Village Roadshow's Submission To The Government's Copyright Crackdown Consultation Is Bonkers

Opinion: It's my job here at Gizmodo to bring you the news in the most informative and impartial fashion I can, but every now and then I see something that is just so insane that it can't pass without comment. Village Roadshow Australia's submission to the government's copyright consultation was released yesterday, and it's nuts.

Pirate picture from Shutterstock

When I put together a story, I try and find supporting quotes to bring you the news. With the Village Roadshow submission, I just want to quote the whole thing from top to bottom. It's crazy.

It's one of the most overblown and inflammatory documents about piracy that I think I've ever read. If Village's submission is to be believed, film pirates are coming for your firstborn sons and daughters, scorching the earth behind them in their wake.

According to the film studio, internet access is on the cusp of killing the film industry in this country, and the advent of high speed internet access — via the NBN in its various forms — is twice as deadly.

Village literally compares piracy to paedophilia and terrorism in the introduction of its submission:

"The problem is urgent as piracy is spreading like a highly infectious disease and as bad habits become entrenched, they become harder to eradicate. Also of course high speed broadband is just around the corner.

"The dangers posed by piracy are so great, the goal should be total eradication or zero tolerance. Just as there is no place on the internet for terrorism or paedophilia, there should be no place for theft that will impact the livelihoods of the 900,000 people whose security is protected by legitimate copyright," Village writes.

The film studio then compares the Australian market to overseas competitors, agreeing with the popular theory that lower prices and easier access to content could cut down on piracy rates in this country.

Of course, that's before adding the fact that the price of content in overseas markets is reportedly only 7 per cent higher that it is in Australia, while broadband access costs are roughly 35 per cent more expensive in Australia compared to overseas markets.

And the award for non-sequitur of the day goes to Village Roadshow — Village is trying, in this point, to argue that we're happier to pay for overpriced internet than we are to pay for what the market perceives as overpriced films.

That's a no-win argument, when you figure that I can't buy an internet service from Comcast in my Sydney apartment, but I can stream Netflix. There's no global marketplace for broadband, Village, so that argument doesn't fly.

Village Roadshow then circles back on its old rival, iiNet, in a bid to deconstruct its anti-Village rhetoric.

Speaking to Gizmodo in one of his first interviews on the subject, co-CEO of Village Roadshow Australia, Graham Burke, blamed ISPs for piracy in Australia and flat-out accused iiNet of "lying" about piracy figures and access to protect their own interests. That sparked a war of words between Burke and the chief regulatory officer of iiNet, Steve Dalby.

iiNet published a series of blog posts responding to the studio, as well as talking to us here about it. Basically, Dalby said that it's not iiNet's job to stop film piracy.

Village says that iiNet's blog posts are "very sad for three powerful reasons". Village claims in its submission that iiNet is being misleading by asserting that the studio is leading the government around on piracy, that it can in fact do a job to stop piracy, and the ISP can afford to pay for it given its recent $1 billion revenue result.

Finally, the studio openly berates Dalby in its submission and longs for his retirement, while announcing it has referred the "misleading" blog posts to the consumer watchdog:

"There is a new CEO at iiNet and apparently Mr Dalby is leaving at the end of the year. Let us hope that this regime of encouraging people to email our political leaders on a premise that is patently untrue will stop. In the meantime it is so threatening to the livelihoods of so many Australians that Village Roadshow has referred the matter to the ACCC so that it can be investigated under the Australian Consumer Law, which prohibits misleading or deceptive conduct," it writes.

Following a few more interviews where he progressively ramped up the rhetoric, Burke emailed Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to say that he'd be turning down any invitation to next week's upcoming piracy forum, due to a high volume of "crazies" surrounding the issue of piracy.

That's the pot calling the kettle Burke.

Now Burke's company is writing submissions in which the problem of piracy has reached fever pitch, without appearing to discuss, pull apart or in any way answer for the wild claims that someone who downloads a movie should be equated with a paedophile or terrorist.

