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AU Gov't Still Wants ISPs To Solve Illegal Downloads 218

Posted by Soulskill
from the beaten-but-not-defeated dept.
bennyboy64 writes "Australia's Minister for Communications wants internet providers and the film industry to sit down and work out a solution to stop illegal movie downloads, despite a judge ruling in favor of an internet provider not being responsible for policing illegal downloads. The film studios first dragged internet provider iiNet into the Federal Court back in November 2008, arguing that the ISP infringed copyright by failing to take reasonable steps — including enforcing its own terms and conditions — to prevent customers from copying films and TV shows over its network."
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AU Gov't Still Wants ISPs To Solve Illegal Downloads

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 07, 2010 @10:39AM (#31052294)

    Flood torrent trackers with episodes of Neighbors.

    - NS

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BrokenHalo (565198)
      And here's another idea:

      There's a federal election coming up some time this year, and unless I'm mistaken, Conroy's seat will be up for grabs. (Federal Senate terms are for 6 years except in the case of a double dissolution.) How about the Communications Minister gets kicked out of his office? It is obvious enough to everybody that he is utterly incompetent, and that his accomplishments are better suited to running an ice-cream van.

      Disclaimer: I support his party at elections, in the absence of a more s
      • by Matt_R (23461)

        Conroy's seat will be up for grabs

        Except he's at the top of the Labor Senate ticket. If Labor get any Senators from Victoria, he'll get back in.

    • Nobody would grab the obviously fake torrents of Neighbours.
    • Jusicial oversight (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dan541 (1032000)

      We already have a "piracy code of conduct" it's called The Law. ISPs should not be conducting vigilante operations at the whim of private enterprises. If copyright holders wish to stop a user from file-sharing they must take that user to court and deal with them under the judicial oversight of the courts.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 07, 2010 @10:42AM (#31052306)

    that the Australian Government and all the potential murderers and all the potential murder victims sit down and work out a solution to stop murder from ever taking place in Australia.

    • Wait, doesn't that make the ISP guilty in your analogy? In your equating of illegal downloads and murder, the ISPs are the equivalent of the murderers.

      • by psychodelicacy (1170611) * <psychodelicacy@gmail.com> on Sunday February 07, 2010 @02:14PM (#31053560) Homepage

        No, the ISPs are the people who build and maintain the roads on which murderers travel to their victims' houses. Or maybe they're the people who sell cooking knives. Or maybe they're the people who provide alcohol to unstable people who then get mad and murder someone.

        Equally, you could say that the ISPs are like the owners of Xerox machines, which allow people to make unauthorised copies of copyrighted materials. Or maybe they're like libraries, which allow people to read copyrighted material for free.

        The point, I think, is that there is no good analogy for the roles of the parties in this kind of "crime" because it's the result of a pretty much unprecedented set of circumstances related to advances in technology.

      • by Dan541 (1032000)

        The ISP is more the equivalent of the iron ore mine. Bit-torrent trackers are the Knife manufacturer. ect.....

    • by davester666 (731373) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @01:21PM (#31053190) Journal

      Isn't it more like, people are complaining about telephone-related fraud, so would the telephone company please listen to EVERY SINGLE phone conversation, and then report to the police all the calls that are fraud-related.

      • by spazdor (902907)

        Assuming that none of the people at the endpoints of those phone calls (and especially not the people with something to hide) ever figure out the concept of a cryptographic tunnel, that's a GREAT idea!

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      More like the murder victims sitting down with the iron ore miners to discuss how to reduce knife violence.

  • About Want... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by flyneye (84093) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @10:45AM (#31052332) Homepage

    Let's make grocers responsible for planet-wide obesity.
    Lets make foundrys responsible for gun related crime.
    Sounds like Australia has a silly tit in office.
    Like the old saying goes, and I believe it applies here in spite of its coarseness, "sh*t in one hand, and want in the other, then see which hand fills up first."

    • You joke (Score:3, Informative)

      by nurb432 (527695)

      But that very thing is slowly taking place, first in the fast food industry.

      • by jaeson (563206)

        But that very thing is slowly taking place, first in the fast food industry.

        You mean shitting in one hand?

    • Actually, this position has had a series of silly tits (great expression BTW :) from both side of politics over the past decade or so. Who can forget Senator "Luddite" Alston: Senator Luddite says broadband takeup linked to porn [nyud.net] or World's biggest Luddite to retire [theregister.co.uk]
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Not so silly, decades of work by a faith based group to get the left and right.
      The filter was the deal for support.
      Anything to mess with the internet really.
      Their views on woman, sexuality and other faiths can be found at :
      http://www.abc.net.au/compass/s1358912.htm [abc.net.au]
      They played the long wait with both sides of politics.
    • by mgblst (80109)

      Pubs have a certain responsibilty for drunk drivers in certain states in Australia. If you keep serving someone who is drunk, and they get in an accident, you are partly culpable.

