The telecommunications industry has borne its share of scrutiny by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in its review of unfair contract terms used in standard form consumer contracts. The review has resulted in changes to, or removal of the terms, by a number of companies across various industry sectors, including telcos.
In April 2012, the High Court of Australia dismissed an appeal made by 34 Australian and United States film studios and other owners or licensees of copyright in commercially released films and television programmes. The judgment handed down by the Court sent a shockwave through the Australian telecommunications industry with one message: that internet service providers could not be held liable for copyright infringement carried out by their users.
New protection codes for consumers of telecommunications and Internet services, including mobile phone users, are seemingly having the desired effect, with complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) about mobile services falling by 30% over the past year.
Many in the media, predictably led by News Limited publications, are expressing outrage at the Government’s proposed media reforms.