Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship Government The Courts News

Studios' Oz Power-Grab Revealed 217

Xiroth writes "More details are beginning to come out about the lawsuit launched by film studios in Australia. According to law experts familiar with the case, the studios seek to force the ISPs to become 'police, judge, and executioner,' effectively giving the studios the legal clout to switch off ISP customers' internet connection at will. Apparently the ISP iiNet is the unlucky victim for the test case as, unlike other ISPs, they refused to pass on infringement notices to their customers."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Studios' Oz Power-Grab Revealed

Comments Filter:
  • by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @11:39AM (#25873917) Journal

    I'm liking the sound of these iiNet people - they were the ones who wanted to say a big 'screw you' to the proposed government censorship scheme, too. Any Aussies care to comment on whether they're actually the good guys or not?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They're one of the better ISP's yeah. I hate their adds though!

    • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @11:57AM (#25874169) Homepage

      I'm not an Aussie, but I think it's unproductive (and often counter-productive) to try to label companies or people as "good" or "bad." This particular action appears to be good. Nuff said.

      • by emil10001 ( 985596 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @12:17PM (#25874433)

        You don't think 'good' and 'bad' are helpful adjectives to describe a company to a friend who might be interesting in purchasing services from said company and who will eventually need to deal with said company?

        Two examples, Comcast and Netlix. I've read quite a bit actions that both companies have taken, and have been on the phone with both companies several times. If I were referring a friend for a high-speed internet service, I probably wouldn't recommend Comcast because I think that they are a 'bad' company. They do things like throttle your internet connection if you're using bit-torrent, regardless if it's for completely legal purposes or not. They are lobbying for a tiered internet. They are rarely pleasant or on time to service calls, and calling their customer service center is an exercise in futility.

        Netflix, on the other hand, I would recommend as a 'good' company, because they are constantly doing things that bennefit their customers. For example, they have been working very hard to bring streaming movies to people. I just got that ability with the latest xbox update, and it's awesome (really good quality too). They are also very good on the phone. The CSRs will really try to help you, and if you have some sort of technical question, they put you on the phone with somebody who understands and can answer your question!

        So, in short, I think that labeling companies as 'good' and 'bad' is helpful. If a company is falling into the 'bad' category, and they don't want to be there, then they need to get off their ass and figure out what put them there.

        • Precisely. A quick read through consumeraffairs.org shows that some companies trend "good" and some trend "bad". Like Honda is good, and Hyundai is bad. (I had to get that car analogy in there.) ;-)

        • You don't think 'good' and 'bad' are helpful adjectives to describe a company to a friend who might be interesting in purchasing services from said company and who will eventually need to deal with said company?

          No, I don't. If I were said friend, I'd rather know specifics, such as what my money is or is not supporting by patronizing said company, rather than the value judgments you assign to those actions as a whole. Labeling collectives as good or bad is even more difficult, time consuming, and pointless

      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

        And there should be a court order for each case before any action is taken against an ISP customer.

        If I was an ISP I would first ask for any kind of court ruling in each case before providing any information to the *AA:s.

        If we allow bypassing of the legal system then we can end up with companies and organizations fabricating evidence just to silence people.

      • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @12:35PM (#25874729) Homepage

        It's kind of like the Borg:

        The individuals who joined the collective weren't really evil people. The Borg will assimilate anyone. But once they become part of the collective mindset, they have one goal, and that goal can really only be achieved in an evil way.

        Corporations tend to work the same way. Most of the individuals are not evil, but they contribute toward a whole that is going in an evil direction. Some time it is tough to take a step back and go "if I do this, they could use it for something else..." I always wonder who was the jerk who wrote the "virus" that went on the Sony BMG music CD's that disabled the ability to burn CDs as a form of copy protection. Surely that person knew what he/she was doing was wrong. But in other cases it is more gray. The same tools can be used for good or evil. And if evil makes you more profit, well.. that is what happens.

        • Maybe this is why I keep getting fired. I refuse to give-up my individualism for the corporate collective. ;-)

        • by genner ( 694963 )

          It's kind of like the Borg:

          So they're a rip off of a Dr Who villan. '

          • Which one? I don't recall any "collective machine-based villain" in Doctor Who?

        • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) *

          I always wonder who was the jerk who wrote the "virus" that went on the Sony BMG music CD's that disabled the ability to burn CDs as a form of copy protection. Surely that person knew what he/she was doing was wrong.

          So now it's a virus eh? I tell ya, geeks play an awesome game of telephone.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Sony_BMG_CD_copy_protection_scandal [wikipedia.org]

          At the time, the use of the term "root kit" to describe the malware on the CD was considered a semantic stretch, because the intent of the word had been lost. Of course, since then, the term has come to mean exactly what appeared on these CDs. So we're just going to have to let that one go.

          I think what you're talking about is XCD, developed by then First4Internet

      • I am an Aussie and I can tell you that iiNet and Internode are the good guys in so far as an ISP can be good or bad.
        • by bug1 ( 96678 )

          I agree.

          AFAIK they were both ISP's before telco's became ISP's they survived the mergers.

          iiNet has been one of companies standing up to telstra (X Aussie telco Monopolist) with their ADSL pricing, and was one of the first companies to roll out ADSL2

          iiNet started as a "backyard" buisness and has given me the sense that they understood the customer; you know, that feeling you dont get from a telco.

          DISCLAIMER: I liked them so much i bought some shares in them (and made a little money), but i dont own any at th

    • by quinks ( 1172373 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @12:06PM (#25874289)

      Internode and iiNet are the two awesome ISPs in this country, although there are lots of smaller ones. You'll want to avoid the ISPs that charge $180/GB on any of their plans for excess usage such as Telstra, Dodo or Optus. This is not a typo. That's 180 Australian Dollars for every Gigabyte you go over your allowance. For example, Optus's 'Yes Fusion $79 plan comes with 4 GB and $150 for every Gigabyte over that. Needless to say, they've got their had stuck up so far their own bottom that they can see daylight through their own ears. But even they completely oppose the plan.

      A certain Mark Newton who works for Internode is also an extremely outspoken critic of the censorship plan. But Telstra, iiNet and Internode, likely 3 out of the biggest 5 ISPs all have important people saying that the filtering won't work [zdnet.com.au].

      Broadband Choice [whirlpool.net.au] is an excellent overview of the choices out there. Check out Whirlpool [whirlpool.net.au] if you want to know more about the situation.

      • I left Australia coming up on 2 years ago, so maybe things have changed, but Optus cable always seemed very good to me. Speeds were consistently reasonable (approx 10Mbit down, 1.5Mbit up), price was $69.95 a month, and it was capped to 12GB a month (with a "bonus" 24GB for offpeak, so if I wanted to download something big, I'd do it off peak, giving me effectively 36GB a month if managed properly). Only downloads were counted towards the limit - uploads were unlimited. If I went over the limit (the 12GB

        • No the unlimited and unlimited pro are no longer available, I am lucky to be grandfathered in on that plan.

          I would say fusion plans are very similar to Telstras mediocre lineup.

    • FTA:

      Seven of the world's biggest film studios and the Seven Network last week filed suit against iiNet, Australia's third largest ISP, in the Federal Court.

      They claim iiNet authorised copyright infringement by failing to prevent its users from downloading pirated movies and TV shows.

      iiNet, and the industry body, the Internet Industry Association, say ISPs should not be required to take action against any customers until they have been found guilty of an offence by the courts.

      Amen to that last part. So seems like 'good guys' to me - but probably more worried about 1. Losing clients 2. Having to do the work than being pioneers of net freedom.

    • The two *good* ISPs with a track record of ethical policies and behaviour are:

      iinet (iinet.net.au)
      internode (internode.on)

      Altough I have to say in terms of pioneering affordable and not shit broadband in Australia, internode deserve a lot of cudos:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internode_Systems#Milestones [wikipedia.org]

  • im frequently donating to EFF for such lawsuits. i wonder if they are gonna go into this one too.
    • It might be a good idea to practice saying it. This is a test case and Australia hasn't been too pro-customer from what I've seen lately. Does anyone have any links or data that could link this case to US government, RIAA, MPAA, or any of their legal teams?

      Maybe group-sourcing will work to find something to help the fight.

      • "Does anyone have any links or data that could link this case to US government, RIAA, MPAA, or any of their legal teams?"

        US government: The lawsuit is a test case of provisions in the AU-US Free Trade Agreement, the FTA had chunks of the millenium act inserted into it, fortunately pharmacuticals were exempt from the FTA.

