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Piracy Australia Your Rights Online

Australian ISP's To Crack Down On Piracy 108

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-torrents-for-you dept.
xav_jones writes "The ABC is reporting that 'Australia's five major ISPs have revealed their plans to crack down on online piracy by sending warning notices to suspected illegal downloaders while assisting rights holders to pursue serial offenders through the courts.' The idea is that '[d]uring an 18-month trial, rights holders would send copyright infringement notices, including evidence of copyright infringement and the IP address involved, to ISPs who would then send "educational notices" to the internet users concerned.' Further action would entail that '[u]sers who are suspected of further copyright breaches would then receive up to three warning notices before rights holders are able to pursue court action.' This seems a gentler approach than other countries. Will it prove more effective and/or cost efficient?"
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Australian ISP's To Crack Down On Piracy

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  • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Monday November 28, 2011 @08:57AM (#38189814) Journal

    (1) Will nothing happen to the alleged offender (i.e. no throttling/cut-off/etc.) unless and until a court has found against him?

    (2) I don't understand how a group of ISPs in cooperation with "rights holders" could get to decide when "rights holders are able to pursue court action" unless there is some legislation behind it - ideas?

    (3) Would the "rights holders" be paying for the admin involved in all of this?

    • by masternerdguy (2468142) on Monday November 28, 2011 @08:57AM (#38189828)
      You're acting like your rights matter.
      • by Tsingi (870990)
        Yes, it's pretty clear that the 'rights-holder' is not you. You have no rights as an individual other than the right to be screwed by the system in whatever manner they deem to be the most efficient and effective for the 'rights-holder'.
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      (2) I don't understand how a group of ISPs in cooperation with "rights holders" could get to decide when "rights holders are able to pursue court action" unless there is some legislation behind it - ideas?

      It's called 'negotiation'.

    • Re: (2) ISPs in cooperation with rights holders can decide between themselves when they're able to pursue court action because that's the due process of the courts. An aggrieved party begins court proceedings against those they accuse. You know... You think someone has committed a crime against you, so you tell the police / sue them. Nothing untoward here!

      Just replying to your question; Not read the article myself.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      As far as I've followed the news about it last week, the answers are:
      1) Nothing happens (except for the received notices), though your information will be given out after repeated offences, to allow for court action. Since the evidence is included with the notices, it should be easy to defend against incorrect claims.
      2) You can't have court action without a defendant, so the right holders will need to obtain evidence and request the information from the ISP. After that, there can be a normal court case.
      3) I

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      group of ISPs in cooperation with "rights holders"

      in the USA, they are normally one in the same.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      (1) Will nothing happen to the alleged offender (i.e. no throttling/cut-off/etc.) unless and until a court has found against him?

      This,

      Nothing can happen until there is a court ruling. I highly doubt this will make it to court. They've been sending out "infringement notices" for years but haven't sued anyone. The minute any judge with an once of intelligence (we have them in Oz) sees a US style extortion scheme, it'll be over with a huge payout for the lucky bugger who gets this judge. Also due to our libel laws, they'll be up for the same kind of inflated payments as they demand for every single false accusation.

      (2) I don't understand how a group of ISPs in cooperation with "rights holders" could get to decide when "rights holders are able to pursue court action" unless there is some legislation behind it - ideas?

      They haven't. Wha

  • So, what... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 28, 2011 @08:57AM (#38189830)

    the Aussies are becoming more like the USA, where the corporations have more rights than the citizens?

    Didn't we just get the latest round of analysis showing that MafiAA "evidence" isn't worth the tissue paper it's written on?

    • Actually, AU gave them corps and cartels even more rights.

      In the US, they don't sue you for downloading, but for distribution. I can download anything I want to off of, say, rapidshare - all day long, right in front of the entire RIAA and MPAA's combined legal squad, and they legally can't do a damned thing about it.

      Now if I used a torrent or otherwise provably uploaded copyrighted material that I had no rights to, then they'd be able to sue.

      Or, maybe the summary and TFA goofed their terminology.

      • by Nursie (632944)

        Of course they could do something, you're still infringing copyright.