      There is precedence for this. But you might as well make Telstra responsible, they own the wires.

    • We have that aleady with cigerette companies being sued for people smoking and bars being responsible for a drunk not driving away from a bar.

      This is just another extension of having someone else police ourselves.

    • by rdnetto (955205)

      Sounds like Australia has a silly tit in office.

      That would be Stephen Conroy - the Internet Villain of the Year. We were hoping that the National Broadband Network would keep busy, but apparently not...

  • Not My Problem? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by smd75 (1551583) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @10:48AM (#31052344)

    What part of a court ordered "Not My Problem" does the AU politicians not understand about policing illegal downloads?

    I dunno, I think the ISPs could use this as leverage against the studios to really pay up. Almost to extortion, but legal.

    Want us to police your content, we dont, but if you offer good enough incentive, we might make an effort to work with you, but we dont really have to.

    • Re:Not My Problem? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @10:56AM (#31052386) Homepage Journal

      He who has the money makes the rules. And apparently that isn't the ISPs down there.

    • Re:Not My Problem? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by grimJester (890090) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @11:36AM (#31052594)
      Politicians make the laws. They can't just shrug and say "The courts already decided the issue".

      That said, the ISPs have no incentive to spend money policing their customers. I don't think the studios are prepared to pay for any filtering either. Despite what they claim, they don't see piracy as a big enough money drain that spending loads of cash on ISP level policing would be worth it. Piracy is just an excuse to get tighter copyright laws.
      • Politicians make the laws. They can't just shrug and say "The courts already decided the issue".
         

        The comm. minister "wanting" something != "making the laws"

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      Which part of "Politicians can change the laws when they don't like court interpretations of existing laws" do you not understand?

      • Some laws are easier to change than others; for instance, if it's declared that lying about military service to get laid can't be made a crime due to the first amendment here, changing that law will be pretty much impossible. Passing a law making ISPs liable for the actions of their customers may be a lot simpler, but it may not be, depending on why they're currently unable to hold them accountable. Also, you get some nice unintended consequences most of the time - they really should ask themselves whether
        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          The Australian constitution does not place anywhere near the limits on the government as the US one does.

          The unintended consequences are irrelevant to the simple fact that the people who make the law are not showing a lack of understanding by discussing cracking down on something that a court has ruled is legal under the current laws - since they can change the laws.

        • by dryeo (100693)

          All the Supreme Court has to do is enforce the first amendment correctly, eg congress will make no laws etc therefore legalizing child porn and watch how quick the constitution is amended.
          Come to think of it, shouldn't the first amendment override the copyright clause? At least where it infringes on free speech like singing happy birthday.

          • why would the 1st override copyright? They're both at the same level of law. Also, leave kiddy porn out of this - the sCOTUs has ruled than CP is not protected speech, and for good reason.
  • It Seems... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yaa 101 (664725) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @10:54AM (#31052374) Journal

    It seems that law is not going to deter them from getting their way...

    • When law gets in the way of making money hand over fist, the obvious solution is to change the laws, isn't it?

  • Only one way (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @10:55AM (#31052376) Homepage Journal

    TPM/DRM at the board level and require special clients ( like netzero ) to be inserted into your IP stack. You cant have ANY file that isn't approved by the 'key server'. Even your lowly diary has to be approved, let alone music, books, movies, games, applications. Connect online without your trusty TPM enabled client, you get reported.

    Great way to kill off free speech too, that old non DRM'd PDF of Mein Kampf you legally bought off Amazon years ago is no longer permitted, AND you get reported the next time you try to view it off your backup CDROM copy.

    • That will make way to much e-waste and take a long time to roll out and may even need the gov to shell out big time funds to pay for it all.

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        They are doing it with Digital TV now, so don't discount it happening sooner then one would think.

        • But I don't see a Digital TV box to make you old system work thing coming and will they have to replace all kinds of switch routers and other stuff as well?

          How about mills and other systems that may still need pc's with ISA cards to run and other real old software that does not work with vista / 7 much less any new drm system?

          Who will pay to real a office with 500 systems?

          and unlike the tv thing few systems to day even come with this drm system build in.

    • Even your lowly diary has to be approved, let alone music, books, movies, games, applications. Connect online without your trusty TPM enabled client, you get reported.

