ICYMI: Global Tech Giants Hate Australia's Piracy Proposals

So this is awkward. Just about every Silicon Valley tech company worth noting, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Samsung and others, have all come together to slam Australia's anti-piracy proposals. It isn't pretty.

For those behind the 8-ball, the Australian Government is on the verge of a massive piracy intervention in this country, considering proposals involving site blocking, three-strike schemes and potential bandwidth throttling for convicted offenders.

The rhetoric around the proposal has reached fever pitch, with anti-piracy bulldog Village Roadshow, using its submission to the Government's consultation process to compare pirates to paedophiles and terrorists. Classy.

The Computer and Communications Association (CCIA) is an industry group consisting of a massive bloc of tech companies and global telcos, including (but not limited to), eBay, Facebook, Foursquare, Google, Intuit, Microsoft, Motorola, Pandora, RedHat, Samsung, TiVo and Yahoo. So, you know, pretty much every global tech heavyweight that matters.

The CCIA observes in its paper that the government shouldn't introduce policies like site-blocking and graduated response schemes, and instead should focus on stuff like working with rights-holders to make content more freely available, and to lower prices. >Google Australia has said similar things out on its own before.

The CCIA goes on to say that, despite the lack of a graduated response scheme, rights holders are already able to take legal action in Australia against film pirates, re-iterating that three-strike schemes have been shown to yield little to no results in stemming piracy.

The industry giant also gave the government a stern warning that such policies on copyright were not being generated out of knee-jerk reactions to overblown problems made up by rights holders.

The submission closes with the CCIA urging the government to "think carefully before pushing further to expand authorisation liability".

Read the full submission here.



    You expect anything else from the worst PM, Treasurer, FAM, speaker of the house and worst single government in the history of this nation ? Even past LNP PM's agree. This government is a disaster.

    Has any so-called rights holder ever been actually been able to prove any loss whatsoever due to piracy?

    The music industry grew after the introduction of cassette recorders.
    The book industry grew after the introduction of photo copiers.
    I believe Microsoft was able to squash competitors to its Word app by encouraging people to pirate its software.
    The movie industry is growing since the alleged introduction of piracy.

      Apart from your examples, industry studies suggest that digital copyright infringement has a detrimental impact on revenue; research institutes (re: universities) appear to suggest that the same actions can have a pro-social effect (sharing amongst communities and friends) with positive revenue impacts, indications that high-rate infringement demographics spend the most money on digital entertainment, or like the findings of industry, that there may be detrimental effects.
      Anecdotally, there is a case study, or at least there should be, on Valve's approach to rampant copyright infringement in Eastern Europe through Steam, their digital distribution platform for video games. The aphorism of "timely release windows and reasonable pricing" reducing copyright infringement appears to have held true in that instance.

      It depends what data you specifically want to review and for what purpose.

      Your comments are stupid and reckless. I will come and steal your property and lets see if it has a benefit to you. OMG.

      Every household I have asked if they watch pirated content and they say yes. Blocking sites that hold pirated content is a great way to go. The average household cannot be trusted to do the right thing.

        You are not allowed to steal my stuff! You are more than welcome to make a copy of my stuff. Stealing and copying is not the same thing.

          Alright, where do you keep those financial documents :P haha I wouldn't do that.

        Aha, someone with all the answers - at last! How many households did you ask? Two, three, four? Five, ok. Good, that just about covers most of the country, doesn't it?

        I hope you gave your findings to Senator George Brandis and Malcolm Turnbull - no doubt they will be very interested in your data.

          C'mon, anecdotal evidence is the best kind!

        you are... Australian... right?! You do live here? Or are you someone from overseas? Or perhaps your only just joining this 2 year old conversation now?

        Who let this child onto the internet?

        Does your mummy know you're here posting comments?

        So what you're saying is "Everyone thinks this is an OK thing to do - let's punish them!". I thought we're meant to have a majority rule?

        yes because something that can be bypassed in under 5 seconds is a much better option than not tearing the average Aussie a new asshole to watch new content, well done!

        @skurlow reminds me of the Geoff Tate lovers over on the Blabbermouth Queensryche articles

    lucky our government knows a thing or two about technologies and can be trusted to make the best decision for the tax payers... :/

      I mean the Communications Minister "Pretty much invented the Internet in this country"

        Tranlation: "One of the companies in my portfolio I invested in was OzEmail, I had no role in running it and I invested years after the internet was established in australia. It was never a particularly major player". Turnbulls full of shit.

          Are you stupid? Turnbull was the chairman of OzEmail for 5 years, he had a direct role in running the company. Until only a few years before its acquisition by iiNet, OzEmail was the largest ISP in Australia, I'd say that qualifies as a 'major player'.