        It's just not worth their while.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          No, there has to be a commercial motive, or else it would be illegal to read a book at the library, without paying the author royalties.

          I can read a book at the book store, or read a friends copy, or read over somebodys shoulder, and I have taken the information without paying for the package it came in (the book). This is completely legal. Even though the guy at 7-11 doesn't like you reading the magazines without paying, you don't have to worry about the publisher coming down on you.

          I do this quite often

          • by Nursie (632944)

            Your book examples are substantially different from taking an electronic copy of something and you know it. If you went to the library and started to photocopy entire books, the publishers may then have something to say about it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by eiMichael (1526385)
        You are most certainly infringing their copyrights. To download you request the server make a copy for you that is sent/copied accross routers and filters and proxies. You then make another copy into your ram while downloading and another when saving to your hard drive. Then make another copy back to ram and likely to your video card when you view/play the file.

        All of those are infringing copies since you had no copyrights for the first copy. This applies if you are an American or in America. Apologies if

      • In the US, they don't sue you for downloading, but for distribution. I can download anything I want to off of, say, rapidshare - all day long, right in front of the entire RIAA and MPAA's combined legal squad, and they legally can't do a damned thing about it.

        Now if I used a torrent or otherwise provably uploaded copyrighted material that I had no rights to, then they'd be able to sue.

        Or, maybe the summary and TFA goofed their terminology.

        Actually, this is no longer the case. Back in the 90's, this was the case, but there are a number of laws and court cases on the books in the US that have analyzed "downloading" and found it to be a part of distribution... and therefore copyright infringement for the recipient as well as the distributor. I believe "receiving illegally obtained goods across state lines" has even been used on occasion.

        In Canada, it's a mixed bag... in some cases, it's infringement, in other cases it's not. Due to the fact

      • The same is still true in Australia, downloading is not illegal, it has to be that way since every page on the internet is copyrighted by default. This is a (proposed) private agreement between two industry groups to scare downloaders with idle threats. It has no legal teeth with which it can bite downloaders, it has no provision to cut people off, and has nothing to do with the government.

        Or, maybe the summary and TFA goofed their terminology.

        No, TFA wasn't an accident, they use that terminology deliberately to give the impression downloading is illegal. I kno

    • by tezbobobo (879983)
      All the same, after 8 years with IINET it is time to change ISP. I vote with my feet to support an ISP who represents their paying client's interest. Regardless of whether MafiAA is a toothless tiger, one needs to stand up for oneself.
  • by Bob Gelumph (715872) on Monday November 28, 2011 @08:58AM (#38189838)
    http://pirateparty.org.au/give-no-quarter [pirateparty.org.au]: They recognise it is impractical, won't adequately protect privacy or due process and is just the ISPs trying to avoid regulation. That's my interpretation of their release, anyway.
    • Somehow, I doubt they will be avoiding efforts to regulate. Just look at how copyright has slowly but surely increased over the years. Music and movie cartels will always keep pushing and pushing to get more and more. I'm hoping that government will wake up, realize that this will eventually stagnate their population's creative juices, and slap them down hard but I'm realistic enough to realize that won't happen until enough people are screaming in hordes at their doors.

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday November 28, 2011 @09:15AM (#38190032) Homepage

      I propose building a network of proxies which transmit encrypted data 24/7. If nobody's downloading then they transmit random data so the ISPs are unable to tell if you're actually downloading anything or not.

      The ISPs could collapse, but that's the price they pay for their cooperation.

      Sounds mean? It's the logical result of actions like this. The only certainty of the piracy vs. copyright war is that that the piracy won't stop. Ever.

      • by CmdrPony (2505686)
        Since Australia has transfer limits on internet connections, that would either mean that you have to pay a lot more per month, or your internet connection will get seriously rate limited. All just for transferring other peoples data or worse yet, useless data.
        • by Joce640k (829181)

          One of the ISPs can grab all the other four ISP's customers overnight? I wonder if they'll sleep at night thinking about that.

      • by mmcuh (1088773)

        I propose building a network of proxies which transmit encrypted data 24/7. If nobody's downloading then they transmit random data so the ISPs are unable to tell if you're actually downloading anything or not.

        Hello, Freenet.

