he thinks a good system should work:

"There are many schemes around the world and there [is] a lot of controversy about what works. This is a type of thing in New Zealand, for example: where an ISP is advised by a rights-holder that an IP address...has downloaded a movie illegally, the ISP is required to send a notice to the account holder and after three notices, in respect to different violations, it's then up to the rights holder to take that customer to court in order to retrieve damages."

Again, the Discussion Paper doesn't ask for the industry and Australian public to respond to any proposed graduated response scheme, so it's curious to hear the Minister talk about a three-strikes policy being a good idea.

Additionally, Turnbull said that he's still in favour of the iiTrial decision that saw the High Court ultimately decide that an ISP isn't liable for the piracy of its users, despite the fact that the Discussion Paper recommends overturning the decision to stay in line with a soon-to-be-ratified Free-Trade Agreement with Korea.

You can respond to the Government's discussion paper here.



    Unless it is legislated to make gouging Australians illegal, based on an acceptable increase from US price, or no increase if it's an online product sold from US servers with no AU support, then Turnbull "being a good bloke" means nothing with his govt behind him. All they will do is punish Australian citizens for refusing to be ripped off, while letting multinationals continue to get away with it, either directly, or through bloated outdated distribution networks.

      He is the Communications Minister, I'm sure his voice will be heard and the gov will listen to and factor in his opinion. That's why they appointed him Communications Minister.

        I really hope you're right. I don't lean either way with politics, and Malcom is at least saying the right things - I'm prepared to give him a chance.

        However there is a "warranty period" on my (admittedly shaky) trust - it will quickly turn to cynicism if he fails to follow through or get any real change.

          I would've been prepared to give him a chance but after the way he's carried on with the whole NBN business, I'm done.

            Especially true given his personal investment choices. He knows FttN is a defunct solution - but he's forced to spit out his government's faulty policy.

              Exactly. As @35 said, he might have some different (better) views in some areas, but at the end of the day he's still part of the Coalition. Maybe if he was leader and was therefore free to actually push his own views, things would be different.

                The Liberal's swapping out Abbott?

                Unless he steps down, won't happen - remember, this is a party that honors their pre-election promises! (If you can still believe that.. I never did before the election, but eh)

                Still, even before the election - even before the media blackout, in which the Libs introduced policies they had said they were against - Turnbull did 180's on this stuff.

                He isn't the good sheep in a bad flock. He's just part of the crowd.

        the problem with Turnbull (& some other, less prominent LNP MPs) is that while his views are quite moderate, he's a member of the LNP & has to tow the party line.

        so unless he becomes leader, his views & policies can & will be overruled by the party.

        Last edited 31/07/14 10:06 am

        No. he was appointed to his position for two reasons: because of his perceived experience in the field because of that startup he was involved in; and to appease the considerable faction who support his leadership aspirations.
        Like the rest of that party, he's there to tow the the line and provide good PR.

      That's literally the most retarded idea I've ever heard. Why the hell should our prices be pegged to the US? Why not the UK? Or Hong Kong? Or Namibia?

      Who the hell is going to police the millions and millions of items available for sale? You? The AFP? Coast Guard?

      Unlike your dummy kneejerk response, Turnbull's was measured and actually made sense. Piracy competes with legitimate purchases, so you if companies want to reduce piracy, they should reduce the incentives. Probably because he understands basic economics, unlike you.

      And, as he said, the Government shouldn't tell businesses how much they are allowed to charge for goods and services, mainly because we don't live in 1950s Russia.

      Last edited 31/07/14 11:22 am

        So what incentive is Turnbull proposing for companies besides a friendly suggestion? Punishing citizens and pushing them toward buying no matter the price?

          Uh, the incentive is to reduce piracy. Like he directly states. Reduce the reasons to pirate (like price and availability) and you increase q, hopefully increasing net revenue.