      Don't you think that's a bit much? Obviously they'd let you store a few small unapproved files on your machine, oh, say ten files, each with a maximum of 1000 characters.

      • Oh, no, what they'd do is when you try to save the file it gets sent to some unelected, unaccountable office for approval, and if it is approved you'd get to see it again. Maybe even on a government approved website. And if not, that's when you get some unexpected visitors and take an indefinite vacation to an undetermined location.

  • by loftwyr (36717) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @11:07AM (#31052462)

    Why not make the Internet itself illegal! Then they can slowly decriminalize individual ports and protocols with special identifications until they have complete control over everything.

    Once that's done, nothing illegal will happen and all their citizens will be happy drones.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      Because there was not a single crime committed before the internet existed.

      How did Australia get its initial European inhabitants again?

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Didn't work in East Germany after the wall went up. More people simply disappeared or were ratted out by their neighbors for being 'subversive'.

  • by GrubLord (1662041) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @11:23AM (#31052534)

    It's not representational government when you blindly push your personal agenda against the objections of just about every stakeholder and expert in the system.

    I wish Steven Conroy would hurry up and get caught looking at naughty pics of Miranda Kerr on the (uncensored) Internet during a newscast and fired, so the free world can stop giggling at all these Australian human rights violations and we can all get back to being the relaxed outback heroes people used to think of us as.

    • by SQL Error (16383) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @06:57PM (#31055794)

      There will be an election before too long. DON'T VOTE LABOR.

      Vote Liberal/National, Democrat, Independent, hell, even Green (though they're still crazy as a bedbug). Just don't vote Labor.

      • by Techman83 (949264)
        Or maybe even the Pirate Party [pirateparty.org.au]. They are on a membership drive, nows your chance to get on board and support a Party that believes in maintaining our rights and freedoms.
      • You are kidding me aren't you ?

        The only thing guaranteed is that the Liberals (the ONLY alternative government) will push exactly the same agenda with exactly the same results!

        Have you forgotten Helen Coonan seeks to censor the Web [theaustralian.com.au] and Senator Richard Alston: Australia's Internet killer? [findarticles.com] both Ministers for Communications under the previous Liberal government ?

        Stephen Conroy is a mis-guided tool, there is no doubt, but please don't try to push the point that there is a credible alternative.... there isn't.

    • Dealing with telephone companies is horrible so communications is a punishment post in government. We've had a succession of clowns under two governments in that role.
      If readers are familiar with Telstra and the antics of Sol Trujillo this will make more sense. He's gone now but Telstra still acts as if they have a fundamental right to be a monopoly without actually doing anything to repair their fixed line network.
      • by turing_m (1030530)

        Telstra still acts as if they have a fundamental right to be a monopoly without actually doing anything to repair their fixed line network.

        Why should they have to repair it if it's already fixed?

    • Conroy is a complete twit. The man admits to learning difficulties, yet still feels he is competent to run a complex portfolio.

      He has my sympathy for his difficulties but surely he should realise that someone without his difficulties would probably do a much better job as communications minister.

  • Amish Internet (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Max_W (812974) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @11:27AM (#31052556)

    Since there is no need for a plastic disk, box, paper cover, physical transportation, guarding, air-conditioning, etc. the price of a movie via download should be really attractive.

    But I cannot find a place to download movies and serials legally an conveniently. I saw some sites but they often say that this movie is not for a download in your country. Or a price is really expensive.

    Would it have been possible to forbid cars on early 20th century? It seems that it wouldn't, but there are Amish people who still do not use cars in their villages and towns.

    Maybe the Internet without movies and serials downloads is also possible. Sort of an Amish Internet.

    • The Amish are not forbidden from driving cars, they do not want to. Big difference.

      And I am fairly certain that the movie industry does NOT want to follow the Amish example as the Amish do not watch movies either.

      What amazes me is how clearly corrupt politicians are in this area. It is clear that the people do not want it, so why do they try so damned hard? You don't see them try nearly so hard in say restricting petrol usage. So what is the money eh I mean motivator?

      • by Dan541 (1032000)

        Restricting Petrol usage would crash the economy and plunge us back to the third world. No one want's to rule a shit hole.

        It's quite simple, control the speech and you have absolute power. With out free-speech a ruler is 100% immune from any threat to their power. This is just another step towards controlling the exchange of ideas and information.

  • by TechForensics (944258) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @11:37AM (#31052598) Homepage Journal

    Why should the ISPs enter into talks when they've already won in court?

    • by jimicus (737525)

      Why should the ISPs enter into talks when they've already won in court?

      You can win as many times as you like in court, if the legislature doesn't like the verdicts being given in court they'll pass laws to change future verdicts.