      • by mlts (1038732) *

        Devil's advocate:

        The ISPs can just refuse to let users communicate to the proxies. If someone sues the ISP, the ISP can always state that they are blocking potentially criminal content, which is good enough for a judge or jury.

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          Note that the summary says "Australia's five major ISPs" - the only way they can do this is by sticking together.

          If just one ISP doesn't do this then they'll have all the other ISPs customers in a couple of months. If the major ISPs do manage to stick together then they open the door for a small ISP to become a big ISP.

          • by mlts (1038732) *

            I'm not sure if Australia is like the US in this regard, but here, each ISP has exclusive access to their cable/DSL networks. If the local DSL ISP boots a subscriber, there are no other DSL providers to go to. So, if a cable-based ISP and a DSL based ISP decide to block a range of sites, unless someone gets an upstream connection from somewhere else, those sites will stay blocked.

            • Here the vast majority of residential, high speed Internet access is delivered by ADSL/ADSL2. This uses a copper local loop that is owned by Telstra (former govt. monopoly telco and owner of one of the five ISPs) but access must be leased to other parties at regulated rates. Once the DSL service reaches the local telephone exchange other ISPs can opt to install their own DSLAM hardware and backhaul, or lease the same from Telstra. Essentially it works out that there's Telstra Bigpond having its back pref

            • by pipedwho (1174327)

              The US model defeats the whole purpose of privatising the telecoms system. What's the point of setting up little mini monopolies that can just as effectively abuse their client base as could a single larger one?

              In Australia, there are at least three (Optus/Telstra/AGC and maybe more?) wholesale backbone providers that are required to allow all ISPs to lease copper line bandwidth/services/endpoints/etc. Those ISPs then retail their services and DSL connectivity to individual customers. There are also a coupl

    • Australians can currently join the Pirate Party of Australia for free. [pirateparty.org.au]

      We currently see a massive offensive aimed at the US's strongest allies: the UK, Canada and Australia. Once Big Content gets their agenda settled overseas, they will then try to implement the same thing domestically, pointing at these same allies and then saying US legislation should be brought in line with their allies' legislation.

  • What Evidence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Monday November 28, 2011 @08:59AM (#38189848) Homepage

    The real issue is what evidence will be deemed acceptable, what proof will be required of uploading content. Nothing automated, who monitored it, what content was uploaded content was downloaded (file names not good enough as no one has copyright on file names). The period over which that IP address was monitored with at least one independent witness (can't have for profit people who get paid per copyright infringement notification).

    Problem is this 'creative industry' has a history of being creative with lies, as such any accusation should be corroborated by independent people to ensure validity.

    Regardless of the lies and bullshit, the whole industry is still parasitic by nature, it neither feed, clothes, houses or heals. It is a luxury and it's impact upon the necessities of life always needs to be limited.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 28, 2011 @09:03AM (#38189890)

    Please not that this may sound reasonable but it is not. In the end it just comes down to the ISP giving information on its customers to third parties without a court order.

    • by Spikeles (972972) on Monday November 28, 2011 @05:42PM (#38195770)
      Wrong. Please read full proposal. [commsalliance.com.au] Note specifically this section:

      3.6 Discovery Notice from ISP to Account Holder

      In the event that an Account Holder is sent one Education Notice and [three] Warning Notices, the ISP will match the IP address from its scheme database and then send a Discovery Notice to the Account Holder.

      The Discovery Notice will inform the Account Holder that:

      • the Rights Holder may then seek to apply for access to the Account Holders details by way of a preliminary discovery or subpoena application, for the sole purpose of the Rights Holder taking direct copyright infringement action against the Account Holder
      • the ISP will notify the Rights Holder that the Account Holder has apparently failed to address the matters set out in the Notices
      • should the ISP be served with a valid preliminary discovery order (or subpoena) the ISP will be required to comply with the order, which may require the ISP to disclose the Account Holders details to the Rights Holder.

      So, in effect, the customer will get 4 warnings, then the ISP will respond to the rights holder, saying this ID number accessed files 4 times. Only then, may the rights holder start a court process to get the name and details of the account holder. Until the time that the court says so, the ISP will not divulge any of their customer details.