          And no one is forcing you to buy that Keeping Up With The Kardashians boxset, friend. It's hardly an essential product with inelastic price demand. Don't like the price, don't buy it.

          Or, I dunno, whine on the internet. Up to you.

            But reducing piracy isn't an incentive for content distributors. Their one and only goal is to maximize profits, and less piracy doesn't equal more money.

            What makes them money is protecting monopolies and overcharging. In other words, their biggest money earners are the reasons (excuses, w/e) that people pirate. Doing something about it would result in less piracy, but they'd also make less profit, hence the lack of any such action.

              Less piracy doesn't equal more money? That's a pretty huge assumption with no real basis. It's really going to depend on the relationship between price and demand, which in turn depends on the underlying product/service and the place it's being sold.

              If we go by your logic, then the same proportion of people will always pirate their content, so of course they shouldn't reduce their prices. But that's not how the actual world works. And it also goes against every single person who argues on Giz that they only pirate because 'price gouging'.

              I quite liked the Amazon post yesterday showing lower prices increase sale to the point of making more profit. But I doubt Village Roadshow or Foxtel are going to ever get on that train.

                I... Actually disagree with you about the Amazon thing.

                You should look into the pricing model they use.

                If you (the author) charge between 2.99 USD (Only currency, last I checked) and 9.99 USD, you got 70% of the profit, Amazon got the rest.

                Outside of that, Amazon got a sh*tload more.

                The Amazon story you referred to has other factors, IE - a publisher (different contracts) -- who pay for editors, etc... if you think they're defunct, get a kindle and read most of the kindle top sellers.

                That and Amazon were taking money from consumers who had bought physical books, then not actually putting them in the mail for a few weeks out of spite, because a publisher who, legally, had the right to set prices, didn't do what Amazon wanted.

                .... I kinda read books a sh*tload, this hurt me personally when Amazon didn't send me the book I paid for. Despite it being 'In Stock'.

              You say that, but whether the companies maximise profit by charging more and living with the consequent level of piracy, or by reducing piracy through price decreases that is an empirical question (as with the Amazon math @dknigs mentioned).

              If they would have greater profits from selling at a lower price but selling more units then selling at that lower price would make more sense. However, when you get multiple product lines with different pricing and profit rates things can get complicated. It is possible that a company could be better off by having a pricier streaming service because the profit margins are higher on the BR discs and having the higher price makes people more likely to buy BRs, and that more than offsets increased piracy which occurs as a result.

              Similarly with Amazon: it might be that they would make more off e-books if the price of e-books is decreased, but if that cuts into the number of higher-profit hardbacks being sold then that loss may be greater than the gain from increased e-book sales.

              Mind you, I'm certainly not saying that companies have crunched the numbers as to what produced higher profits.

            Don't worry, Malcolm has sorted it out! He's now publically requested media companies sue mum and dad, as well as student pirates to get the message across.

            Seriously, lets just try EVERYTHING the rest of the world has already worked out doesn't work, like FTTN internet! Didn't music companies try this before giving in to reasonable online distribution?

      Thats the one thing I dont understand, we have all these "trade agreements" all with the word "free" in the title... and Australia is getting insanely expensive really fast. I would like to see some trade agreements that say they cant abuse the Australian market place they are getting "free" access too... not mark up recommended retail prices outside the reasonable costs and the price of the australian dollar. Cause outside of the piracy clauses which are obviously tacked on by the American business interests and not South Korea itself, what are we getting for this free trade agreement ?

      There is no way I technically should be paying 150% (or more) for the same electronic distrubted media software / games / songs / television made in the United States when their customer service is offshored in India and their money is offshored to Ireland.

    I still can't believe that it should even be possible to simply "overturn" a high court decision... It boggles my mind that it was even suggested. "Oh we didn't get the result we wanted even after multiple appeals. I know, let's just overturn it"

      From what I know, they aren't turning around and telling iiNet "Sorry, that decision years ago was overturned, you guys are now guilty". It was because there was no law specifically identifying ISP as the responsible party, the High Court made the decision that they are not.

