back to article How iiNet beat Big Content

The High Court's decision to dismiss Big Content's appeal of the Federal Court's decision absolving iiNet of copyright infringement relies, in part, on inadequacies in Australia's Copyright Act that may need to be dealt with by Australia's Parliament. That's the opinion of Kay Lam-McLeod, the Principal of IT specialist law firm …

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Silver badge
FAIL

> this would achieve for copyright owners, but at the expense of the ISP, the suspension or disconnection by their ISP of subscribers from the internet, a remedy which would not be available to the copyright owners were they themselves to sue the subscriber

Isn't the whole aim of the court-case to bypass the courts so the copyright owners don't have to bother suing?

And they still haven't fixed the issue of "we had a gaming lan party at my house - who knows whose machine was hosting the torrents, or even whose account on the host the torrents were running under?" The rigor of law is there for a very good reason. This is not the same as saying you lent your car to someone and they ran a speed trap. There are plenty of reasons why you may not know what software is on your network, even a small home one.

Sorry, but that is the wrong way to do things. Commercial contract agreements are not a substitute for (criminal?) law. What happens to bundled services? Do they cut off your phone too? Foxtel as well? Who picks up the cost of the differential, given that nothing has been proved in court? Is this a cheap way to get out of a contract lock-in?

The whole attempt was a bucket of fail. Not just fail in execution, but fail in concept. It is not the way the law should work.

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Stop

First line of article:

"Why iiNet beat Big Content Codes of conduct, legislation, likely as court says Copyright Act not ready for BitTorrent The High Court's decision to dismiss Big Content's appeal of the Federal Court's decision absolving iiNet of copyright infringement relies, in part, on inadequacies in Australia's Copyright Act that may need to be dealt with by Australia's Parliament."

Can somebody please help me parse that first paragraph? It looks like at least three three lines merged into one, and the first two seem to be more like newspaper headers than actual sentences.

And this is at least the second article I've read in El Reg today with this problem.

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Re: First line of article:

"in part, on inadequacies in Australia's Copyright Act that may need to be dealt with by Australia's Parliament."

What, you mean like the inadequacies that exist in our other laws, such as 'You can't hold a car manufacturer responsible if their car is used in a hold-up" or "You can't even hold a GUN manufacturer responsible if someone shoots someone" - they aren't laws, but basic principles of common law.

I can't see how a company can claim 'piracy' anyway - it implies loss of income; if they aren't even selling this to Australians how the hell can they claim loss of income?

The High Court made the right decision, NOT due to inadequacies (in whose view? Hollywood's?) in our law, but in spite of them! Our High Court is actually well known for mostly getting things RIGHT, likely because it is a 6-person panel, not a single judge.

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Mushroom

Mike is dead on when he talks about legal content, most of what is "pirated" can't be obtained in a legal manner, if Big Content took away the stupid country based filtering on services like Hulu and even more disgusting blocking purchases on sites like Amazon they'd see an increase in sales and a drop in piracy...

If you aren't selling, why are you bitching when people pirate?

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> If you aren't selling, why are you bitching when people pirate?

This. A thousand times over. I honestly wonder what the hell is going on in their collective heads.

The few times I've tried to purchase an ebook, I've gotten "This content is not available in your region", but I've yet to have any region related complaints from my torrent client.

Two questions, if anyone knows the answer. Who thinks this situation is a good idea? And who benefits from it?

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Stop

it's still theft

@tkioz - You're making the assumption that you have a right to (for example) my content. You don't. I don't have to sell it. If I decide to sell it, I don't have to sell it to you. Within broad parameters I am free to decide what to do with the fruits of my labour and that includes _not_ providing it in certain markets if I choose. If you take my content then it is theft, pure and simple. You can try to justify it by saying that I'm not losing any money but that is irrelevant. You are stealing my right to control my own product. None of this should be taken as support for the breathtakingly stupid strategies adopted by studios et al. They are morons of the first water. Their being morons however, does not give you a licence to steal.

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Re: it's still theft

Thanks Nicho,

You know, every now and then you see a post which actually makes you think about the topic a little differently to how you had before.

Cheers.