  • by stanlyb (1839382) on Monday November 28, 2011 @09:08AM (#38189956)
    Tell me if i am wrong, but ain't whole these warning letters ILLEGAL? If i am the one receiving them for example, and these letters says that i am guilty without prosecution, then why the heck we need judges and courts at all? Ok, ok, i am just trying to be ironic, but for me this is simply illegal, if not criminal attempt to scare me, which could cause me a lot of nightmares, and many other emotional discomforts.....if you still follow me, i would go in court, and sue them, for 1 million dollars. And if i lost work, or i don't have work, also would sue them for lost opportunities (here it is good idea to go to your lawyer and discuss all the little details).
    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      I'm guessing it's legal.
      Just like it'd be perfectly legal for me to send you a letter accusing you of something.
      At that point it'd be just as legal for you to sue me for fraud or extortion if the accusations are untrue (ofcourse if they are true, you might want to avoid that).
      If you're ever wondering whether something is legal, think "how would lawyers earn most money?".

      • by stanlyb (1839382)
        Exactly, but based on one IP address, and some funny log extract, or whatever else they have, which is apparently not enough for court case, how are they going to prove that they are right and i am wrong??? Keep in mind that you are the one that is supposed to prove my bad deeds, not the other way out. And imagine 10-20000 "pirates" going in court, and suing them...Just imagine....
        • by ledow (319597)

          The whole idea relies on the fact that this just doesn't happen often enough (most people just pay up and no challenge - hell, I know someone who paid ACS:Law for a similar accusation that they *swear* they didn't do).

          The payoff on such things relies on the fact that it's free to make an accusation but extremely expensive to prove it or disprove it - and even if you can guarantee you're innocent ("The internet hasn't worked for 6 months here because the telecoms cable cut off all the island's Internet"), it

          • by stanlyb (1839382)
            In my country, Canada, and it is the same for USA, and i suppose it should be the same for Australia and England, we have the very convenient thing called "small claims court", in which you don't need lawyer, you could defend yourself, the process is mostly informal, and the maximum reward is only 25 000 CAD (in Canada). The good thing is that you don't need lawyer, and they don't need lawyer too, translated, they are loosing their best weapon, a good and well paid lawyer. And you could question them direct
      • by theCoder (23772)

        Actually, the letters could be extortion even if they are true. For example, if I see someone rob a bank, and I send them a letter demanding money or I'll turn them in, that's extortion and I can be criminally prosecuted. But you're right that the guilty probably wouldn't call the police to report the extortion.

        Assuming that Australian laws are similar to my admittedly non-lawyerly knowledge of US law, the letters might be construed as extortion. It probably depends a lot on what they say. If they are "

        • Actually, the letters could be extortion even if they are true. For example, if I see someone rob a bank, and I send them a letter demanding money or I'll turn them in, that's extortion and I can be criminally prosecuted. But you're right that the guilty probably wouldn't call the police to report the extortion.

          In that case, instead of the police, they may very likely go to another agency to deal with you. After all, it is often much less expensive to dispose of a body than it is to fight a big court case.

    • Err, Comcast does this now here in the US. They erroneously sent me one a few years ago, at which point I called them up and demanded that they either prove it or issue an apology. I received neither, interestingly enough...

      • by stanlyb (1839382)
        Bad move from your side. You should have document it, and sorry, but no phone calls. Always use mail, registered. And then when you got no answer from them, just go to small claims court, and if they don't appear or try to defend themselves, then only based on the given documents (accusations, mails, etc), you will receive some nice compensation.
  • by gumpish (682245)

    Unfortunately these ISP's will almost certainly be interfering with the sharing of file's which have free license's (e.g. Creative Common's).

    When will government's stop serving the interest's of corporation's and start serving the interest's of their citizen's?

    • by n5vb (587569)

      Unfortunately these ISP's will almost certainly be interfering with the sharing of file's which have free license's (e.g. Creative Common's).

      Unfortunately these ISP's will almost certainly be interfering with the sharing of file's which have free license's (e.g. Creative Common's).