      Now the government wants to go and MAKE a new law (as governments do) to make ISPs responsible, that means any new law suit similar to iiNet will have different results...

      Kinda like how people used to abuse loopholes and get away free until a law is in place to close the loophole...

        It's not 'kinda like how people used to abuse loopholes'....

        Because it wasn't a loophole. It was a glaring case of the law being applied correctly. Big difference when you're changing who's at fault.

        Coming up next: Microsoft at fault because some random guy made a virtual machine in the newly released Australia azure system that contained 'The Lego Movie'

        .... because that's basically the change. That and iPrimus somehow at fault because you had access to the VM at home.... You know.

      I'm pretty sure any attempt to overturn the high court decision would be met with legal action which will take ages. And while the proceedings are in progress then the decision will still be in place I think (I am by no means a legal expert)

      The high court can force the government to do or not do certain things, we have seen it with asylum seekers.

      Last edited 31/07/14 10:29 am

      The courts interpret the law. So it's not a case of them overturning the decision, it's that they'd change the law such that the interpretation that the High Court had come to with the old laws will no longer apply.

      Still pretty shit though, IMO the decision was correct and changing the law to overturn it in this case is crazy.

      The High Court can only interpret legislation. It is not the High Courts job to tell the Government what to do. The Government are within their rights to render a High Courts decision void by passing new laws where possible. This has happened many times in the past on both sides of politics.

        I understand that but I was under the impression that you could use pass legal results as basis for other cases... Obviously if the law changes they might not be relevant anymore, but I thought that's why court decisions were so important... because they set a legal precedent.

        I guess it happens all the time but seems weird

          You can use past legal results as precedence, but when many acts intersect (happens), the jargon gets complicated real quick.

          Then one act has an amendment, or a whole new act comes in, or something else changes.

          Equilibrium in law = gone.

          Equilibrium the movie = still awesome. Those fight scenes...

        what boggles my mind is that over rulling high court decisions by passing new laws is itself a loophole

        the only checks and balances to avoid it being abused is to ensure that the laws being passed are requested by the people it impacts and represents.

        Except we know in this case its being pushed by big media

        If we had a national vote on this topic im sure all nobody without a vested interest would vote yes

    I know what the problem is.
    You know what the problem is.
    Turnbull knows what the problem is.

    The only people who don't get it are the old media companies. Unfortunately they are the ones who employ lobbyists.

      They get what the problem is, but they assume it's more profitable to rip off the customers that they do have and play victim than to appeal to the customers that they don't have. God forbid they should turn a profit by updating their antiquated business model and actually competing instead of lobbying.

      They know what the problem is and they have watched the music business ditch the antique business model of making people pay per song or per album to letting people pay $10 per month for a unlimited online music streaming collection that allows you to pick any artist and any song on pretty much every device in your house and car or stream music from other services like pandora for free. Now the music industry is back to turning a profit but mostly from concert sales however the profit from directly streaming music is no where near what album sales were but hey its better then nothing.

      Then the Movie industry starts feeling the pinch of piracy in the US when everyone's internet speed picks up in the late 2000s so now we have services like netflix in the US (and for smart people in AU that know how to redirect traffic) sure they may not turn the same profit they did 20 years ago and people are only paying $8 for unlimited movies and TV shows but its better then nothing.

      Mr Murdoch and his buddy's makes how much every month just off the basic foxtel packages and if a service to the same quality of netflix was to start in AU officially foxtel subscriptions would take a very sharp painful nose dive which is why MR Murdoch is trying so hard to keep netflix out of the country.

      I have no doubt that it will come eventually but we may have to wait a little while longer.

      The industry is run by dinosaurs.