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The use of regions is a way of dividing markets to get the most out of them. For example, if the local content market is small, such as Australia, it will lack the economies of scale to reduce the per unit cost. Thus, a large content provider can import content into this region and increase the profit margin on each unit by charging a similar price to locally produced content.

This is why DVD and Bluray regions were established.

But also content providers are loath to release content to countries which do not have acceptable legal structures or enforcement. You would not want to release content into a country if you knew that it would be immediately copied and distributed cheaply and you would get very little out of it. This is why some content is unavailable.

These restrictions are also a way of putting pressure onto foreign countries to conform to US (ie Hollywood) copyright structures.

So content owners benefit.

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Re: it's still theft

No it doesn't change how I think.

Theft has existed since forever and there is only two ways to stop theft. You make it not theft or you don't make it.

When it is simpler, easier and more convienent to stream a movie from a illegal site than a legit site, people will pirate. I can watch any new release movie on my tv as soon as it comes out, often months before released here.

The film industry want me to do the right thing but place penalties and restrictions on me not to mention charging a hefty price. They then try to back it with the new laws and lawyers and massive scare campains which have failed. Now they try to set themselves up and judge and jury with the ISP as their forced exectioner (again failed). Next step is to buy some more pollies and try the previous step again. This will also fail as the technology will adapt around it (VPN, encrypted torrents, anonimising services)

Now pirates are still making money but not charging the user. They make their money from ads. Their sites are simple to use and have just about everything. If they didn't, people would head to a competitor's site which did.

Proabition didn't solve drinking. Tough laws for drugs isn't working. Tough gun laws thump legal users but gun crime is a record high and you can't beat pirates with laws.

To beat them you have all content in one place or at least one format. You have a free service giving standard def and stereo sound, paid for by ads. You have a premium service as with pay per view or annual charge, with hi-def widescreen and surround sound. The moment you start making it difficult or placing restrictions (ie regions) or making it too expensive, pirates have a foothold.

Hardware manufacturers will integrate the systems into set top boxes and tvs. Software developers will make apps for computers and mobile devices. Film companies will get paid, pirates go broke and lawyers don't get to buy the latest model BMW

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FAIL

Re: it's still theft

@Nicho

Copyright infringement is NOT theft no matter how many times idiots from Big Content claim it is. It's closer to trespass if you HAVE to compare it to an existing crime. I haven't DEPRIVED, not a sale or a copy, you of anything if you weren't willing to SELL it to me.

If you aren't selling, STFU when someone you can't legally buy it anyway pirates.

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Pirate

"If you aren't selling, why are you bitching when people pirate?"

Ummmm, because they are, errrrr, greedy?

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Anonymous Coward

Blank media tax

Why not apply some kind of blank media tax (optional, maybe) which includes indemnification against copyright claims on an internet connection- this would probably be a lot better for people like, say, me who download a lot of content which I may never consume and lament the inavailability of (long tail, possibly) other stuff I might want to sample.

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Re: Blank media tax

The problem with a blank media tax or its internet equivalent is that it tends to reward the major producers by volume of work rather than the smaller innovators by quality, thus entrenching the dinosaurs. There is enough dross coming out of big content now without encouraging them to produce more just to up their share of a honey pot.

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Meh

Re: Blank media tax

seems like a good idea, but we in Australia tried that and it was declared unconstitutional.

funnily enough its in action in the US and people still get sued. who'dathunkit but the studios want to triple/quadruple/++ dip.

good to see the judgement put this to bed. I feel though that our politicians are the target now and I doubt either of the 2 majors are going to take a stand, may as well keep trying to vote in labour so they can finish the nbn since I'm sure both parties will bend to international pressure to adopt disconnection (from the shiny new nbn no doubt) as a legal measure.. after all none of our politicians actually have stones... just a back stabbing ranga and a racist sexist budgie smuggler

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Re: Blank media tax

Blank media tax is a total waste of time. Pirates stream files now. Most movies don't get burnt to disk anymore. TVs will stream straight from your computer's harddrive. I haven't burnt a DVD in ages and even then it was a backup of my photos. Bugger paying a tax to Sony for that.

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