    • Why should the ISPs enter into talks when they've already won in court?

      <whine style=3 year old>Because I want them too! And if they don't I'm going to stamp my feet and cry! And, and, and my pet MP is going to pass a law and MAKE them.</whine>

    • Because the legislature can rewrite the laws out from under you, which would make your court judgment so much toilet paper. Australia doesn't have a Bill of Rights; if the legislature passes a law that says, "This is the way it is," the court doesn't have any choice but to agree.

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      Because the film industry won't take a "Fuck-off" for a No.

  • by D4C5CE (578304) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @11:51AM (#31052674)
    ...seems to be what saved this ISP in court.
    For reasons other than network integrity, any surveillance or manipulation of users' data, such as port-blocking, DNS (or simply ToS) censorship, [cough]Phorm[/cough] or Deep Packet Inspection in general lead down a road to perdition, as courts will show little mercy with defendants who through their own actions have themselves conceded (even though inaccurately, as there are still e.g. VPNs) the feasibility of the plaintiffs' outlandish demands.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not true, they have a disconnect policy for people who have used their network outside the TOS and infringing copyright is certainly on that list.

      The problem is that they were never provided with a customer who had been found guilty of infringing copyright, only allegations that had not been proven in a court of law... so they did the only sensible thing, they forwarded the allegations of crime to the police and waited for the justice system to arrive at a verdict... none were forthcoming (AFAIK).

      The conten

    • It's not so much conceding the feasibility, as it is that the courts tend to take a black and white view of any communications carrier's responsibilities. Either you're responsible for what goes over the communication channels or not. If you don't fool with any of your customer's communications, that's cool. You haven't taken responsibility for the content, and you can't be held accountable for it. But the minute you start censoring people's messages, then you've picked up that ball and it's yours now.

      • If you don't fool with any of your customer's communications, that's cool. You haven't taken responsibility for the content, and you can't be held accountable for it. But the minute you start censoring people's messages, then you've picked up that ball and it's yours now. You have to take responsibility for it, 100%.

        One might also say that other people's traffic is a can of worms best served closed. ;-)

        The moment the messenger allows itself even a sneak peek into it, let alone tries to "improve" it in whatever way, it'll find out that curiosity kills not just cats, but also ISPs at lawyerpoint.

  • Again the people in charge of the country show their complete ignorance of the Internet.

    Short of pulling out the cable there is no possible technical solution to stop people copying files across the Internet because that's what it's for.

    You might be able to defeat the current generation of P2P programs but it's 100% certain that the programs will adapt.

    Here's a better idea: Force the movie/music industries to provide an attractive/convenient alternative at a realistic price. eg. You pay $2 to watch a movie

    • > Again the people in charge of the country show their complete ignorance of
      > the Internet.

      Do not attribute to ignorance that which can readily be explained by malice.

    • by mpe (36238)
      Again the people in charge of the country show their complete ignorance of the Internet.

      You could probably "most things" for "the Internet" and the statement would still be true. That's a somewhat fundermental problem with career politicians, these people tend to be out of touch with the "real world".

      Short of pulling out the cable there is no possible technical solution to stop people copying files across the Internet because that's what it's for.

      It isn't even necessary to have a "cable" either :)

      He
    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      Here's a better idea: Force the movie/music industries to provide an attractive/convenient alternative at a realistic price. eg. You pay $2 to watch a movie on demand.

      The best way to do this is for every one to just ignore them. Seriously, I have never known a failing industry to bitch, whine and act so unprofessionally as the film and music industries. We should all ignore them and let the free market take it's course, they will either adapt or die as every other business must do.

  • So, does he think they should lose their driver's license for buying pirated CDs?

  • Don't you see?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dirtside (91468) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @01:15PM (#31053116) Journal

    Hollywood just had its highest box office year EVER! Clearly piracy is taking a huge toll, and... ...uh... wait...

    • by mpe (36238)
      Hollywood just had its highest box office year EVER! Clearly piracy is taking a huge toll, and... ...uh... wait...

      But they believe that they'd be making even more without "piracy". This being an issue of faith.
      You can't argue faith with logic or even facts.
  • Here's what the movie, record industry and politicians don't get:

    Safe harbor and peer to peer networking made the Internet possible.

  • Either you can have illegal downloads and the Internet, or you can have neither. Your choice.

  • Piracy will stop, eventually. One way or another.

    It might be a grand awakening in people all over the planet that taking stuff without paying is just somehow wrong. Unfortunately, we have been training an entire generation that taking whateve is laying around unguarded is the right thing to do. So I don't see this happening anytime soon.