      Fortunately the comet that is Netflix will strike eventually and wipe them out.

    after what turnbull backed as an appropriate alternative for the NBN and the rubbish he spouted during that time which showed he clearly has no understanding of any of it im inclined to not a give any credence to what he says whether its vaguely correct or not

      In his defense there are a mass array of articles which have stated 100mpbs is achievable on copper networks,

      if thats true then the only downside to copper will be its longevity, as we've seen the stuff doesn't really hold up well over time

        Sure that works great in a lab.. but in the real world, with old, corroded, wet and repaired copper (that is thinner diameter than elsewhere) and at line distances hundreds of metres from the node it doesn't look so promising.

          I agree, i guess it's like deciding to get a new car, or to keep fixing your old one thats falling apart

        100mbps *is* achievable on copper networks. Most of the time I get a bit above that on Telstra High-Frequency Cable.

          The speeds you receive on your Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial are different to the speeds you would receive on fibre (or on copper phone lines) because it is shared on the local loop. With fibre or phone lines there is an unshared connection between you and the exchange. This means that so long as the upstream from the exchange is fast enough you can reach your maximum line speed.
          In contrast, HFC is a shared loop so the speed of your connection to the node is affected by the other users on the loop. Their activity can slow you down no matter how big the upstream connection from the node.

            Yes, there's a number of caveats, but it can do 100mbps. It's not theoretical. I wasn't saying that that means we don't need a proper network to replace it.

              Oh, absolutely.
              I think the downvoting responses (and my response) were because people extrapolated it as "We don't need fibre, we can get 100Mbps on phone line copper" because that gets said so often.

          For everyone downvoting without actually reading properly, this isn't saying that copper is the solution and we should stay with it forever, just that it can do 100mbps. Which is true.

          It's not constant and it's certainly not guaranteed throughput at all times, but it's possible. Fiber is miles better but the Telstra HFC network basically is the NBN now :(

            Who cares what's possible with a whole lot of caveats?
            Is it possible in the real world where HFC will be shared by everyone on your street?
            Or where the phone line is 50 years old, been gel capped together to repair it in 3 places along the length and is sitting in a wet plastic bag before hooking into your home?
            That's what actually matters and the answer to the actual question is "no, not even theoretically!"

            "Copper" (meaning the existing network of telephone lines) can do 100Mbps - but only over short distances of up to 500m (theoretical, less in adverse conditions). Newer protocols manage speeds up to 1Gbps - but only over even shorter distances, like 50m (i.e. apartment wiring). Twisted pair can only do so much, even in ideal cases.

            HFC is copper but is much better insulated against noise, and so is capable of higher speeds than twisted pair phone lines. Unfortunately the HFC networks only cover a fairly small percentage of the population - hardly a National network.

            You'd have to install new HFC cables most places, but if you're going to do that, you might as well install fibre, which of course is capable of hundreds of Gbps over tens of kilometres.

    Luke, please update the article with "the answer" cause at the moment the body fails to deliver on the headline..
    He offers up a 3 strikes policy, an idea that has been implemented in the UK and has subsequently been shown to be ineffective, and fails to solve the actual problem of availability and price apart from waving his hands about vaguely asking for "justification" that we have already seen from the 2013 IT pricing Inquiry is barely even given lip service by content owners.
    How about making exclusive contracts to content illegal? That'd be a great first step in opening up competition and increasing competition ought to see price advantages flow to consumers.

    Last edited 31/07/14 10:38 am

      I think the "answer" is voting these fools out in the next election. We need people who don't just happily suck on the cooperate c**k.

        Labor has been in support of anti-piracy measures. Conroy was extremely vocal about his thoughts about the iiNet case.

          Not to the extent that these people promise and they haven't been quite so chummy with lobbyists and business in general.

            You can't be serious. Anti-piracy lobbyists gave almost as much to Labor (about $1.8M) as they did to Liberals (about $2M). I seem to recall Labor being the ones trying to introduce the most draconian censorship on the internet that I've ever heard of for a Western country.
            You are trying to convince people that Labor won't support this idea, when history has shown that they definitely will and have been very vocal in being against piracy.