        *AA's: Same studios, different shop front.

        Legal team: Lead by the same bloke who extracted $100M from Kazza.

        The mandatory filtering thing is a dead horse since the legislation wo
  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @11:55AM (#25874123)

    Is that if they have enough evidence to make you get shut off the net, they have enough evidence to sue you. Stop passing the buck and file a lawsuit, jackasses.

  • by liquidpele ( 663430 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @11:55AM (#25874133) Journal
    The internet was build for problems like this - the reaction will be more encryption and anonymity.
    • by Mex ( 191941 )

      Sure but you need to fight it at some point, because they will eventually try to ban encryption for the average citizen.

      "What do you need to hide, hmmm? You need a permit for an encryption license"

      • A handful of US states have tax stamps for illicit drugs. A drug dealer can (anonymously, presumably) go buy the stamps and affix them to his product and only get charged with the drug violations if police catch him. If he gets caught selling and hasn't paid taxes on the drugs, then they also make him liable for tax evasion charges and back taxes. I can see the same methods being used for anything a government wants banned.

  • Wild leap of logic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @11:57AM (#25874157)

    They claim iiNet authorised copyright infringement by failing to prevent its users from downloading pirated movies and TV shows.

    So I guess this means that the Jews (and the Catholic Church and the Masons) really were responsible for 9/11 - after all, they failed to prevent it.

    • They claim iiNet authorised copyright infringement by failing to prevent its users from downloading pirated movies and TV shows.

      So I guess this means that the Jews (and the Catholic Church and the Masons) really were responsible for 9/11 - after all, they failed to prevent it.

      No, it means the MAFIAA authorised copyright infringement by failing to prevent people from pirating movies and TV shows. Don't expose their failed logic; use it against them.

    • Well yes, if the 9/11 terrorists bought their explosives and guns from the said Jews, Catholic Church and the Masons.

      But like you said, a wild leap of logic indeed :)
    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      They claim iiNet authorised copyright infringement by failing to prevent its users from downloading pirated movies and TV shows.

      So I guess this means that the Jews (and the Catholic Church and the Masons) really were responsible for 9/11 - after all, they failed to prevent it.

      Actually the Australian Federation Against Copywrong Theft (our new MPIAA equivalent) is claiming that iiNet knew about the infringement but still did nothing to prevent it. Whilst this is a little more solid and less outrageous then

  • To iiNet Customers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @12:06PM (#25874283)

    Do everything you can to be suspicious without violating any laws. Download dozens of distrobutions of Linux, send massive files to your friends anything to get yourself noticed. Then, when they cut off your access, complain and complain and keep complaining until they either give in or give up.

    Seriously, these test cases exist for a reason, show the ISP how much business it will cost them, show the government how many false positives they will get. It can't hurt and (if they aren't a buch of corrupt fools) it could help.

    • That's a good tactic, but it only works if you have an ISP that is limiting access (like Comcast). My ISP is Verizon and they apparently don't care what I download, even though I'm maxing out my line at 100 KB/s.

      But if Verizon started limiting my access based on content, then yes I think bit-torrenting millions of copies of Linus sounds like a good method of protest. I could then sue Verizon on the grounds that they are blocking my LEGAL access to public domain and free-to-download software.

      • Correction:

        "But if Verizon started limiting my access based on [my usage of bittorrent]....."

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by GenP ( 686381 )

        ...millions of copies of Linus...

        When did he upload [wikipedia.org]?!

    • I think the whole point is that iiNet isn't doing that sort of thing.

      iiNet, and the industry body, the Internet Industry Association, say ISPs should not be required to take action against any customers until they have been found guilty of an offence by the courts.

      Saturating your internet connection isn't going to affect a court case one way or the other.
      If anything, iiNet customers should write to their ISP to thank them for going to bat for sane copyright enforcement.

      • Customers of other providers should also switch to iiNet and cite this as the reason to both the old and new companies for the change.

  • First they government wants to set up a nationwide firewall [gizmodo.com], now this? WTF is going on down there? I mean, I thought the *U.S.* was bad. Isn't Australia supposed to be all European open and sophisticated, unlike us puritanical Americans?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      what would you have them do? Australia is full of criminals, and these are reasonable actions to keep them corralled. A bunch of people walking around with bad attitudes, large knives, and strange accents talking about barbies and mates and dingos. I'm just glad they are a continent unto themselves.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "Think of the CHILDREN! Won't somebody pleeeeease think of the CHILDREN?!?"

