Tuesday, 15 March 2016 12:09

Internet Australia lashes out at Creative Content anti-piracy mission Featured

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   Internet Australia lashes out at Creative Content anti-piracy mission Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net/images

Internet Australia has lambasted the peak body for the promotion of copyright, creative rights and piracy research, Creative Content Australia, over its zealous approach to eliminating online piracy.

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.     

“Additionally, these people are not aware they are part of a criminal underbelly with sites that carry advertising for gambling with no age limit, party drugs, hard-core pornography and prostitution, as well as exposing themselves to nasty viruses.”

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."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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