              If you look at my original comment I never said "labour" or even indicated a reference to them. It was you who drew me into defending them as an alternative.
              All I remember about Scott Ludlam's ineffective anti-piracy screeds was that they were thrown out the window long before the part was voted out.



      People are entitled to sell their products for whatever price they like

      Especially if they have a monopoly right

        because its worked so well with Foxtel right guys? guys? god damn monopoly's :(

    Well, after the NBN stuff, he's just proven here that he doesn't know anything, the 3 strikes thing doesn't work, and cost ISP's money to operate, because media companies wont foot the bill. We need the same content as everywhere else at the same price, none of this regionalist crap that's been going on forever (looking at you PAL/NTSC territory companies).

    As far as the notion of cracking down on pirating, I completely understand why the government is doing it. It is technically illegal but it’s basically not enforced at all. The perceived “victims” of this crime have every right to lobby the government to enforce the law.
    I know there is a major local content distribution problem here. We all know that, even most politicians have been acknowledging it. However, it does get difficult for politicians to legislate against. Luckily the free market has sorted itself out when it comes to music and games, unfortunately it’s not going the way we want it to with movies/tv. What specifically should the government do? Do they tell companies they aren’t allowed to charge a certain amount? Do they provide companies financial incentives to reduce their prices? Do they just boost up ABC/SBS to start providing more content to influence the market? I have no idea but shouldn’t this be the focus of discussion, rather than whether or not the government is going to start enforcing a law?

      That really depends on whether it's a crime, or whether it's an infringement on their intellectual property in which case it's a civil matter and the Government really has no place subsidising the litigation costs of a movie studio.

        One place where that could get messy is if an independent artist's copyright is infringed upon by a large, well funded, lawyered company. The disparity in ability to pay for lawyers could prevent the artist being able to pursue the company for the infringement.
        (Not saying copyright infringement should be criminalised, but rather just pointing out that there are problems introduced by the current system as well).

      Its a tough question when you ask what can they do.

      But when a company charges so many other countries a flat rate of around the same cost for a product and then increase the cost of the product 100% in Australia and jump up and down and scream lawsuits when we respond with piracy well maybe the government should step in and say yes we will help reduce piracy HOWEVER you need to offer content at a reasonable cost.

        Indeed. The government refuses to "interfere with the private sector" by telling them what to do about pricing, yet they'll happily interfere by legislating to advantage one industry at the cost of another.

        They should really start adopting a more "all or nothing" approach here. Either you regulate the content industry (pricing, availability, legislation, etc.) or you let them fight their own battle.

        when a company charges so many other countries a flat rate of around the same cost for a product

        Is that actually what happens? Genuinely curious here.

          More or less a digital product might be $5.00 US and generally tat price will stay the same when sold in the Europe with a slight adjustment due to the exchange rate. However that $5.00 US will magically transform to about $12.00 AU without any real justification.

    So basically what Malcolm "Destroy the NBN" Turnbull is saying is, "We will not step in to regulate pricing because that would be bad and very much against Coalition policy. Instead, we're going to ask them if they can be bothered explaining why they're gouging Australians for no reason, or else we... might ask them again possibly."

    Meanwhile, he says "Yes I still believe the High Court got it right regarding iiNet, but no I won't be standing up for that decision when the government implements its new anti-piracy policy."

    The man isn't a saviour or a friend of the internet in Australia. If he were he'd be making it very clear how much he disagrees with the suggestion to overturn the iiNet case, or state how ineffectual website blocking will be. He's no different from Brandis or Abbott. He puts business interests first and the public's interests second (or third, or possibly much lower depending on the issue).

    When i see people on forums arguing that the minimum wage in Australia is much higher then the US minimum wage i feel like burying my head in my hands and laughing at the stupidity of that argument (I'm sure its being made by kids that still live at home mortgage and dependent free Not full grown working adults with families).
    It never takes into account the cost of living in both countries winch in the US is much much cheaper then here in Australia. We may have a higher minimum wage but it doesn't mean people on minimum wage don't struggle.