Of course, that was all before Village Roadshow even started answering the questions set forth by the government in its anti-piracy discussion paper. Phew!

The studio goes on to describe its plan for a "no-tolerance" anti-piracy environment, writing that it would be happy to pay "set-up" costs for a notice scheme that warns pirates of their behaviour. It adds, however, that it would not be willing to pay per notice sent, leaving us to assume that it wants ISPs to pay for that.

Village goes on to describe a scheme where ISPs would be held more accountable for the actions of users by studios and the government, and a strike-based notice scheme that would lead to punitive damages in a court system if a certain number of notices were to be exceeded.

Alternatively, Roadshow recommends "shaping" the broadband speeds of offenders, rather than outright disconnecting those proved to be engaging in piracy.

You can read the full submission here (PDF).




    Burke is a moron , How can he honestly believe that every person who downloaded a movie would have gone to the cinema to watch it had they been given no other option ?
    He is never going to win this battle and should start working with consumers a little more.

      How long until Burke is finally sacked for bringing the company into disrepute? Perhaps a campaign to let shareholder know how many of Village's own governance policies he continues to break, is in order. Here is a trivial example.

        Yep he either gets kicked out or the business goes down the drain

        Seriously, for a moment there, in the cusp of rage and disbelief, I thought about initiating a campaign to boycott Village just to show shareholders how counterproductive his behaviour is for the good will of the company.

          I am going to boycott village to the best of my ability.
          I think they are a backward and immoral company, and it just makes you feel a little bit ashamed to deal with them.
          To be honest it won't be much of a hardship. Sitting in an overpriced cinema with poorly produced house ads blaring at me doesn't feel like a premium product. Don't get me started on consistently poor their website is. God I wonder how they can do it so badly.
          Bring on netflix.

      His attitude make me want to pirate everything i can.
      Even if i dont want to watch it.

      Good thing i have 21TB usable space (12 TB taken already though) on my NAS! :D

        Love the way your comment was constructed just so you could brag about your storage.
        Good thing i have a ferrari in the garage and a model in my bed .


          Point being i can actually put my money where my mouth is.

          How is he bragging? All he said is he want to pirate just because burke is trying to stop him.
          Same as those leaked nudes, im not a porn kind of guy, but every one crying so hard about it made me want to look at them.

          Probably better than having a model locked in your garage and sleeping in a Ferrari bed, I guess.

            Is it though?...

    i really wish there were alternatives to village cinemas in tasmania

      100% agree. Village treat Tassie patrons with utter contempt. Ridiculously inadequate session times, poorly maintained cinemas just for starters,

      Agreed. At least we have state cinema for independent/arthouse films, but alas Village is the only way to see Hollywood blockbusters (which is why I very rarely go the cinemas any more).

      My wife and I moved to Tasmania 4 years ago, and I have never set foot in the Village cinema in Launceston, if we want to see a movie we either go to Cmax in Devonport or buy it on Bluray when it comes out, I can't stand Village and I refuse to support there local Cinema.

    Stop wasting breath guys - get onto VPN's now and you will never have to listen to this offensive shit ever again nor will you be subjected to any of the infringements or penalties being bandied about.

    We voted Labor in, we wanted FTTP -- it has been taken from us and with it, any sense of a free-internet. I have learned not to trust a Liberal government, therfore I will not give them the chance to screw me.

    If Joe-public falls for this shit, then they deserve whatever restrictive service they end up with.

    In the meantime, hello anonymous internet, goodbye threats and lies.

      Have there been any articles written for the best VPN's to go with? I have for my netflix, but it seems that is not a VPN. A friend sent me something for privateinternetaccess that looked good, but I really dont understand what is needed here

        I'm with PIA as well. You create an account, order a subscription, then they send you the details you need. They have applications for Windows and OSX (and a beta one for Linux), which make it as simple as clicking on and off.

      If you think the ALP wasn't ready to skip down anti-piracy lane hand in hand with Village Roadshow, you're deluded.