          The only thing you said that was actually correct was that Turnbull had no role in the creation of the internet in Australia. But then it was Abbott who made that claim, not Turnbull, so I'm not sure why you're directing your crude sarcasm at him here.

          There are plenty of reasons to dislike the current government. The least you could do is make sure your reasons are factual.

          Last edited 06/09/14 10:21 pm

            Factual reasons never stopped people before. Why start now?

      LOL! That right there is funny !!

    Overblown, authoritarian, knee jerk. When did they meet with Tony?

    They've gotten confused. To have a say you need to make a contribution, not a submission.

    A well reasoned, evidence-based submission... so it won't be any surprise when the government just completely ignores it and sides with Village Roadshow and their "piracy is worse than pedophilia and terrorism" angle.

      Well you know, the government's job is to serve the big business, to extract money and exact punitive punishment against the consumer or common person. Lets just ignore the Australia tax and geoblocking of services to ensure maximum revenue. While they're at it, lets get an extension on copyright from life + 70 years to life + 140 years, or some such reasonable figure.. it's only fair!

        Except the government is telling the ATO to investigate these big business' to find out why they are making so much money from Australians, but paying so little tax.

    Pretty much none of those companies listed create intellectual property in the form of movies, music or TV shows. So I am not sure why the government would care what they think over what Sony, FOX, Universal, Village Roadshow, etc think.
    I don't necessarily agree with the current plan but simply arguing that because Google doesn't think it's a good idea it shouldn't go ahead isn't actually a compelling argument.

      True, but these companies have face much larger problems with piracy over the years - namely in software! Software piracy has been a far larger, longer, ongoing problem than TV/Movie piracy (in the "downloading realm", not talking "$5 special movies" at markets etc). And these companies have managed to form business models and thrive despite the software piracy without havign to resort to forcing the govenment to inact ineffectinve/draconian punishment policies.

      Last edited 06/09/14 8:55 am

        Exactly, some of these companies have made money giving away stuff for free or extremely cheap. They've proven that low cost high volume = profit just as much as high cost low volume does. And that alternate revenue is still revenue (ads paying for services for example).

        I really hope the whole anti-piracy proposal gets knocked on its head because I can't see it actually achieving what they claim it's meant to. I can only see it costing a fortune and negatively impacting average people and their ISPs.

      Yes they do, they own online distribution businesses and are being locked out of content by content gatekeepers.

    Still couldn't care less about the Governments anti piracy push on behalf of the Entertainment Industry. Nothing they do is going to stop me either way. I'll still pay for content in it's boxed set form etc when it's available, however if they think they're going to stop me obtaining the media before it's released 3 months or so more later in Australia, they have rocks in their collective heads.

    Last edited 05/09/14 7:49 pm

      Well if you don't care paying $150+ extra for your internet bill so your ISP to perform useless measures to monitor your VPN'ed traffic.

    like the current australian government would listen to the people who actually know what they are talking about (unless it involves their friends making money)

    Just come back from china where all sorts of stuff is blocked - including everything google

    Took me about an hour to figure my way round every block they put up. I was using everything i wanted. Im not a particularly tech savvy guy.

    Do you remember teaching your parents how to use computers and the net. Now imagine if they then turned around and started making policy on he internet.........

    Thats what we have here - stupid old men with no idea how stupid they sound trying to plug dykes with their fingers.

    The trouble with the government is that they are so arrogant I think they would be happy to be seen as some kind of dictatorship.

    We help foreign big business by paying the Australia tax which is 40% more than the rest of the world

    I'm against the people who profit out of piracy, they should be rightly hung and quartered, but the vast majority of people download for their own use, and or share with friends for absolutely no monetary gain, they don't distribute and there's no sucking of mountains of money from the tv/movie industry.
    The CCIA and others are trying to implement policy in Oz that they dare not even try in their own country, so why is Oz even listening to these people ? Abbot is just being a puppet, wave a few bux or some other incentive in his face and watch him dance, they are certainly not consulting the people !
    My big wish is that we get a technology minister who actually knows what he's talking about !
    Then get a prime minister with balls.

