back to article Wikileaked cable: AFACT was MPAA’s cat’s-paw

A second cable discussing the “world+dog vs. iiNet” court case has emerged on Wikileaks, confirming the widespread suspicion in Australia that Hollywood was behind both the action and the choice of target. Running just slightly ahead of the last one, this cable was actually classified (“Confidential”, the lowest tier in US …

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  1. Chad H.
    Unhappy

    so

    American Cultural Imperialism goes beyond TV show and movie dumping killing local industries....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    The question is...

    ... will the Aussies do anything about this? Or will they just do what most on the world do when they are presented with a WL cable that shows them all as being taken for mugs?

    ie,, just say 'Meh'

    ??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      will the Aussies do anything about this?

      We'll do what we always do with cases like this from the US...

      roll over and say "harder!, deeper!, yes! yes!"

      Especially if our government and judiciary are involved.

      MPAA wouldn't go after Telstra as the Austfailian Government is still a major shareholder - that would be... awkward, wouldn't it?

      Paris Hilton angle? Rear, dry.

  3. Jaymax

    Does the court care...

    ... about being deceived as to the motivations and purposes of the actions brought before it?

    Sounds fairly contemptuous to me.

  4. Steve Brooks

    Mug's? Of course!

    "Or will they just do what most on the world do when they are presented with a WL cable that shows them all as being taken for mugs?" The general consensus in Australia is that the average Australian politician IS a mug, is untrustworthy, unreliable, a liar and cheat, only in it for the money, will do anything to stay in power and is a lapdog of the US, so yes, you are spot on there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Same here.

      I think the concensus in the UK is identical to the above, except that the lapdogs have a choice of masters - US or EU.

    2. Armando 123

      So ...

      "The general consensus in Australia is that the average Australian politician IS a mug, is untrustworthy, unreliable, a liar and cheat, only in it for the money, will do anything to stay in power "

      So this is different from other politicians ... how?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just pissin up a rope

    Pirates are going to continue to be prosecuted because piracy is a crime. Copyright holders by U.S. law are required to enforce their copyrights or lose them. As we see in many countries new laws are being passed to increase the punishment for piracy. If you're dumb enough to pirate then you're dumb enough to go to prison.

    1. Dagg
      Mushroom

      Due process

      The problem being is that AFACT and MPAA calls you a pirate and demands punishment (Disconnection from the internet etc) before a court actually finds you guilty.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Why is the MPAA employing spambots?

      It's bad form, really.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      What's US law got to do with Australia?

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Gentibus est aliis tellus data limine certo: Romanae spatium est urbis et orbis idem

        I'm told in http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/msg/01abe481111135fd

        that

        this means "Other people (only) have territories with fixed borders, only for Rome, the city covers the entire globe." Other loose translations would be "We can -see- you" and "how many nuclear bombs do -you- have? haha. Do the math, 'mate'," and "Don't make me come over there", and "Kneel before Zod."

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      OTOH

      If you're smart enough to pirate then you're smart enough not to go to prison.

    5. Paul Durrant

      Copyright != Trademarks

      Copyright holders are not required by U.S. law to enforce their copyrights or lose them.

    6. P. Lee Silver badge
      Devil

      re: Pirates are going to continue to be prosecuted

      Except that they weren't/aren't in this case.

      The ISP is being prosecuted because although piracy might be illegal, the studios can't be bothered going after the ones doing wrong in the law courts.

      Effectively they want to bypass the legal process by making the carrier responsible, so that the carrier will bypass the legal process by cutting off users without going to court.

      Pirates might be bad, but I lose all sympathy when corporations try to bypass the correct legal process. In fact, I do more than lose sympathy, I become actively antagonistic to said corporations.

      Personally, I still have problems with the idea of IP infringement being criminal. Criminality should be reserved for things which are intrinsically wrong - murder, theft etc. Perhaps if the studios hadn't pushed to make the infringement a criminal rather than civil issue, the burden of proof and the cost of prosecuting would be less.

    7. KjetilS
      FAIL

      Re: Just pissin up a rope

      "Copyright holders by U.S. law are required to enforce their copyrights or lose them."

      No, that is trademarks. Copyright holders can choose to ignore infringements at their own will without risking anything.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      But whose job is it to police it?

      The problem that I have is that I don't see why iiNet (or any ISP) should be responsible for enforcing this, and I certainly object to anybody monitoring my communications (data or otherwise) without Probable Cause of a *criminal* offence. Probable cause for a *civil* offence is not good enough.

      If the Police (and I don't include a helpful AFACT "assisting" Police) have said Probable Cause then they can subpoena the ISP and *reimburse* the ISP for *actual costs* (including labour).

      If no criminal prosecution results from a helpful tipoff from AFACT then I expect AFACT to bear the full cost of the investigation. If they catch a criminal, then all good, but no more Public (or ISP) funded fishing expeditions.

      I also really wish that people would get the names right and not use the terms "theft" and "stealing" for something that is not. (I also object to "piracy" but I guess that ship has already sailed. haha)

    9. Ralthor
      WTF?

      If you're dumb enough to pirate then you're dumb enough to go to prison....

      ... and if you're dumb enough to believe that then your dumb enough to join them. And whilst staring out your prison window you can watch all the yobs on probation for assault on their way to party.