        But the ALP shelved their plans, realising that they were useless. Technology trumped stupid politics then but not now.

      This govt, combined with howards bullshit "sell everything for a fake surplus" govt has made me an anti Liberal for life.

      VPNs don't work for those of us getting 1Mbs or worse on ADSL1.

    Wow, there is literally a section in their report titled...

    Other Issues - iiNet

      Problem: the courts decided in iiNet's favor.
      Solution: call their supporters crazies, badmouth their CEO, and lobby the government into oblivion.

    This guy is defending the same industry that pays many of it's staff (actors) millions of dollars for a few weeks work?

      His industry doesn't do that - he's part of 2
      1- Australian Filmmaking (Nobody makes the big bucks there)
      2- Distribution of an Overseas product
      3- All the other bullship (DVD sales etc)

      Its the second that he seems to be overly protective of, but using the first to justify it. Distribution of a movie via Cinemas is ONE form of distribution - it should not dictate terms of ALL. While distribution is a lot more efficient & timely nowadays (Online), we still seem to to support the exclusion deals to allow locals to build invisible walls, slug us an extra charge, and whine when they are not making enough.

      I have seen VR sack all their projectionists & managers & hire the latter back as "multitasking" managers (they do the projectionists job) - This was based on the Film to digital projection providing minimal error rates (its about the same - just theres less people to fix it).
      They sacked a lot of there marketing department and cut down on Events (premieres) while still pushing 'business as usual'.

      They are part of the "Australian Tax" scheme, and like FTA TV, seem to be trying to slow down the fast pace of the world around them, so they can keep their profits while not wasting anything on innovation.

      Mr Burke consider this - Everything else seems to have gotten cheaper, but a family visit to the Cinema is a rare and expensive commodity - That is your problem

        Their profit is basically 20% from theme parks, 40% from being the middleman distributor and 40% from cinema operations.

        (Oh, and I guess -40% from financing rubbish films in exchange for tax credits.)

        So, you can directly hit them on two of the three. In fact, boycotting their theme parks is probably the most effective thing you can do, since they have huge fixed and semi-fixed costs that will hurt them.

        Last edited 04/09/14 4:36 pm

    This is beyond beyond crazy. This is spin in its purest form, I hope no one is stupid enough to believe village roadshow's nonsense. They are literally screwing every single Australian over and forcing us to stick with outdated distribution models. Its like listening to nazi propaganda. The solution is VPN, however... What if the government orders ISPs to block VPN IPs? Anything is possible when you wave the national security banner around... Then we are truly screwed.

      "The solution is VPN, however... What if the government orders ISPs to block VPN IPs? Anything is possible when you wave the national security banner around... Then we are truly screwed."

      Then VPNs get new IPs, and their work is suddenly undone. Or people use proxies to access VPNs. Or VPNs through p2p... or just straight p2p. Or we rent our own hosting and have personal VPNs.

      Really, I wouldn't worry. Even in the absurd situation of Govts blocking VPNs, there will always be a way around it, and programmers making the solution as easy as they can.

    A.... Most piraters don't download the cam jobs and they are the only copies of the films in the cinemas.
    B.... People who don't go to cinemas, will never go to cinemas even if you stamp out piracy
    C.... You will never stamp out piracy

      B.... People who don't go to cinemas, will never go to cinemas even if you stamp out piracy

      I went just recently, for the first time in years. Jesus H. Christ. $40 for two people. I.. what? $40 to sit in a dirty seat, listening to assholes rattling paper/plastic, using phones, talking? Yeah, nah.

      Not to mention that the advertised start of the movie was about 2pm. The actual movie didn't start until 2.40!

      There's your problem, Burke. Lower the damn prices!

      Last edited 04/09/14 11:10 am

        Considering they sacked most of their projectionists, its a surprise if the movie starts at all

        Dirty broken seat? That's generally what I cop...