    I think that if a product is sold digitally in the US for $5.00 then there is no reason that it cant be sold here for the same amount once the US $ is converted to the AU $ of course.

    If we are talking digitally whats the cost a few extra servers in a data center maybe 2 or 3 IT technicians (which im sure would be sourced ad-hoc from a IT firm and not on the regular payroll)? Sure that stuff costs allot of money but the price they sell the content for even in the US turns a profit and leaves room for things like hardware and employee costs.

    So for the love of god please don't be fooled by the minimum wage argument especially when we are talking digitally

      When I hear people claim that businesses have to set their price based on their costs plus an arbitrary percentage, I also want to bury my head in my hands.

      Not sure why it's the prevalent view, especially among the (supposedly intelligent ) subset of the population that reads Gizmodo. That's something that you should have been taught in year 11.

      Why do companies charge Australians more? Because we have a higher willingness to pay. Costs have nothing to do with it.

        Most people have never studied economics, and the idea that price is based on costs + what seems like a reasonable profit does have intuitive appeal (I think because it feels in the gut like what a 'reasonable' company would do).

        Spot on. Businesses should be able to set their prices to the highest consumers are willing to pay. However, inflexibility by the company when consumers are illustrating that they are unwilling to pay that price, through piracy and the use of VPNs to obtain legal material (apparently we have high piracy rates and estimates of Australian subscriptions to US Netflix is estimated at 200+ thousand) should not result in the punishment of the consumer to realign them with the views of the company.

        Our "willingness to pay" has traditionally been dependent solely on a lack of other options.

        CDs used to cost $30+, because that's what distributors figured they could get away with, and thanks to the parallel import restrictions in the Copyright Act 1968, we had no other choices if we wanted a CD. Since the 1998 Amendment that relaxed these, prices have fallen dramatically.

        But in digital markets, content owners can still apply all the same import restrictions today, through geoblocking and EULAs as well as copyright laws. But rather than changing our laws again to allow increased competition, our government is just giving the content owners bigger sticks to threaten us with - and we taxpayers even get to cover their costs.

    Alternative twist. The govt steps back and says go nuts to downloading to force providers into giving us online streaming/purchasing capabilities at a reasonable price (i.e the same USD price that the US pays. Give us access to services like Hulu / Netflix .. Foxtel could maybe away from its antiquated packaging structure that is a rort in itself)

    Just a thought ( I know this would never happen but hey we can dream :D )

    Turnbull is your typical politician. Say what everyone wants to here but then screw the citizen behind closed doors. Like the saying says. How do you know when a politician is lying. His lips are moving.

    If the corporates don't want to modernise the government should call their bluff and do it themselves. Throw some money at the ABC to give iview a paid streaming service.

    "Fortunately the comet that is Netflix will strike eventually and wipe them out."

    i have had netflix for a couple of months, and it is good for old TV shows, but it isnt a comment. Its movie choices are appalling to dreadful, it has no HBO programming. I dont see why people think it is alternative to piracy/ituens subscription

    "You keep on reducing and reducing and reducing the incentive for people to do the wrong thing."

    Now, if only business would listen to this...

    Let's be honest here, this is discrimination based on location.
    We are being unfairly treated because we happen to live in a different part of the world.
    They wouldn't do it to us if we were a different race, gender or sexual preference but they will happily do it because we don't live near them.
    I think if more people were to call this discrimination (which it is!) then more would be done about it.
    They are happy to let their online advertisements target us but when people actually want to see the things they are advertising then they cry foul. They wouldn't offer money to a homeless man and then take it away. It is called bullying and again the government doesn't seem to care.
    It's time to call them on the discrimination and bullying!

    We can't enforce pricing to help the people, but we will be their attack dog to help make sure they secure their profits.

