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The Forum > General Discussion > Next on the agenda: a three strikes law

Next on the agenda: a three strikes law

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Today, iiNet verus AFACT (Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft) was decided. iiNet won with costs. For those of you unfamiliar with the case, when AFACT spotted what they thought was someone illegally downloading a movie or song, they sent a letter notifying the relevant ISP. They expect the ISP to disconnect the user. iiNet's usual response was to bin the letters. From

"If all the notices iiNet received from film studios over a five-month period were printed it would take 180 large folders and more than 12 trolleys to bring them into the court. No-one can seriously be expected to respond to all these."

And so ends round one. From we know what round two will be:

"a spokeswoman for Conroy said the Government was considering the three-strikes system but was awaiting the result of the iiNet case"

A three-strikes system means an ISP gets three copyright violation notices for a user they are compelled by law to disconnect them.

Under the 3 strikes law it is not a court, nor the police and not even a government agency that gets to decide whether you are guilty or not. It is a private company whose primary motivation is to sell more product. Naturally they do these copyright theft detections as cheaply as possible. Automatically usually, with the notices are fired off by a computer. As we have seen in the US, the end result is occasionally the household looses their connection to the internet because unbeknowns to them, little Johnny learnt how to download get his songs for free last week. Or his mate who slept over.

Conroy will say iiNet's handling these notices is unjust to the copyright owners, and so the government is keen redress this. I have some sympathy for that. But allowing copyright to extend for life + 70 years, so that "Happy Birthday to You" is still under copyright is an injustice too all tax paying voters, and yet he displays no interest in that at all.

At times I wonder who our pollies think elected them. Us or the lobbyists.
Posted by rstuart, Thursday, 4 February 2010 4:59:48 PM
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It is a simple matter to avoid identification by the recording companies. Indeed many bit-torrent programs come with some form of privacy protection as standard.
Pirates will always be one step ahead of the hoarders and gougers in the music and movie biz.
Copyright has become a farcical rort so far removed from its original premise as to be unrecognisable. What happens next time copyright runs out on mickey mouse? Will it be extended to 100 yrs? 200? 500?
What about all the fairy tales and fables disney stole and made millions from?
Copyright is a con and people rightly have decided to ignore it and take and enjoy whatever they like and the sooner the entertainment industry realises this the sooner they can get on with making money from actual performances rather than making one song or movie and expecting to become billionaires. Not to mention good riddance to the parasites who feed on talented artists and swindle the public and fans mercilessly.
Posted by mikk, Friday, 5 February 2010 1:22:32 AM
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Mikk was spot on. They're just freaking out because they 'HAVE' to micro-manage every $1.69 being missed because of illegal downloads. It's impossible to stop they have ZERO chance of doing so.

Instead of fighting it, they need to adapt to the tech and over come. Maybe even throw the consumer - who is paying them - a bone occasionally.

The problem for them is 'old school' business models running these shows, much like Herr Atkinson of S.A. trying to douse public opinion instead of adapting to it and using it to his advantage. But he's a paranoid control freak with archaic delusions of self importance.
Posted by StG, Friday, 5 February 2010 8:55:33 AM
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a govt can't make legislation contrary to the Constitution - read the HCA case of Brandy vs HREOC or whatever

in brandy the legislation was found to "offend the constit" and was repealed/amended because it allowed an ADMINISTRATIVE path to sanction a person without any appeal path to a court.

Brandy was relied upon in Luton and Lessels to find that the Child Support Assessment Act did in fact have an appeal path so was OK.

Problem is that Howard/Prof Parkinson then removed that path so CSAAct now OFFENDS constitution.

so getting back to this case with Ozemail, it is simply a matter of someone must take a case to court or as with CSAAct it simply survives
Posted by Divorce Doctor, Friday, 5 February 2010 9:59:26 AM
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Divorce Doctor: "a govt can't make legislation contrary to the Constitution"

NZ and France have already gone down this path. They both put up a 3 strikes law, and in both had to modify it for the reasons you state. The version they now have says a court must the disconnection after the movie companies report three copyright violations.

The link makes a couple of criticisms of this. I'll make another. Cutting off a households internet connection is a pretty drastic action. It means the kids can't do their school projects, the adults can't do their banking, Victorian home owners can't see 1/2 hours updates on the path of fire storms, and people who use the internet for their telephone (ie use VOIP) can't make or receive phone calls.

It seems pretty harsh just because someone download a few some songs or movies that can be purchased or hired down the street for a couple of dollars. Surely a fine would be more appropriate? We don't drag people through court for most victimless crimes like speed, or jaywalking.

AFACT will argue it isn't a victimless crime, that they are loosing money over this. Well, the movie mob aren't loosing money if their revenues are anything to go by - the arrival of the internet has had no discernible effect.

The music companies have lost money. But that is because they shot themselves in the foot. When it became obvious the internet was going replace CD's as the way music is distributed, their response ignore the obvious and sue anybody who tried to make it happen. In doing so they created a huge business opportunity for 1,000lb gorillas they couldn't intimidate - like Apple, Nokia and Telstra. The end result? Those 1,000lb gorillas have now wiped them out of the most profitable part of the business - distribution, and their revenues have plummeted as a result. And of course thing you might use to gauge the effects of privacy - units sales of music, have gone up.

I find it hard to have sympathy for businesses that behave like dinosaurs.
Posted by rstuart, Friday, 5 February 2010 10:54:34 AM
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Other countries constitutions don't relate to ours directly.
The court ruling was clear an internet supplier can't be held responsible for the behaviour of their clients.
It's *potentially* the web site and the user that is at risk this was
settled in recent court cases 'hot frog'(?)in Britain.
It's a bit like banning Ford or mechanics for servicing cars because hoons illegally race Fords. You have to show intent.

In all probability it was a test case by the big companies to find an easy way rather than proving the case of the end users.
The BBC reports that some law firms acting on behalf of Big Entertainment are simply sending out letters of demand and those who don't pay are being sued big time, to make an example of them.

It is interesting to note that these big wins in court none of the winners made any effort to reimburse their artists their share.

There has been changes to the laws of 'intellectual property' (music movies) in the US is now 90 years for corporations where it used to be 25 like patents.
Question long do you think patent (intellectual property) goes the same way. Some sites are reporting lobbying is now underway.

I agree fair profit for fair work but what is happening here is free money for corporations....less risks etc.

Consider the effect on drugs and GM seed.

How is any of this increasing public options? all it's doing is creating more impregnable power for the mega corps.
Posted by examinator, Friday, 5 February 2010 12:33:20 PM
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