        Playing devils advocate for a second, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy just last week with a friend. $10 each, seats were actually surprisingly comfortable and the cinema wasn't packed but had a moderate turnout. So prices aren't *always* terrible, nor are the conditions atrocious all the time. That said, the cinema seems to be the place for big spectacle type movies, or comedies where having a crowd reaction actually enhances the experience.

        But back to the piracy side... I can't talk for everyone (obviously) but from my point of view there are going to be only 3 or 4 movies a year where I actually *want* to see them on a big screen and get the crowd experience. And that is where I think a lot of these anti-piracy people seem to have a blindspot - you can pirate a movie but you can't pirate a cinema experience.

        What does that mean? Well basically if you've got a movie (like Avengers or GoTG) that people want to see on a big screen they will go to the cinema. In fact, people will pirate it and then think "holy crap I want to see that on the big screen instead of my iphone". So at least in some cases piracy leads to sales.

        For the non-cinema type movies, the ones you'd rent on DVD but never bother to see on the big screen, anti-piracy changes aren't going to help. They're not going to miraculously put thousands of people into the cinema, since they wouldn't go in the first place. Their best bet there is to have simultaneous DVD/Blu Ray/Digital release to ensure that people can actually get a legal copy to watch at home.

      You forgot D... statistically speaking, people who pirate spend *more* overall on content than people who do not pirate.

      This holds for music (there was a study a couple of years ago); not sure if a similar study has been done for movies.

    Oh god. I'm reading Village Roadshow's submission for the piracy and online copyright stuff and it is downright embarrassing to read. Seriously, it reads like it was written by a 12 year old.

    Using exclamation points, exaggeration, and a petulant attitude is not suitable when making a formal submission to a government review. Also blaming iiNet for not doing more to curb this is a massive cop-out as Village used the big stick from day one and didn't do anything to foster collaboration with ISPs by taking iiNet to court.

    Last edited 04/09/14 10:43 am

      "Seriously, it reads like it was written by a 12 year old.
      Using exclamation points, exaggeration, and a petulant attitude is not suitable when making a formal submission to a government review."

      To be fair, they are aiming their report at a government that also has the combined brainpower of a 12 year old. I guess you've gotta write to your audiences intellect! ;)


        there is a limit to dumbing it down - this is just BS

      Oh god. I'm reading Village Roadshow's submission for the piracy and online copyright stuff and it is downright embarrassing to read. Seriously, it reads like it was written by a 12 year old.

      You mean it was aimed at the current government ministers. Expect OPERATION KEELHAUL from Brandis very soon (Team Good Guys!)

      Last edited 04/09/14 12:32 pm

      This can't be a submission. Really. It looks like a editorial piece you would find in a News Corp paper.

      "not suitable when making a formal submission to a government review"
      But consider for a second the government in question. Village are just playing to their audience.

    so my guess is a stupid plan will be well recieved by what is proving to be a stupid government.

      Probably drafting it up now.

      This government's far right, thatcherist ideology is that business is all that matters. If something can benifit a business, even a foreign one, it's worth doing even if it negatively affects the extreme majority of the Australian people.

    "Let us hope that this regime of encouraging people to email our political leaders on a premise that is patently untrue will stop."

    They're angling for a monopoly on political disinformation as well, then.

    Oh man, I'm going to the copyright forum next week and it's going to be GREAT.

      No it might be productive as Burke is not attending.

    "In order to do business, ISP’s have unwittingly created a situation where the livelihood of 900,000 employees is being endangered. This is analogous to someone providing a toll road causing cars to crash and kill innocent people."

    Are we sure this isn't a joke submission?

      Punch line is that upon victory Village Roadshow will move onto lobbying for legislation that holds toll road operators accountable for the actions of their patrons.

      Either the authors thought themselves very clever when subverting the analogy of their opponents, or they were blindly dim-witted about readers following through to the logical conclusion.

