back to article Murdoch calls for ISPs to be liable for users' activities

News Corporation Australia has used an inquiry by the nation's Senate into a proposed Australia/South Korea free trade agreement to suggest internet service providers become copyright enforcers. In its submission to the inquiry (number 56 in the list that starts here), News backs proposals in the treaty to criminalise 'net …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    News Corp? Didn't they own News of the World

    I hear a kettle calling, you bastard.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. Richard Jones 1

    And That Awful Sky

    Between News Of the Screws and Carp TV he has the whole thing sewn up, sadly.

    Talk about a race to the bottom.

  3. Sanctimonious Prick


    Piss Off!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rupert!!!

      ... and die preferably.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Rupert!!!

        No, preferably die.

        We don't want him to enjoy his last moments.

  4. Khaptain Silver badge

    Firing squad

    Will he also request bringing back corporal punishment and putting himself on trial..

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hypocrite Murdoch invests in China pirate IPO

    Xunlei (XNET) is one the best-funded media piracy operations on the planet thanks to Murdoch, and now he wants to shift the liability to the ISP. Senile old bugger !

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think you will find ol' Rupert, a proper 'man of the people' whose legacy of 'News' given to the 'Free Man' is starting to think that the potential of 'News' gleaned from other sources isn't quite right. ie, Not controlled by him, thus no money made. So he attacks the Internet. Think of him like 'Anonymous' only inverted. Imagine that: a sea of Murdocorp employees all wearing Rupert masks...

    Tell you what, Rupert, old sport, why not sponser a news agency that isn't full of shite, celebrity gossip, copy-and-pasted Reuters bulletins and press releases from Celebrity's agents, press releases from companies marketing departments in the guise of a 'White Paper'.

    Or, buy The Register. Or attempt to. That would be really funny. I am not saying that you couldn't buy it, no offence Reg staff, I know that ultimately there is a price point that you couldn't say no to, but the fallout would be better than any 'Scandal'. I think that might possibly start the long wished for Revolution. Imagine that: Britain's uprising finally started by Sysadmins everywhere. Programmers, too, but they would need to follow the spec for revolution written by the Analysts. Sysadmins are Anarchists anyway. Have you seen their perl scripts? *shudders*


    'Man of the people' - term usually assigned to dictators by dictators.

    'News' - Official Twitter tweets.

    'Tweets' - a term misappropriated for an entry on Twitter. Usually inane drivel. Usually used to keep companies' customer service in check. Birds' tweets are far nicer.

    'Free Man' - Not a Mac Nac Feegle.

    'White Paper' - Toilet Roll

    'Scandal' - today's revelation that someone is human, and/or a celebrity stating how they suffered during their public humiliation. Usually started by a 'tweet'.

    1. Phil W


      Not really, in the tradition of developers and sysadmins if the product/system we like is bought by a company we don't like or who intend to abuse it, we'll simply build our own fork of it.

      1. dan1980


        @Phil W

        Really? I just sit about whinging and then use it anyway.

        What, you mean your life isn't governed by apathy? What a strange way to live . . .

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Now you are talking.

          A revolution based in Apathy.

          Relatives' and friends' computers are no longer going to be fixed/wiped of virii. All general upkeep of servers, patches, hardware fixes are now left. 5 get you 7 that fails first. Payroll starts to stutter, then fail completely, which drags in other non-IT people that already started to worry when POS terminals started playing up and payment services started to fail.

          YES! WE, THE TECHNORATI, PWN YOU. Muhahahah *cough*

          Or, maybe not. I have just started the second series of 'Orange is the new Black' and I would like to finish that first. Also GoT season 4. But after. Oh yes. We shall .., sorry, coffee time!

          1. Maty


            Lack of coffee excuses much - but 'virii'? That's going a bit too far.

            The word is 'viruses'. For the same reason that you call Mr and Mrs Jones 'the Joneses' and not 'the Joneii' (which actually sounds rather cool, but still).

            It's not a Latin plural, because 'virus' in Latin is an uncountable noun and does not have a plural. So it's merely a perversion of the language that makes you sound precious and affected rather than geeky. Please, I beg you, give it up.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Rupe's minions at News International once tried to get preferential treatment from The Press Association (the UK's news gathering agency). They told his minions to piss off, so Rupe tried to buy PA. He was again told to piss off, since the PA charter established by Parliament prohibits it being owned by anyone.

    3. Sanctimonious Prick


      Or, buy The Register. Or attempt to.

      No. Nope. Wrong! We're talking about Rupert here, remember?

      He will not want to buy el Reg, there's too much negative spin about his operations in the forums. No. He'll have the site shut down for whatever fucking (yeah, i know, the swearing isn't necessary) reason he can think up.

      Hmm... what excuse could he think up to shut down el Reg?

      They say bad things about me and damage my FB profile.


  7. Mitoo Bobsworth

    News Corpse

    Until this old prick produces anything REMOTELY resembling valid content or authentic journalism, he can piss off.

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Is this the owner of the London Times and FT? When you wonder what Rupe's bottom line is

    Just look for the bottom line.

