Fast-track­ing in the pi­rates’ wake

Anti-piracy au­thor­i­ties are strug­gling to change the minds of TV pro­gram­mers, writes Rod Ch­ester

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

MORE than a third of Aus­tralians ad­mit to il­le­gally down­load­ing TV shows and movies, but an­tipiracy au­thor­i­ties are strug­gling to find a way to stop them.

In the six months since a High Court rul­ing ef­fec­tively cleared in­ter­net providers of li­a­bil­ity for their cus­tomers’ il­le­gal down­loads, au­thor­i­ties still face the quandary of how to stop the spread of a pi­rate cul­ture that is ap­proach­ing be­com­ing the norm.

Neil Gane, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Aus­tralian Fed­er­a­tion Against Copy­right Theft, says con­tent is un­for­tu­nately an easy prod­uct to steal on­line.

‘‘ When it’s op­tional to pay

Gen­er­a­tions X and Y just aren’t go­ing to wait

for con­tent, on­line theft has es­sen­tially set the price of dig­i­tal goods at zero,’’ he says.

‘‘ And this ex­pec­ta­tion of get­ting some­thing for noth­ing is al­most an un­for­tu­nate byprod­uct of the in­ter­net era.’’

An In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Aware­ness Foun­da­tion report this year found about 70 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds reg­u­larly down­load pi­rated TV shows or movies.

Prof Michael Fraser, di­rec­tor of the UTS’s Com­muni- cations Law Cen­tre and the founder of the Copy­right Agency Ltd, says down­load­ing TV shows is not a crim­i­nal mat­ter un­less down­load­ers dis­trib­ute the shows.

‘‘ I don’t think any­one should feel they can act il­le­gally with im­punity. But in the larger sense, it’s true that if we deal with this is­sue on a one-to-one ba­sis it’s in­tractable,’’ Fraser says.

‘‘ We have to have a le­git­i­mate, se­cure on­line en­vi­ron­ment that gives peo­ple what they want in le­gal chan­nels at a rea­son­able price, and it gives it to them in a form that they want and at the time that they want.

‘‘ The an­swer is to meet mar­ket de­mand and for the rights own­ers to co-op­er­ate.’’

Gane says TV and movie piracy is a com­plex is­sue.

But he says it is an is­sue ‘‘ one would hope at some time the mar­ket will solve by it­self rather than look­ing for a leg­isla­tive fix’’.

He says that with in­ter­net providers, such as Tel­stra, in­creas­ingly of­fer­ing TV shows and movies on­line, con­trol­ling piracy is be­com­ing a nat­u­ral part of pro­tect­ing their busi­ness model.

‘‘ Avail­abil­ity of con­tent is part of the jig­saw puz­zle,’’ he says. ‘‘ We are see­ing more on­line busi­ness models be­ing made avail­able, with con­tent of both TV shows and movies be­ing made avail­able sooner on var­i­ous plat­forms.’’

The In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Aware­ness Foun­da­tion re­search found that more than 70 per cent of peo­ple who down­loaded con­tent said they would stop the prac­tice if they re­ceived a warn­ing no­tice from their in­ter­net ser­vice provider telling them their ac­tions had been de­tected.

But not all Aus­tralian ISPs — un­like their coun­ter­parts in other coun­tries, in­clud­ing the United States — are will­ing to send out those no­ti­fi­ca­tions.

Me­dia an­a­lyst Steve Allen, of Fu­sion Strat­egy, says the TV in­dus­try’s re­sponse of ‘‘ fast­track­ing’’ shows had proved un­suc­cess­ful, of­ten be­cause the time de­lay be­tween the two dates was still too long.

‘‘ The only thing they can do is day and date. It al­lows a very lit­tle win­dow for down­load­ing and not much time to do it,’’ Allen says. ‘‘ Gen­er­a­tions X and Y just aren’t go­ing to wait, it’s as sim­ple as that. It’s not go­ing to hap­pen. And any­one who thinks it is, is just con­ning them­selves.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.