    Ah governments. One is never better than the other. Shoot em all and let God sort em out.

    The issue is you cannot provide content in a reliable / timely manner via streaming services due to the poor condition of:
    a. The condition of Australia's comms network.
    b. The conditions of usage for which internet services are measure (aka data/speed caps).

    If you need more evidence look at the music industry (as Mr Turnbull himself pointed out).

    People are entitled to sell their products for whatever price they like: the government shouldn’t be setting prices here, that’s not what I’m saying. But if you want to discourage piracy — and the music industry’s response here has worked well — [you should] make content available globally, universally and affordably. You keep on reducing and reducing and reducing the incentive for people to do the wrong thing.

    This industry has succeeded in Aus (spotify, iTunes) because over the existing infrastructure despite the fact of inconsistency in delivering bandwidth (particularly after it rains), even with only 5Mbps average achievable by the majority of the population over ADSL it's still enough to deliver a user experience that is of reasonable quality (if not premium) in regards to streaming music even better if you're paying to download the content to play locally.

    However take a look at the content that is being whined about the most over the recent months, game of thrones for example. First and foremost i should point out that it isn't the content creators that are whinging about piracy, it is the content distributors (aka the Murdoch Monopoly). People want to watch this stuff in HD and they want to watch it as (or as close to) it's being aired as possible, and they dont want to pay $50 - 70 per month for a bunch of other channels they wont ever need or use.

    Therefore what are the other options?
    - Download legitimately from iTunes... that's gone.

    - Pay Murdoch's ridiculous fees for access to foxtel services (even his IPTV services are over-priced and you need a decent net conn to use).

    - Use a VPN to bypass geoblocking and access netflix-like streaming services in the US... Which is all fine and dandy but again requires you to have an excellent net conn.

    - Pirate the content... Settle perhaps for getting it an hour to a day later at most but it will be as high quality as is necessary for you to enjoy the content to its fullest.

    You need at least 8-12Mbps to stream HD content that has been compressed. What happens when in another year or 2 people start demanding 4K content? 25Mbps minimum for a single, compressed stream (60Mbps uncompressed). And where is this bandwidth going to come from? HFC can provide it marginally at the moment for some users where contention is non-existant but the governments backwards thinking is not to provide such service to the average household. Therefore other then this the lucky 26% of the country that gets FTTP and the rest (close to half) miss out.

    The governments assumption that 25Mbps will be enough per fixed line for a broadband network is complete and utter horseshit, what happens if people have more then 1 TV? or a PC and a TV?

    Apparently according to the comms minister

    The debate here is for the content owners to justify what they are doing [charging Australians more for content],” he added.

    Yeah that's bullshit, the real issue is why are you not building the policy/infrastructure to:
    a. Deal with the oncoming demand storm that is 4K content.

    b. incentivize the tech industry to host services locally and therefore reduce costs of content subscription to the end consumer.

    c. incentivize renewable energy that can cut costs of datacenters by as much as 30% or more and therefore reduce costs of content subscription to the end consumer.

    The only reason is vested incumbent interests. Shaft the trash Abbott government and we may yet get a reasonable future.

    Until then happy Pirating

    Last edited 01/08/14 4:43 am

    I think publishers shouldn't treat pirates as thiefs but as potential customers. Pirates clearly want the content but there's a reason they're not following the regular procedure to obtain said content, fix that & the majority will change their ways. Punish them & they'll find other ways to circumvent the system- it'll end up costing them a lot more to fight the pirates than to convert them.

    Turnbull is too mild for the coalition that exists today, many Labor members are even more conservative than him. The sad fact is he wasn't extreme enough to lead the far right party, now we have George W. Bush's devil spawn leading the party, implementing backwards policies & destroying many basic human rights along the way.

    I think its pointless to look for solutions when we don't really understand the scale of the problem. Does anyone know of any good resources that point us to the facts and figures on piracy?

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