    10. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Joke

      Piracy

      Yes yes, everyone knows that piracy is a crime, and at last it is being taken seriously. Those Somalis have got it coming to them! I've seen that they are now installing automatically controlled guns on some ships now.

      I'm confused about your reference to copyright though...

    11. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Ropey Pissin' Contest?

      But you're wrong there AC. 'Piracy' isn't a crime, it's a civil infringement - there's a world of difference. In fact, in some territories 'piracy' is perfectly lawful and allowed for personal use.

      If you're dumb enough to think you can enforce US laws outside of the US then you're dumb enough to suffer the consequential loss of your biggest customer base thanks to the negative PR it generates and ultimately go out of business.

      1. Vic

        @AC 08:48

        > it's a civil infringement

        That's dependent on jurisdiction and context. In the UK, for example, it's a civil infringement unless performed in a commercial setting, when it becomes a crime punishable by up to 10 years inside (Section 107 of the Copyrights Designs and Patents Act 1988). I don't know the law in Australia - I've never been there.

        Vic.

    12. spodula

      Titles are for wusses.

      "Copyright holders by U.S. law are required to enforce their copyrights or lose them. "

      Thats trademarks Dumbass. And besides, Australia doesnt fall under US law.

      "As we see in many countries new laws are being passed to increase the punishment for piracy."

      As its one of the few places where the US exports more than it imports, i'm not surprised there pushing for an increase in anti-piracy punishments.

      "If you're dumb enough to pirate then you're dumb enough to go to prison"

      Personally, i believe the punishment should fit the crime, so prison shouldnt be an option except for repeated offences. The punishment should be along the lines of a large fine, Large enough to make a real difference to the person, but not large enough to force them into Bancrupcy, as that achieves nothing.

    13. Vic

      Re: Just pissin up a rope

      > Pirates are going to continue to be prosecuted because piracy is a crime.

      Piracy is indeed a crime. It is a crime of violence committed on the High Seas.

      But it has nothing whatsoever to do with copyright infringement, which - in many jurisdictions - is not a crime.

      > Copyright holders by U.S. law are required to enforce their copyrights or lose them.

      Bullshit. That's trademarks.

      The worst you'll get by not enforcing your rights under copyright is a laches defence for anyone you later decide to prosecute. And if you're prosecuting someone you've been turning a blind eye to for many years, that sounds quite reasonable.

      Vic.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    MPAA to AFACT

    Yo' my biatch!

  7. oldredlion
    Holmes

    I can't wait...

    ...for the US interference on behalf of Microsoft regarding the ISO OOXML accreditation to become public.

  8. Ian 62

    They know its their own fault

    Am sure I read somewhere...BBC? That in one of these cables was an admission from the MPAA that piracy was so high in Australia because they never release the movie/tv shows in the Australian DVD region.

    A quick look at wiki... Region 4, Australia and South America go together. Which looks a bit odd, why include an English speaking country with Latin American countries?

    Its their own fault. Your business is selling product, not lawsuit compensation.

    1. Stuart Duel
      Big Brother

      They know its their own fault - and that is AFACT

      There have been a number of movie and music titles I have tried to source locally in Australia, only they were never released here. Music isn't such a problem, I can just buy it from overseas. Oh, but wait! Often I'm presented with the helpful message when trying to do this: "the manufacturer does not permit export to your country" or "We are not able to ship this item to your default shipping address" or some such nonsense.

      My favourite movie, "The House of the Spirits", isn't available in region 4 DVD format, on iTunes or any other legit online service that operates in Australia.

      The recording industry leaves me no option but to find a pirate copy on the internet.

      So AFACT, come banging on my door and I'll slap you in the face with the fact you won't allow me to legally own it.

  9. Chris SC

    Redacted

    Not that I doubt the gist, but what does the ellipsis in 'despite the lead role of AFACT … this is an MPAA / American studios production' represent?

  10. Bumpy Cat
    WTF?

    US ambassador?

    Surely the ambassador has better things to do with his time than deal with some business dispute? I know much of the Western world is run by the corporations, for the corporations, but this is just embarrassing ...

    1. Armando 123

      Not necessarily

      Part of an ambassador's job is to look after the nation's interests in that country. Perhaps if there were something really significant and dangerous going on between the US and Australia -- like the threat of another Paul Hogan movie -- you might be right. As it is, ...

  11. Ian Ferguson
    Paris Hilton

    Cable?

    I don't know if I'm being really dumb here, but what is a 'cable' in this context anyway? Is it an email?

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Like a singing telegram-

      Minus the singing.

    2. Chad H.
      Mushroom

      Cables

      Are communications between a government (and it's various civil service departments) and it's oversees dimplonatic posts. They're too sensitive for public comms networks like email

  12. g e

    Buy your movies and music second hand

    Thank you for listening...

  13. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Is that AFACT?

    Or rather, what does AFACT stand for.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    meh

    AFACT = Australasian Federation Against Copyright Theft

    and in my personal opinion they actually contribute to piracy, due to those annoying, unskipable "piracy is theft" adverts on most dvd's

    1. Chad H.

      A Fact

      A Fact Is also something AFACT is unfamiliar with.

  15. rciafardone
    Mushroom

    Bastards...

    Just that, bastards...

    Foul cowering snakes trying to hide their stinky poisonous tracks.

    Industry change is inevitable, they r only delaying a ship that has already sailed.

    Nuke them from orbit i say... only way to be sure.

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