      Exactly. There is such a thing as legal file sharing, and artists just starting out and trying to get their work in front of people, or those less interested in profit (and there are such artists), can and often do use P2P to get exposure and build an audience. Which the major labels don't like, because they used to be the only game in town .. they've been making money off of past generations of new talent and they're not happy at all with the idea of this generation and future ones bypassing their contra

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Monday November 28, 2011 @09:27AM (#38190180)

    pursue serial offenders through the courts.

    If only other countries worried about copyright infringement would adopt this novel concept...

  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Monday November 28, 2011 @09:29AM (#38190212)

    This approach means that if I read it correctly the file sharer gets four warnings (one "educational letter" and three formal warnings) before anything happens.

    That means that smart file sharers will take action after the first letter, to cover their tracks. E.g. starting to use encryption, or other methods that hide to the ISP what you're up to. And after that there are three warning letters that allow fine tuning of their methods. Receiving such a letter basically means "you're doing something wrong, we can still see what you're doing!".

    And the end result: the ISP happy as there is not much for them to do; the recording industry happy because they don't see any file sharing taking place any more; and the user happy because they can continue what they've been doing over the last decade but now they're safe.

    • The recording industry will never be happy. They'll see stuff being downloaded but won't be able to identify who.
      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        The idea of hiding is that the downloads are hidden. So the recording industry can't see it either. Just the ISP sees a lot of traffic coming through.

  • Bob the angry flower to crack down on ignorant use of apostophes

  • by unity100 (970058)
    No means to counter 'piracy' will avail. Today's piracy is no different from spanish colonies smuggling despite iron hand of spanish monarchy - if you force your prices, people will smuggle/pirate at the cost of their lives.

    if you totally prevent online piracy, people will copy cds/dvds in between each other and still pirate.

    the only solution to piracy/smuggling is how it was ended back in early 18th century - abolition of monopolies and oligopolies, in whatever form they may be - and no, 4 major comp
    • if you totally prevent online piracy, people will copy cds/dvds in between each other and still pirate.

      Maybe 5 years ago they would use cd and dvd discs. My current PC doesn't even have an optical drive, and I have not missed it much. These days USB solid state and external hard drives are more likely, or carrying a laptop over to their house. Sneakernet is very hard to stop.

      Meanwhile, online file transfer will simply go full encryption if they try to squeeze too hard, and move the title and decryption keys off somewhere else than the file itself (a private distribution channel).

  • If it were me I would drop any provider participating in this scheme.

  • Interestingly, this sort of thing was trialled in the UK by the BPI back in 2008 [paidcontent.co.uk] and it was abandoned quickly. It was completely ineffective, very expensive, and resulting in some bad press due to lots of false accusations. It did lead to some very profitable (at least in t A couple of years later they had it put into law [legislation.gov.uk], making it much easier and cheaper for them (ISPs didn't want to pay) but a couple of years on from that and implementing it is still some way away.

    All this sort of scheme does is make mon

  • The plan has been rejected by all the major Australian content organizations. They're still waiting for the iiNet v AFACT High Court judgment, since it will have a significant impact on the playing field.

    http://delimiter.com.au/2011/11/29/bugger-off-content-industry-tells-isps-on-piracy/ [delimiter.com.au] (There are some more related articles on the site)

  • If I am reading this correctly, the offender gets three warning (strikes) before any legitimate action is taken. May that should be extended to where the first to felony offenses are not counted against an individual. Show it be inferred that a burglar has two free attempts to ransack my home before I can call the police? Seriously, what moron conceived this idea?

  • In this context, there is no possibility of reading ISPs as being anything other than the plural of ISP. Therefore, the apostrophe is unnecessary. What's worse, every superfluous apostrophe such as this re-wires the minds of many of those who see it, permanently ablating the apostrophe regulation regulation of their brains such that they will never again in their life properly use an apostrophe.

    Victims of the apostrophe plague, once infected, pluralize with apostrophes, form contractions by joining words

  • Sensible approach, requires checks and balances, so big media's sketchy evidence won't pass. It's also makes it too hard for them to squash the little guys like in the states. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/isps-anti-piracy-proposal-rejected-by-entertainment-sector/story-e6frgakx-1226208551936 [theaustralian.com.au]

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