    1. Don Dumb

      Re: Is this the owner of the London Times and FT? When you wonder what Rupe's bottom line is

      He owns The Times (you may call it the 'London' times) and its sister The Sunday Times, he also owns The Sun. He doesn't own the FT however.

    2. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: Just look for the bottom line.

      ... and he will be feeding below it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I propose

    A 'strict responsilibility' law making media owners criminally responsible for the illegal actions of their titles, with a requirement to sell if found guilty.

    Optional (but likely to be popular); the guilty owner put in stocks in Parliament square along with any politicians who have previously taken donations from them, defended their business in parliament or who have photo ops gladhanding them. Along with Jeremy Hunt just on general principle.

  10. jake Silver badge

    So I guess, by this logic ...

    The City of London itself [New York, Melbourne, Paris, Moscow, Tokyo, Athens, Rome, Tel Aviv, Beirut, Buenos Aries, whatever, pick a town] is accountable for all crime in that city.

    Yeah. That'll fly on the world stage.

    Just goes to show how embedded the thinking of the tabloid set is. Poor barstards.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So I guess, by this logic ...

      Well by his logic a company is responsible for what its minions do. Consequently News Corpse is responsible for hacking thousands of phones and the associated criminality. We don't see you waiting to take responsibility do we Rupe?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So I guess, by this logic ...

        Well we did have the old "I am deeply humbled... etc" malarkey. Naaah, not quite up to the 'fined till you cry, jailed till you die' that justice would seem to demand.

  11. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Regulated and 'policed' Internet coming soon!

    "'s not a stretch to imagine that ISP liability is therefore News Corp's preferred position worldwide....." Well of course that's what Mr Murdoch would like, it would remove all the legal burden of finding and proving that pirates are pirates and pass that on to the ISPs. Unfortunately, whilst it will upset the posters here, he will probably get it in the end. The general public are sick and tired of e-crims of one type or another, they just want a 'safe' Internet to look a kitten videos and do their online banking; similarly, the banks and finance companies would love to put the onus on ISPs of policing the service they provide to the ISPs' customers; and the politicians want to look tough on crime, and stay on good terms with the papers Murdoch runs as they can make or break an election. That makes a pretty solid trifecta - voters that may misunderstand or simply not care about all the issues, big business, and eager politicians - that will want to push a regulated and controlled Internet. And Rupert can stick his bit of anti-pirate legislation on the end of it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Regulated and 'policed' Internet coming soon!

      Hasn't the senile old git remembered that he owns a large ISP here in the UK - maybe he should start by putting his own house in order. But given that the editor of one of his rags claims she had no idea what her senior staff were doing I don't see that happening any time soon.

    2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Regulated and 'policed' Internet coming soon!

      ITYWF that a large proportion of the general public would also like to download free music and movies, and do not view doing so as being a criminal act.

      1. cynic56

        Re: Regulated and 'policed' Internet coming soon!

        OI! how the hell did you get to 999?

        It's taken me a lifetime to reach 56.

  12. Amorous Cowherder

    OK, not a problem but....

    What about the rest of us?

    You greedy media moguls are doing it to protect your goodies from unauthorised copying, fair enough but what about my photos? Will they get the full weight of the law next time some thieving, spotty faced sod has at one of my images, butchers it and tries to pass it off as their own? Will you lot come to my aid? Will you send in SWAT teams to protect my rights and my copyright? Will you f**k! I'll drop an email to the ISP and the website in question and if I'm really, really lucky someone might take the image down but most of the time I'll just get ignored, while someone little bastard gets the glory for my all hard work and I lose out on potential sales. Must be so great to live on those wonderful ivory towers the likes of Murdoch and co live in.

  13. dan1980

    "This still rankles in the halls of News Corp, which says what it wants is “workable and technology-neutral provisions” to protect it."

    That's a reasonable request. However, so to is the expectation that there are "workable and technology-neutral provisions" to protect carriers. A telephone provider is not liable for illegal activity committed over its service so if we are to be 'technology-neutral' then an ISP should not be liable for infringing behaviour conducted over its service.

    Right-on Uncle Rupert!

    Or does it only apply the one way?

    Being technology-neutral must apply both ways for it to be fair to all. Murdoch only needs to look to his own operations. What about reading the newspaper online? Let's just go to the first, alphabetically, in Australia - "The Australian". Reading the terms, one can share the subscription with members of your household (which is reasonable) but not anyone else.

    That seems reasonable but a printed copy can be shared with whomever you want. What about companies that buy a few papers and have them in the foyer or the lunch room? What is the online-subscription equivalent? To be technology-neutral, one must allow for a company to sign into their subscription on a kiosk PC or a tablet so that visitors can use it.

    What about if I want to find all the reviews of my restaurant from various papers, cut them out and make a framed collage to display in my window? (Which looks awful, but whatever . . . ) Am I allowed to do the same with a digital copy of the articles and copy/paste them all together on my website?

    The same goes for online magazine subscriptions vs the printed equivalents. Even more so, in fact as magazines are generally published less frequently are the articles are less time-sensitive. This means people can buy a magazine, read it, and then give it to a friend or leave at work or drop it into the doctor's waiting room.