      I'm confused by the first paragraph. I think you are saying that you are against people who profit out of piracy, but piracy itself is ok as long as it's for "personal use." So, let's say (not so hypothetically) a whole stack of people in Australia download GoT for their personal use, and apparently also the use of their friends as long as they aren't charged for it. It's all ok because the people that downloaded it didn't make any money from watching it or sharing it - which I suppose makes them just like everyone involved in the production who also didn't get anything from all those people watching and sharing. It's quite an odd argument really.
      Let's assume your point is that some people won't download it, they'll watch it (and the ads that pay for it) on networks that have forked out large amounts of cash for the rights to broadcast it, or they will buy boxsets (or streams or whatever), and those people/suckers will be how those involved in the production get paid. In effect the non-pirates will subsidise all those people who download for "personal use." How exactly is that not profiting out of piracy? I got something (an asset, be it permanent because I keep the copy, or temporary because I watch and delete) I didn't pay for - surely a fairly robust definition of profit, and susequently of theft.
      I'm also quite confused by the argument at the top of the thread that says that taking a copy is not like stealing, presumably because the person who purchased the first one still has it. Does this mean that walking into my local JB and taking a movie/cd and walking out with it without paying is not stealing. After all, the original still exists, I'm just taking a copy. What if I pay for the physical bits, just the box and the cover art and the actual disc itself. Would that make it better?

      Don't get me wrong, I think the government's plan is unworkable and doomed to failure at all levels and I don't know the answer to the problem, but neither of those arguments cut it for me. Keep trying.

    I thought the Libs already solved the piracy problem by building an elcheapo go slow NBN that can't cope with a single MP3 download??

      So you're under the impression that the FTTN will be slower than dialup?

    my sole sentiment on this:
    It's my bandwidth, I pay for it, LEAVE IT ALONE!

    Yes please! Lower the prices! They can't take away your bandwidth, because you pay for it. Pay TV costs way too much here that my family wouldn't even consider paying a huge chunk of cash just to have a couple of new channels. For some people piracy is the only way to watch their favourite show, when otherwise you would be facing paying for huge TV packages with a lot of other useless channels all because it is a pay tv exclusive in our country

    I just want to know when these companies like Village Roadshow realise that the sole reason they exist is to serve the customer and not vice versa, without us, they have no business. have they ever heard the saying don't bite the hand that feeds you.

    So they show utter contempt to us the consumer but not realising how much power the customer now has and that is what has them running scared, we don't need them any more. In the last couple of years we have made a business model that has worked for many decades pretty much obsolete and they are scared that they will be a relic of the past, one of the many businesses the internet has chewed up and spat out but instead of going with the flow they are fighting tooth and nail to keep their sinking ship afloat even though there is a new ship for them in the harbour.

    So the internet is not going away, either get with the times or die.

      I just want to know when these companies like Village Roadshow realise that the sole reason they exist is to serve the customer and not vice versa

      Yes and no. They exist to broker the delivery of products from Movie Studios to consumers via home media or exhibition (ie: theatres).

      So they show utter contempt to us the consumer but not realising how much power the customer now has and that is what has them running scared, we don't need them any more.

      We consumers may not need them but movie studios may still need them to oversee the logistics of getting the product delivered.

      The problem is the Internet provides an economical model where distributors are no longer needed or require adaptation to the high volume, low margin business the world has become.

      So the internet is not going away, either get with the times or die.

      Funny you should say that: if Burke's own submission is anything to go by, high speed Internet is actually a problem for the movie industry.

    These articles should be broadcasted in Oz TV New's to keep everyone up to date on what the discussions are. Such hot topics like these are mentioned once to the publish and then forgotten whilst the govt's sit down and think what to.

    Perhaps these articles can put them back to the drawing board ?



    The industry still makes money on pirated movies. The way I see it is if my kids don't watch a movie, they wont ask for the toys associated with it. If they do, then I have to fork out for all the toys etc. So therefore I won't take my kids to the movies, as they are ridiculously priced. So I can wait until Kmart has a sale any buy the movie for $3.99, big deal $3.99, if it has already screened on free to air tv, I don't see how downloading it to watch in your own home is illegal, considering I can record on PVR and edit the commercials out. I agree movies that are currently screening should be restricted for those who pay to see it at the movies, but after that big deal.

    Don't worry the Minister for Hollywood will save American businesses at the cost of Australian businesses and citizens.

    I have no qualms downloading content. Most of it I pay for anyway through a Foxtel subscription on the T-Box. I also buy the DVD/BluRay when they come out, so in effect I'm paying for the content twice.

    As for movies, if it's a good movie I pay to watch it in the cinema, and I pay for the BluRay when it comes out. Once again paying for it twice. And I have no problems with that for a good movie.

    I buy fresh food from local grocers, butchers and bakers rather than the supermarkets, even when it costs a little more because the quality is good and I don't want to lose that. The same applies to movies and TV.

    It's scary just how much power Murdoch has over the government.

    This is all on you; I didn't vote for him. I voted for the lunatic.

    Last edited 08/09/14 3:33 pm

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