    It might be that worthwhile content is just not being created except in ways that make piracy impossible. The motivation to do this would come from the simple truth that

    • by mpe (36238)
      Piracy will stop, eventually. One way or another.

      Well it will certainly stop when there are no more humans around.

      It might be a grand awakening in people all over the planet that taking stuff without paying is just somehow wrong.

      Before that expect announcements that Qantas will put pigs in the cockpits of their aircraft, several hundred British MPs will appologise for overclaiming expenses, etc :)

      It might be that worthwhile content is just not being created except in ways that make piracy impossible
    • by swilver (617741)

      However, the real possibility to look out for is government intervention. It is simple economics. Not only are there fewer sales due to piracy but even more so there are fewer taxes paid.

      And all that money is going to end up on saving accounts or simply disappear into thin air?

      No, of course not. It is going to be spend on other *luxury* goods. It is infact highly likely that money spend in such way will actually be better for the economy than spending it on a product that is basically going to end up fill

    • Not only are there fewer sales due to piracy but even more so there are fewer taxes paid.

      Except the numbers don't seem to bear that out. They grew, even during a period of economic downturn in the US. Note that for movies, the total tickets sold increased, so it's not just a result of twiddling ticket prices.

      2009
      Total Box Office Gross: $10,800,428,340
      Tickets sold: 1,440,057,129

      Music: $1,545 million

      2008
      Total Box Office Gross: $9,945,355,274
      Tickets sold: 1,385,146,979

      Music: $1,513 million

      Sources: The Numbers [the-numbers.com], Rolling Stone [rollingstone.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sjames (1099)

      Nobody ACTUALLY obeys the law. I don't mean everyone is a criminal, I mean that people in general do what they believe to be the right thing and hopefully the law will agree with them. Sure, they know about the speed limit (because it's posted) but just look how well THAT gets followed.. They know theft and murder are illegal but that's NOT why they don't do it, they don't do it because it's morally wrong. A great many people not only don't know that downloading a file can be illegal, they don't consider i

  • this is simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bobtree (105901) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @01:59PM (#31053472)

    Technical approaches do not solve social problems.

    There is a trivial way to resolve illegal downloading.

    Legalize it.

    • by KwKSilver (857599)
      Alternatively, the media kartels could just quit producing digital content. Why should the rest of the world be denied use of the net, when they could stop this by keeping THEIR movies on film and THEIR music on vinyl. Then the rest of us could produce our own digital images, movies, and music and the kartels could pirate us. However, they want to have their cake and eat it, too ... and your cake ... and my cake ...
    • by houghi (78078)

      And there is another problem. To be illegal the should be a guilty party. To be guilty, one would expect some sort of court. Courts should be run by governement. They can determine what is illegal and what not. Not some private company.

      They should NOT be the ones deciding what is legal and what not.

  • 1. It's not the ISP's responsibility to worry about what someone else is doing to their web site. If authorities have a problem, they should contact the site. Nevermind that it would be impossible to account for every deviance.

    2. The ISP is just a conduit, they should not manipulate the traffic in any way, as this would compromise their function, which is to act as the last mile in an internet connection. They do not provide the content. Should I sue the city because their streets can lead me t

  • We already have a solution. It's called taking legal action against the alleged offenders.
  • The courts have spoken several times now. What part of "no" don't you understand?

  • There are perfectly functional court systems in various countries. Use them and use copyright law the way its written.

    If you want to stop illegal file sharers, go sue them in court. If you cant find out who they are, file a John Doe lawsuit (essentially you are suing the IP address), present evidence proving that X IP address at Y time was sharing the content in question and then subpoena the ISP to get the details of which customer that corresponds to.

    Stop trying to make the ISPs into copyright cops just s

  • Get cracking, internet service providers.

  • by zuperduperman (1206922) on Sunday February 07, 2010 @06:50PM (#31055730)

    > Stephen Conroy: "The problem is at the moment in Australia there is no agreement, there is no discussion, there is no dialogue"

    Sounds an awful lot like Stephen Conroy talking about himself on internet censorship.

  • w0tz da d34L 0f uz1n d4 n3t 1f y4 c4nt d0 nutin' 1LL3g4l
  • Senator Conroy is a religious nutjob with an agenda.
    He wants his net filter with a secret blacklist assembled by an organisation that is appointed by politicans and over which the public has no control whatsoever. Obtaining the blacklist would be a criminal issue.

    He would go to bed with anyone who would further his vision of total control. Since that's the vision of the copyright industry as well, albeit from a profit motive rather than megalomania, they are natural allies for him.

    Unfortunately, he's not th

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