    From the submission:
    "Village Roadshow estimates the theatrical business is down 12% as a result of piracy"

    No, the theatrical business is down because NO-ONE WANTS TO PAY $20+ TO SEE A MOVIE. Add $10 for the "money saving" popcorn and drink combo, then be forced to sit through 20-30 minutes of advertising before the movie starts, and that's why I tend to avoid the cinema. Hell, the ads go for so long now, that by the time the movie starts, i've honestly forgotten what I came in to see! I PAID FOR MY TICKET. Why am I forced to sit through relentless advertising?

      Don't forget the lack of movies worth watching:
      I was surprised to see them actually talk about the lack of "blockbusters" and movies worth seeing rather than whine about piracy and theoretical dollars.

      I went with my GF the other week to watch guardians of the Galaxy and the costs were :
      Her Ticket (Concession) : $16.50
      Mine : $18
      Popcorn and Drinks ( 1 Large each ) and Bottle of water : $29
      Total : $63.50
      Not to mention the seats in this particular cinema are horribly small and uncomfortable , the popcorn was cold and crap and there was nearly more ice in my coke than coke itself.

      Our cinemas plays the same loop of local business advertisements at the start for roughly 10 minutes and then gives us one maybe two movie previews.
      Lucky the movie was damn good ! haha

      But as I walked out I told her that I wasn't coming back any time soon , unless I really really want to see the movie and we will be bringing our own water and popcorn in her larger than life handbag.

      @scruffy and @anonplusplus

      It's not only that. How long are movies screened at theatres these days? I swear I miss out on a quiet a few I'd like to see as after only a couple of months (even less in some cases) the movie is in the final stages before being withdrawn.

        20 years ago, I used to go to the movies at least twice a week to see a movie.... really big movies I would see 2 or 3 times.

        Nowadays I dont, there is less stuff to watch, its more expensive, and with trailers and previews pretty much telling you every part of the story and showing you every major jaw dropping scene... I can pretty much wait until its on DVD and for the price of one night out by a DVD from JB HiFi and have my whole family watch it whenever they feel like it, as many times as they like.

        Movie Industry is only at threat from themselves and closing off their minds to the possibilities of online distrubition... the Emmys this year, were scooped up by online series, many of which we cant or have a difficult time obtaining in Australia.

    Why can't we then sue the Government for providing roads that allows people to speed and crash into others. Or, the car manufacturer's themselves for making cars which allow those things.

    How about alcohol companies that provide alcohol which people then drink to excess and cause harm to others? What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

    A desperate scream from an industry that is sinking.

    Despite what Village-Roadshow is saying I, like others, can see right through it.

    First of all, the movie industry is not at threat. It is safe: we will still purchase access to their movies and even copies of their home media. In fact, we consumers like nothing more than to do so.

    What is at threat is the distributor arm of most movie studios, of which Village-Roadshow is one there of.

    And it's also the distributors that are getting in our way, delude by their own reasoning that they are keeping the money coming when they are actually giving us every reason to shop online instead.

    Village for one is screaming because the Internet has made its role in the product chain obsolete and is doing everything it can to keep itself there rather than adapt.

      Spot on!

      By the time it makes it to Australian release, Actors are paid (unless they have a profit share scheme) Crew are paid and the only risk is on the studio. If the American market profits are OK, then the Studio is satisfied.

      The Australian cinema takings effect the local Distributor (& Cinemas) only. We are a piss in the ocean when it comes to studio profits, and it is only people like Mr Burke (and whats left of his staff) that are 'hurt'

        Just on the actor profit share thing there's two possible elements in that. I'm only talking Australia here, but would guess the US unions have similar protections.

        Payment is generally deferred, which means they agree to their wage and in their contract will have a payment order for how money is distributed when the movie sees income.

        Points or back end percentages are generally offered on top of that for key roles to make up for their deferred payment being smaller than usual.

        Now when a deferred payment is arranged there will generally be tiers: Usually distributors recoup their costs first, then investors and finally crew.

        However, MEAA has put protections in place for actors (But not crew unfortunately) which means that all deferred payments need to be paid in full before distribution rights can be assigned. So when a film gets a distributor their initial payment will usually cover those deferred costs.

