Monday, October 17, 2011


Though my formal training is in interpretive dance, not prognostication, I am going to make a prediction.

There have been many secret meetings, in secret back rooms, between secretive people, recently.

First, the U.S.A. makes a deal, after heavy lobbying by the movie studios and music labels, where 'pirates' (i.e. regular illegal downloaders of copyrighted movies and songs) will be penalised. The deal, struck between the studios, labels and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), will see the offenders warned and have their internet speed slowed down to an irritating crawl if they continue to offend.

Then, New Zealand actually passes a law that enacts a similar system to the USA, but it will not be voluntary for the ISPs to participate.

In Australia, meanwhile, we have truly awful anti-piracy adds inflicted upon us. It's ironic really, given they are produced by a consortium of movie studios, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

Recently, however, AFACT has ramped up their campaign against piracy in Australia. They took iiNET, the Australian ISP, to court, claiming iiNET was responsible for allowing their users to download pirated content. iiNET won with the ruling clearly stating that "an Australian Internet provider is not responsible for illegal movie downloads by its customers.".

AFACT, however, have appealed.

And finally, last week, new data comes out of the The Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation (IPAF) that states, (*sarcasm alert* - shock and horror) that in Australia, "almost three-quarters of consumers would stop illegally downloading files if they received a notice from their internet service provider (ISP)."

How very convenient!

Looking into my crystal ball, although it could be a cataract, I predict that a very similar law will be coming to Australia in the nearish future.

The case is being built, and lobbying will almost certainly be happening behind the scenes.

Mark my words.

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