iiNet Lets Fly In Submission To Govt. Copyright Discussion

The government has recently started paying a lot more attention to copyright infringement -- specifically the downloading of music, movies, TV shows and related content via torrents, Usenet and other sources. Its most recent move was to release a discussion paper on the topic, along with a request for suggestions and feedback. Service provider iiNet has used the opportunity to set the record straight on a number of "facts" wielded by rights holders.

Published today, the 27-page paper covers a range of issues, including privacy concerns, data retention plans and the effectiveness of the graduated response, as well as the contentious idea of blocking repeat offenders.

It's the weekend, so I wouldn't blame you if you're not entirely up for reading through it all. Fortunately, iiNet's chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby has condensed the key points into a post on the ISP's official blog.

Firstly, Dalby states that the issue of copyright infringement can't be dealt with by "applying a band aid" -- it will require a "long term solution" that reduces piracy not by punishing infringers, but given people less reasons to download content illegally.

He also mentions that most Australian consumers would be happy to pay for content, if someone actually offered it locally. He cites Foxtel's own report of the success it's had with season four of Game of Thrones, with the pay TV provider recording some 500,000 purchases and the "lengths" people go to in order to subvert geo-blocking for services such as Netflix.

Australia also isn't the piracy heavyweight it's made out to be. Sure, we download the hell out of certain content, but in international terms, we don't even make the top 10 for copyright infringement.

If you do dive into the paper itself, iiNet hits out at rights holders' use of "'lobbynomics' rhetoric" and the effect it has had on policy and the media:

The misleading claims by some rights holders about

  • The scale of economic damage;
  • The impact on employment;
  • Where accountabilities sit; and
  • The inflated status of these minor infringements to the equivalent of theft, terrorism and
  • paedophilia;

does little to engender sympathy or credibility with the rights holders' legitimate concerns about online infringement. Such assertions also highlight a disdain of their market, which has encouraged consumers to move in droves to alternative supply arrangements which offer much more customer-focused platforms providing access to very desirable content.

The submission is an excellent source of information if you want to get a better idea of the arguments (and counter-arguments) currently in play as well as a look at how a service provider sees the issue.


Image: iiNet



    Cue the frenzied, screaming, petulant response by Graham Burke.

    Last edited 06/09/14 1:44 pm

      You may get to see one live on Tuesday:

        Why is there seemingly only one person on our side there?? David Buckingham, CEO at iiNet seems to be the only one on our side. All the rest are from companies that have a vested interested in stopping the NBN/putting in this draconian graduated response system etc. i.e. Telstra, Foxtel, APRA, and the ever lovely Burke from Village.

          Because it would be too obvious if there were zero people on our side, there?

          There's only one person fighting for sanity there, so they can use him as a whipping boy/put straw-man words in his mouth, etc.

            Silicon Valley are also on our side! All those companies should get their local arms to put in formal submissions.

      It's kind of nice to have a face to put on the dart board to blame for what's wrong with the industry.

        It's the industry itself that is to blame - not just one person.

      If I remember right, he's elsewhere on business. Most likely to take a brake from all the "crazies" calling him out for the ill informed man he is.

    Here we go , putting reasoned argument and facts forward - tsk tsk tsk
    That will never get a headline - let's get back to the hysteria and knee-jerk legislative sledge-hammer calls based on ignorance and prejudice that we've come to expect in this discussion
    Steve Dalby - (not even an attempt at self-interest ) -sorely disappointed
    Leave the blinkered philistine pig-ignorance to those who are better equipped like Burke (ps - that reminds me, haven't heard from Brandis lately )

    Last edited 06/09/14 2:52 pm

    Also iinet forgets 2 mention data retention system have secret NSA/CIA back doors if the equipment is provided by the US! ill tell them! How do you think the NSA was easily able to spy on Germans when they had mandatory data systems supplied by US companies! The NSA was able to spy on Chancellor and other German politicians using the secret NSA back doors, not to mention there is a risk elite hackers can also find the backdoor(s) and then fet everyone meta data!

    Which bank ..... illegal transactions ripping $$$$$$ thousands from customers, pretending to be 'good guys'.
    Illegal downloading bullshit, blame the customer while making illegal $$$$$$ billions behind the scenes, and Burke, Brandis & Co being paid obscenely high salaries for doing bugger all to benefit and protect Australians, making sure they get a fair deal instead of shooting them in the back..

    Another issue being legislated by over 50's baby boomers who don't know how to use computers.

      I know quite a few over 50's that pirate all the time. Its not hard when there's a pirate bay app on your phone. Love android for that. Thank you Mr. Google

    iiNet is one of the few companies out there who realises the way to maximise their profits in the long run is to fight for the best interests of their customers.

    Australia also isn’t the piracy heavyweight it’s made out to be

    Finally someone with some brains and weight in the industry has put his hand and set the record straight. The ludicrous claims that go out to the masses in this country over the downloading habits too the ppl that don't have a clue and then believe that kind of rubbish is staggering.

    Thankyou iinet
    and keep up the good fight!!!!!!!!!!

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