        So actors will be paid when a film gets picked up for distribution, usually the non-key crew will as well.

    Who wrote the response from Village, Mr Burns from the Simpsons..?
    Let's hope they have hoisted themselves by their own petard on this one, given how ridiculous this response is..!

    Last edited 04/09/14 11:27 am

    This is fantastic. If you feel compelled to use the words logic and rational then you are neither of those two things.

    I like how he quoted Jobs as a basis for protecting intellectual property, does he even know Apple? They've stolen, and even broken a whole industry (before the streaming services that is).

    VPN it is because of this idiot.

    OK, let's break this mess down....

    *Take a deep breath and a large dose of morphine.*

    Piracy, if not addressed, will shut down the Australian feature film production industry entirely. It will rip out the heart of the cinema and TV industries, creating massive unemployment and slashing the profitability of taxpaying companies.

    Last I checked they were doing fine - people are just ditching the theatre and waiting for the home media release instead due to the crazy prices.

    The problem is urgent as piracy is spreading like a highly infectious disease and as bad habits become entrenched, they become harder to eradicate. Also of course high speed broadband is just around the corner.

    So high speed Internet is actually a problem for you instead of a lucrative business venture if you get the first working model out?

    The dangers posed by piracy are so great, the goal should be total eradication or zero tolerance. Just as there is no place on the internet for terrorism or paedophilia

    Wait, so movies are just as important as human rights? I didn't realise it was such a necessity.

    there should be no place for theft that will impact the livelihoods of the 900,000 people whose security is protected by legitimate copyright.

    Er, don't you and other distributors hold that safety as you're the ones who have been paid to advertise and get the product to venues?

    Village Roadshow strongly believes that legal action by copyright owners directly against infringing internet users is economically inefficient, as there is no legal relationship with those users, and, internationally, such litigation has proven costly, slow, impractical and does not achieve any positive outcome. The only outcomes will be to clog the Courts and make lawyers wealthy.

    Then give the customers less reason to pirate. Lower the price and improve the availability.

    The principal opposition to a rational approach dealing with theft comes from the propaganda machine of iiNet under the heading of “Fighting For Our Customers”. Their propaganda defines disingenuous and should be headed “Misleading Our Customers”.

    This coming from the one who called those attending the copyright forum as "crazies"?

    “that Hollywood studios dictate to the Australian government”

    That's what you're doing right now.

    “invasion of privacy” – which is, of course, untrue as someone using peer to peer software to share infringing content makes their IP address available for everyone to see

    Er, no. Only the BitTorrent client can see and unless it is a static IP it could be anyone using it.

    allegations of “censorship of the internet” – which is equally false as copyright owners provide evidence to a court for a no-fault injunction to block access.

    iiNet has also been calling for feature films to be made available simultaneously and on low prices (like in music with Spotify) arguing that this is the solution to the problem – but this is not the solution, as music continues to be illegally downloaded and in June 2013 alone in Australia there were 1.3 million illegal music downloads, just on The Pirate Bay.

    And how much did iTunes make? Can't say because I can't humanly count that far.

    Furthermore iiNet ignores the fact that music costs are significantly lower than feature films, which cost $5M to $200M

    If the availability stinks it is going to stink regardless of the product costing 200 Million or 5 thousand. Make it affordable and accessible and they will come.

    There is a new CEO at iiNet and apparently Mr Dalby is leaving at the end of the year. Let us hope that this regime of encouraging people to email our political leaders on a premise that is patently untrue will stop.

    So you don't get called out when you are blatantly wrong? This is no different to the school yard bully who intimidates those he or she harms.

    In the meantime it is so threatening to the livelihoods of so many Australians that Village Roadshow has referred the matter to the ACCC so that it can be investigated under the Australian Consumer Law, which prohibits misleading or deceptive conduct.

    Those things go both ways, mate. And your yard isn't exactly clean.

