back to article Oz ISPs propose copyright enforcement trial

Australia’s Communications Alliance has released a discussion paper covering a proposed scheme for dealing with copyright infringement on the Internet. The scheme is designed to try and balance the increasingly-aggressive stance taken by groups such as AFACT with ISPs’ and consumers’ rights. The proposal is for an 18-month …


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  1. David 45

    Last gasps

    Clutching at straws methinks. An IP address does not automatically identify an alleged infringer - only the account holder and just who will pay for all this extra work that the ISP's are expected to carry out?.

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge


      This is a true comment, however your T&Cs will state that the account holder is responsible for use of the account. Now, while this shouldn't stand up in court for other actions, it does mean that the ISP can justifiably disconnect you for breaching your T&Cs.

      Also, I believe that the action would be a civil prosecution, which does not carry the same burden of proof as criminal proceedings. Merely presenting that it is your account would, I think, be enough to win their case if you presented no evidence in defence (IANAL).

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        IPv4 address shortage should bust this one, anyway.

        "...if it is able to identify the customer from the IP address..."

        And if the IP address has been through a carrier-grade NAT or some other method of carrier-based IP address sharing, what then?

        Since Oz carriers get their addresses from APNIC which is just about out of IPv4 blocks, this isn't a theoretical concern.

  2. adrianww
    Thumb Up

    I must still be half-asleep...

    At first reading, this actually sounds like some kind of measured and balanced approach to the whole copyright issue as it pertains to the Internet. Or, at least, more measured and balanced than pretty much anything else that anyone has come up with so far. If the trial goes ahead on the basis described here, it will be interesting to read the results when they come out.

    OK, so there's the whole account holder/infringer question (as pointed out by David 45), but it does look like there's someone out there who is trying to come up with something vaguely reasonable and workable. Of course, the devil's always in the detail - we shall just have to wait and see what happens.

    Oh, and for the avoidance of doubt in the mind of the reader, I will say that I sit in the middle when it comes to the copyright issue. Having had some involvement with creative stuff and dealing with people ripping off products, I believe that the people creating things do have a right to be compensated adequately for their work and that it isn't OK just to go round copying stuff and sharing it out willy-nilly. On the other hand, I'm not a huge fan of people like the RIAA, MPAA, etc. nor their tactics in the copyright arena. I'm also a firm believer in fair-use doctrines and the principle that, if you've bought it, you can do pretty much what you like with it for your own personal use.

  3. NinjasFTW


    Seems like a fairly reasonable approach.

    I would hope that the infrigement notices specify what it was that was supposedly being copied.

    There has been some well publised cases of rights holders sending out blanket notices based on some very loose pattern matching searchs which inlucdes things they don't actually have the rights to.

    The article also doesn't mention any right of appeal. I would hope there would be some way in which errors can be addressed.

  4. BoxedSet

    Another attempt to float an internet gestapo ideology, failed last time too

  5. tmTM

    IP address

    Isn't there always some ambiguity with identifying people through ip address, there's been plenty of stories pop up of some poor 70 year old couple who've been dragged to court and accused of xyz only for it to turn out they barely know how to use their computer which is fitted with a 56k dial-up.

  6. kain preacher Silver badge

    comcast way

    The way comcast does it is they send the account holder and e-mail with the name of the file, time, date and IP address. They then warn you about the T&C.

  7. DaiKiwi

    A novel idea

    Actually running a trial and evaluating its cost and effectiveness at the end, rather than just passing untested three-strikes legislation at the behest of US interests. Wish they'd done that here in NZ.

  8. Stuart Gepp

    On the surface it seems reasonable

    "Upon receipt of the notice from the rights-holder"

    There is no mention of checking the voracity for the claim by the "rights-holder" that copyright material had been abused. How was the infomation discovered and under what authority did the "Rights-holder" collect this information?

    I thought there were privacy, wiretap and perhaps other laws to prevent this without the courts being involved. If the courts are already involved who needs a new quango to send letters out to people?

    1. Tim Bates

      I'm not a lawyer, but...

      With torrents, the IPs of people transferring chunks of the file(s) are freely available from the trackers and other transfer participants. I don't think you need any court orders to log these IPs. The participation gives out the information, and the copyright holder needs to nothing more than investigate whether it is actually their own content.

      Additional techniques would be to post pirated files on common piracy *linking* sites and link people to servers controlled by the copyright holder - the server logs are the property of the copyright holder then. This technique would potentially be considered illegal though since it's enticing people to commit the crime they then want to prosecute.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is in essence making official what's already happening with some ISPs.

    What's interesting is at the desire to only have "real" rights holders, aka the studio directly, not some crappy start up that "leases" rights from them.

    Also at the end of the process they can "request details" of the end user. But that's via a court order. So essentially the exact same way as now.

    It's a good PR move, essentially this seams reasonable, whatever the studios come back with will be less reasonable and make them look like money hungry bastards (which they are)

  10. John Tserkezis

    What happens when everyone votes with their wallets?

    And moves to an ISP that doesn't babysit them?

    It'll give a whole new definition to "customer churn".

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So no cosumer rights groups signed up to this proposal? Remember that the ISP is not going to look out for consumers. It's just so happens that up to now their interests have roughly aligned with ours.

    Who determines the "qualified" nature of the rights holders?

    Do the ISPs have a legal responsibility to notify the police/courts if rights holders overstep their rights under relevant privacy laws?

  12. T J


    Balance?? Who's the idiot who ordered 'Balance' here??

    Just keep telling AFACT to f**** offff and that's all there is to it.

  13. austcc

    afact is not a signatory to the proposal

    This proposal was put forward by the ISPs named. afact is not a signatory to it (yet?)

    From the horse's mouth

    "That article is wrong. AFACT are not a signatory to it. It's an ISP proposal." Steve Dalby, Chief Regulatory Officer, iiNet

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