30 July 2014
CHOICE says that the Federal Government’s Online Copyright Infringement discussion paper puts forward solutions which are likely to pass costs on to all internet users without dramatically reducing rates of piracy.
“The Government’s paper, formally released today, confirms our fears. All Australian consumers will be affected if the proposed policies are pursued,” says CHOICE Campaigns Manager Erin Turner.
“The paper considers how to force Internet Service Providers to take responsibility for monitoring and preventing copyright infringement. In addition, it looks at introducing an anti-piracy internet filter.”
“Looking at international examples, we know that the policies proposed are high-cost with low results. Similar policies in France and New Zealand have cost significant amounts of money. Our fear is that a high-cost system will lead to all consumers paying more for the internet.”
“If the Government is serious about addressing piracy, it needs to consider the driving factors behind piracy in Australia. Australians often find it hard to gain access to content like movies and television, and when they do, they pay far too much compared to consumers in other countries,” says CHOICE Campaigns Manager Erin Turner.
The leaked paper acknowledges that “rights holders can ensure that content can be accessed easily and at a reasonable price by their customers” but offers no policy solutions to address issues of access to content or the cost of content in Australia.
CHOICE believes that online copyright infringement is a real issue that must be addressed. However it also believes that piracy in Australian is in part driven by poor access and high prices of content, which are out of sync with other markets.
“We are not suggesting that better access and more competitive prices are silver bullets that will solve this issue entirely. However they are essential components of any policy looking to reduce rates of piracy in Australia,” Ms Turner says.
Read CHOICE’s how-to-guide for getting around online geo-blocking.