    It is a tribute to iiNet how they have grown their business from a turnover of only $18 million in 2000 to $1.006 billion in 2014. The entire Australian theatrical box office is only $1.09 billion. iiNet are hugely profitable as their published accounts confirm.

    Has it ever occurred to you that maybe they offer a good product and keep their customers first? Get a notepad!

    Vitally, in Village’s view, the question of “reasonable steps” presupposes the clear establishment of ISP’s being potentially liable for infringement on their services.

    If I sell a knife and someone commits murder with it, I am not liable for that crime so why should an ISP be liable?

    Village Roadshow is ready to step up and pay a healthy amount towards establishment costs

    So you're willing to spend money on a scheme that will fail instead of adapting which would cost a whole lot less in the long run?

    OK, seriously, did I miss a practical joke somewhere? This submission can't be the real thing.

    This couldn't even get more odd if it was written in Comic Sans.

    Last edited 04/09/14 11:50 am

      I would find the frequent underlining and CAPITAL LETTERS to be hilarious if the matter wasn't so important. Did no one understand that it just makes you look silly to create a submission that looks that messy?

      Last edited 04/09/14 11:59 am

        Actually no I didn't find it hilarious. I seriously though the submission was a cruel prank. Not at Village but at us who take the matter seriously.

        If this was a prank, then consider me suckered in as the Village name was the perfect bait for me.

        If this really is Village's submission then it is more a reflection on the lack of professionalism on their end.

        Last edited 04/09/14 12:09 pm

          Village Roadshow submission hits a lot of the same notes (re: phrasing of topics) as the APPAC, an Australian copyright holder consortium, response that was leaked to Crikey on Monday.

          Same absurdity, slightly increased professionalism.

    You are missing the point of all this - everyone that is having a bitch saying it won't stop piracy. If ISP's introduce some form of fine, three strike policy etc you will find that all mum and dads that account for a large proportion of illegal downloads will stop otherwise their internet will get cut off after the third offence. Low income earners who account for another large portion of piracy won't be able to afford these fines and eventually have their accounts suspended for none payment. VPN is fine and well for people like me and you but your average user / downloaded doesn't know what a VPN is. Then your looking at data retention which may lead to the rights holders taking legal action against private citizens. Even if they can't proof it - no one has the money to fight even the first court appearance. If the government gives in, and I believe they will, we are all screwed and it will curb piracy.... Down the track look at china, most VPN services no longer work in that country because they found a way to block VPN specific IP addresses.

      I don't think it's just IP addresses. The routers in the mainland as specially made by Cisco for China and make encrypted connections very difficult or impossible.

      There was a real uproar about them when the Beijing Olympics were coming up.

      Last edited 04/09/14 12:46 pm


    Will Gizmodo be representing it's readers at the public forum that Minister Turnbull will be hosting next week? I believe that from all our comments you could put together some strong arguments and speak for a while. Hopefully providing some balanced, well reasoned points to counter the above submission but also to work on directing the argument towards availability and pricing.

    Failing that we can all submit our fan fiction ideas for you to read to filibuster it all day and night... Parks and Rec style..

      Last I read, Turnbull has pulled out.

      Abbott doesnt want him undermining the Abbott-train.

        Wait, wait, Turnbull is pulling out of the forum ? THAT would be beyond a joke !

        That's... one of the more disappointing things I've read this week. Ick.

    Village road show states in their proposal that USA's ISP's are working with rights holders, ignoring the fact that in many cases the ISP's are the rights holders so of course they are going to be willing to butcher the internet

    Hold on. Isn't the film industry guilty of buying its stars, including under-age children drugs? Is this not the same industry that bends to the whim of some of its sicko members and supplies playthings, including children for the carnal pleasure of those sick bastards amongst them? Is this not the same industry that has strong criminal connections and questionable business practices?

    Truly, those nations where high speed broadband has already existed for years have now degraded to a cesspool of corruption, terrorism and economic death. S. Korea, Switzerland, Japan, Sweden... I shudder just typing their names.

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