iiNet pessimistic about online piracy talks

iiNet pessimistic about online piracy talks

“A solution needs to be found but as far as AFACT goes, you might as well be talking to a brick wall,” according to iiNet's Steve Dalby.

The Attorney-General’s Department may be holding discussions with copyright holders and ISPs on online piracy issues today, but iiNet expects the talks to be a waste of time.

Government and consumer representative will also be involved in the discussions which will focus on finding a way to curb the rise of content theft online.

iiNet has long preached the need for change in online content distribution models through the cooperation of rights holders and the ISP industry.

Earlier this year, the landmark copyright case between iiNet and the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) ended in the High Court with the ISP emerging as the victor once again.

AFACT had tried to sue iiNet for authorising movie piracy of its subscribers.

In a blog post, iiNet chief regulatory officer, Steve Dalby, said he does not expect the Attorney-General’s Department forum talks to yield a satisfactory outcome for all parties involved.

He puts the blame on content owners and AFACT.

“Australia will not get anything useful from the rights holders in 2012 and in that respect, very little has changed since 2005,” Dalby said in the blog post. “We did get clear and total rejections of all proposals put to them by the telco industry to limit infringements, but due to the events of the past seven years, those offers are no longer on the table.

“A solution needs to be found but as far as AFACT goes, you might as well be talking to a brick wall.”

He criticised AFACT’s preoccupation with calls for tougher laws in Australia to combat piracy with little thought for consumer demands.

“AFACT and other rights holder bodies don’t care much for consumers,” he said. “As you may have read, Neil Gane of AFACT thinks consumers are “unreasonable” to tell their suppliers of entertainment what they want.

“Actually, AFACT don’t have any customers in Australia, they are all in California, which unfortunately means that consumer pressure is unlikely to have much impact on their strategies.”

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