      Australia itself is not at fault, neither is the majority of the population who would be quite content to continue being a bastion of open-minded free thinking (much like most of Canada, which I'm proud to live in). No, if there's any blame to assign here, it should be directed squarely at the two groups at fault: Greedy, amoral media executives who would be all too happy to set up a global dictature where their content, flawed and awful as it might get, would be rewarded with mountains of ill-gotten cash

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Don't forget the US Free Trade Agreement our government signed us up for. Thanks for that. Now we get to have DMCA like rules, MAFIAA/RIAA browbeating and destruction of our medical system by "Big Pharma".
      • by mjwx ( 966435 )
        By the looks of it the filter may fail before it even begins. The Greens (the Australian Green Party) is talking about pulling its support for the filter [news.com.au]. Seeing as the Green vote primarily comes from Hippies other open minded individuals (liberal as in liberalism) the Greens are thinking about their chances of re-election by going against this unpopular move.
    • The E.U. is hardly open. I mean, you can't even wear an attractive Swastika pin without getting arrested by the polizei. Where's the freedom in that? ;-)

      But seriously there are a lot of ways that the E.U. is less free than America. Particularly in the area of self-defense against criminals (you cannot). The taxes are ridiculously high (60 cents/gallon versus $4/gallon) and overall just a more-restrictive society.

      • But seriously there are a lot of ways that the E.U. is less free than America ..... and overall just a more-restrictive society.

        Depends on your viewpoint actually... I find Europe to be much more free than the US with regards to the culture, even if the law is technically a little more restrictive (in many, but not all, ways).

        First, where you're right: It's true that if I walk down the street here in Germany doing my best Hitler impression I could technically be arrested (although I don't know if they would do so in practice - I'm not game to find out), and it's also true that even in the case of self defence against criminals, one

      • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

        But seriously there are a lot of ways that the E.U. is less free than America. Particularly in the area of self-defense against criminals (you cannot).

        You can, but it must be proportional. Knocking someone who attacks you to the ground is OK, f'r instance, but you can't shoot someone just because they're trespassing.

        There are just as many ways Europe is "freer" than the US, as vice versa. For example, drinking in public is typically both legal, and quite acceptable.

  • for a select few major players in the rarefied business of media distribution, circa 1988

    now, any pimply faced teenager with a net connection has more distribution power than time warner and bertelsmann in 1988. but the law hasn't changed to reflect that technological change in last 20 years

    now, those dying business powers wish to use the laws meant for their private little club to impose their will on a billion teenagers. a billion poor meda hungry teenagers with obfuscation, encryption, spoofing, etc., at their disposal

    good luck with that

  • by josepha48 ( 13953 ) on Monday November 24, 2008 @12:15PM (#25874405) Journal
    if they disconnect someone who is later found innocent? Will that person be able to sue the ISP and the AU Government?

    Well this just seems like the AU gov is really f'd up these days. IMO.

  • Oz? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Theaetetus ( 590071 ) <theaetetus.slashdotNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday November 24, 2008 @12:34PM (#25874703) Homepage Journal
    Can we please stop using the term "Oz" to refer to Australia, particularly in the context of film studios? There is an "Oz" series, which could lead to confusion, and someone searching for stories about Australia is unlikely to include "Oz" in their search.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      No

    • That's funny, whenever I think of Oz I think of a nightclub in New Orleans.

    • by genner ( 694963 )

      Can we please stop using the term "Oz" to refer to Australia, particularly in the context of film studios? There is an "Oz" series, which could lead to confusion, and someone searching for stories about Australia is unlikely to include "Oz" in their search.

      Oh....that explains why no one thought to ask the wizard for help.

  • For years the ISP's have been able to bring me content, then rat me out and participate in a lawsuit AGAINST me. If anyone wants to put the brakes on illegal internet content then going after the ISP's is the only way to go.

  • If you are concerned about this legal action and the federal government's plans for compulsory filtering, you might like to consider supporting Electronic Frontiers Australia [efa.org.au], either by joining or donating.

I haven't lost my mind -- it's backed up on tape somewhere.

Working...