Australia's Three Strikes' Piracy Code Has Been Abandoned

Copyright content owners have been pushing for an industry code that would require Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to send warning notices to subscribers suspected of illegal downloading. This code has now been canned, according to a report. The reason? It would cost too much to implement. Here's what you need to know.

Dubbed the "three strikes code", the regime would see ISPs assist rights holders in sending out a series of letters to suspected pirates. The notices work on a three-strikes model, with each letter becoming progressively more serious. If three notices are sent in a 12-month period, then ISPs are supposed to “facilitate an expedited discovery process to assist the Rights holder to enforce its copyright”.

The code was in development while the Dallas Buyer's Club court case was still active. Last week, the court case finally came to a close with the rights holders for the film throwing in the towel in trying to get ISPs to hand over personal details of suspected pirates.

Since the final draft of the code was sent in for approval with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) late last year, it has faced a series of delays. There were still way too many details that need to be ratified and the ACMA approval process was also stalled by Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim, who wrote to the media authority expressing his concerns.

The code was something that rights holders heavily pushed for but it has been revealed that they no longer want to pursue this route. According to a report by CNET, the three strikes code has been shelved.

Speaking with CNET, Village Roadshow co-CEO Graham Burke said:

"We reached the conclusion after having an independent audit firm evaluate the cost of sending out the notices, and we concluded that it was too much of an imposition to ask the ISPs, and also from our own point of view, the amount it would cost. We concluded that it was too much of an imposition to ask the ISPs, and also from our own point of view, the amount it would cost. So we decided not to push it forward."

Burke noted that an automated system would cost far less than issuing the infringement notices manually. He warned that an automated system is in the works but did not reveal when rights holders would look to implement it.

Now, just because the three strikes code has been kiboshed doesn't mean those who download content illegally should breathe a sigh of relief just yet. The development of the code was ordered by the Federal Government, which has threatened to bring in legislation to fight content piracy if rights holders and ISPs couldn't come up with a scheme to do it themselves.

We'll have to wait and see how the Government responds to this news.

Village Roadshow: Australian Federal Court Should Force ISPs To Block Pirate Sites

In related news, Village Roadshow has teamed up with Hollywood heavyweights in the Australian Federal Court to force ISPs to block customers’ access to a website that streams copyrighted movies and TV shows. This move is the first major test of Australia’s new site-blocking laws under the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 introduced in the middle of last year.

[Via CNET]



    "Village Roadshow co-CEO Graham Burke said"... exactly what everyone had been telling him for years, especially at the discussion group event Turnbull hosted.

      For some reason, when I first read that line I thought it said "Village Idiot".

    "An automated system". Why do I hear shades of DMCA-like setup in those words?

    The only difference being that the onus would be on the accountholder to appeal any claims/infringement letters... and wasn't that $25 per appeal to do so in the original proposal?

      Pretty much, it sure sounds like a DMCA esque waste of money. Australians don't produce or host enough content to have any impact.

      But hey, if Village roadshow wants to continue reducing their balance sheet instead of innovating then bring it on! Bye Village roadshow, cinemas in my local area have been closing like crazy. It takes half a brain to figure out why.

      Last edited 19/02/16 9:39 am

    They don't want to enforce their copyright claims unless it can be done for minimal effort and expense, while extorting the most amount of money out of others as they can. They've seen speculative invoicing work on the ignorant in the US and assumed they could set up the same shop here. To their dismay, our courts didn't allow it - so they've given up for an easier method while attempting to get what they want.

    It demonstrates that they aren't opposed to piracy on moral grounds at all - they're interested only in protecting obscene profit. It's expected that a company will seek to protect its products but when you're given tools to do so but refuse to use them because you can't send demands for obscene amounts of money, you have to question their motives.

    now that we have simply rolled over and signed the tpp expect to see the way this works change dramatically.

    Compare to this:

    My read: there is no one at the steering wheel.

    We reached the conclusion that we weren't going to be able to bully the ISPs or speculatively invoice users, and instead of being a new cash cow this whole idea was probably going to cost us money...sooo we are going to wait until the TPP kicks in and then bend you all over.

    Plus our political stooges have our back...

      Tried to up vote you but the site wouldn't let me.. $2 says it was because you mentioned their biggest "secret", the TPP and it's draconian anti-consumer/'pro-studios clauses.

      One of these days, our Government will hopefully be run by younger people who understand digital piracy, and will stop trying to enforce useless ISP based anti-piracy solutions that consumers will ALWAYS find a way around. They may just start talking to rights holders about their responsibility in the problem. Just maybe.

      We, the consumers, will always beat any solution the government throws at us.

    Village Roadshow..... lol

    That company is being run by the dumbest dinosaur of a man I've ever seen. He thinks people pirating movies should be thrown in jail without a key, and he profoundly rejects ANY notion that rights holders are partly responsible.

    Rights holders are such money hungry greedy pricks, that they fail to see the root cause of pirating, they are failing to address the issue. People all thought that the proliferation of digital streaming would herald the end of digital piracy, but that lasted 5 minutes until rights holders started making things even WORSE by making exclusive deals with competing digital OTT platforms.

    Now we are in a worse situation than we EVER HAVE BEEN, and it's alllllllllllllllll thanks to rights holders.

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