IA CEO Laurie Patton has warned that online piracy will not go away unless Australia can get an agreed and appropriate set of strategies in place.
Patton says the simple solution to most of Australia's unlawful downloading is simply for the rights holders to make stuff more easily available (which is happening with Netflix, Presto and Stan) and stop price gouging.
Patton made his comments when observing media coverage of a statement by the newly appointed chairman of Creative Content Australia Graham Burke who says the primary role of Creative Content Australia is to enlighten and educate internet users about piracy.
“Some people have not considered that piracy is just plain wrong but when they understand it is not a victimless crime and other people will lose their jobs, they stop,” Burke said in an interview with Forbes magazine, and comments to Crikey.
According to media reports, Burke said his company had been actively monitoring internet users sharing Village Roadshow content via peer-to-peer networks and suggested a repeat of the Dallas Buyers Club legal case could be in the works.
Reportedly, Burke would not confirm when his court case would be brought against the Australian public, but he is apparently continuing with legal action against Piracy site SolarMovie.
Patton said: "Mr Burke may be 'on a mission', but what mission exactly? Australians pay nearly double the price to go to the cinema as Americans. We have traditionally been slugged more for DVD's and music downloads. Now we are being accused of being rampant 'Internet pirates' despite a lack of any concrete evidence that unlawful downloading of content is actually causing the rights holders significant financial losses in Australia.
Australia is not on the International Intellectual Property Alliance 'watch list' because #WeAreNotTheProblem. A federal government survey last found that high use "pirates" are also high users of paid-for content.”
Patton stressed that Internet Australia is supportive of Intellectual Property Rights.
“We do not condone unlawful downloading. However, we draw the line at unworkable solutions like site-blocking because they interfere with the open and trusted essential nature of the Internet. They cause operational issues that can lead to interruptions in service, like the ASIC case a few years ago where they inadvertently put 250,000+ innocent sites offline for several days."