    Where's the 'technology-neutral' equivalent of that?

    And this goes to the heart of the matter and the hypocrisy from content providers. On the one hand, they want to treat digital and physical media the same - most notably their insistence that copyright violation is indistinguishable from stealing and should be viewed and punished in the same way.

    On the other, they want to treat digital copies as subject to special rules and restrictions not applicable to the physical equivalents.

    For what it's worth, I think that the two different media should be treated differently because, well, they are different. There's just no getting around that. The point, however, is that you just can't go treating them the same in a legal context. That means that you can't go about wringing your hands because your online content is being treated differently in by the law, when you treat it differently yourself.

    1. Hargrove

      Followon to post @dan1980

      The suggestion that ISPs be made responsible for copyright violations in a transparent (and patently idiotic) ploy to stifle the exchange of news and views on the internet.

      Does Ruprecht (cinematic reference:"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) envision that ISPs will be held accountable for "unfair use" on his unsupported say so? As dan1980's comments rightly imply, there are issues that we do not begin to know how to deal with

      Copyright law and the legal interpretation of "fair use" are egregiously difficult to interpret and apply, even for existing media of exchange. The internet poses a set of issues for which we have little or no legal precedent. The suggestion that ISPs be made accountable for actions for which we have virtually no established procedures or precedents is simply disingenuous.


  14. MrDamage

    Biting the hand that feeds it

    Given that Telstra also streams Foxtel over it's cable network, I wonder how long until Telstra come to the conclusion that it is no longer worthwhile providing Rupert & Co that functionality, if News Corp will sue it's service provider for something that they are not responsible for.

  15. Tim Roberts 1

    Fuck you Rupert!

    Rupert, you are a class dick. Here in oz - have you actually lived here recently? - your media influence is known as the "murdocracy".

    You want all the laws and rules to favour you ..... well, they don't and I for one don't give a flying fuck about what laws you want that give you more influence over what I use/see/watch on the internet. I am responsible for that, not you or my ISP.

    Thank God iinet had the balls to take you to the High Court who royally fucked you over.

    Fuck you Rupert, and fuck you News Corp (and I apologise to those more sensitive El-Reg readers who don't like the f-word)

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Fuck you Rupert!

      Sadly, some of us pommies agree with you on those sentiments.

      Wonder how much Coulson and the other phone hackers have been paid to fall on their swords to protect dear old rupe from a prison term?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fuck you Rupert!

      Rupert, you are a class dick. Here in oz - have you actually lived here recently?

      Doubt he's been there in a long while. He's a US citizen these days, which is handy as it makes it harder for the UK authorities to extradite the old sod for running, in the words of prosecutor Andrew Edis, "a thoroughly criminal enterprise".

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Walnut face.....

    ....still gets his blow jobs from R. Brooks ? And a shag from Coulson & co.

    Bastards all.

  17. MJI Silver badge

    I suppose Walnut Head

    Still thinks T.W.I.N.E. is an aspiration.

    I try to avoid NI stuff as much as possible, oh and that toilet paper a month or so ago is not very good.

  18. Velv Silver badge
    Big Brother

    A bit like the old desire to be a politician should exclude you for life, if Murdoch wants it, it should automatically be discounted as an option.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Obvious that senility has set in...

    Last time I checked he was a major shareholder in Sky which apart from being the purveyor of 000's of pointless TV channels is also an ISP...

    So essentially he is legislating, or at least looking to if he spreads this manta worldwide, against himself!

  20. Chris Evans


    "Submission to Australia/Korea trade treaty receals" Do you mean 'reveals'?

    Spell checkers can be useful!

  21. ukgnome Silver badge

    Like so many comentards...

    Why doesn't this wanker fuck the fuck off.

    *for American readers, Wanker simply means a masturbater. If that doesn't sit well with you then please think of Rupert as a claw fisted cock juggler

  22. Dr_N Silver badge

    News Corp should be held accountable for the actions of its readers....

    It's the only way we can protect the paediatricians!

  23. i dont give a fuck

    now heres a good idea

    all ips should be responsible for what their clients get up to fair enough, at the same time all booze manufacturers should be lisble for all violance, drink driving undertaken by drunks, all car manufacturers should be liable when drivers of their vehicles cause death or injury. we could just keep on going blaming others for our actions,

  24. ItsNotMe

    Rebekah... that you out there downvoting everyone who criticizes Rupert here?

    1. ukgnome Silver badge

      Re: Rebekah...

      Don't be silly, she doesn't even know what a computer is, although it might be her friends hacking the down vote system.

  25. cs94njw

    Umm... unless something's changed... he does own Sky doesn't he? Sky, which is an ISP in the UK?

  26. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Hey Rupe!

    Piss off you meddling old drongo

  27. P. Lee Silver badge

    I don't mind the idea

    as long as media owners also become liable for the all the actions of their consumers.

    And their employees too.

  28. JaitcH

    He should fix his satellite services first

    I can stroll down to several satellite stores in SaiGon./Hi Chi Minh City and pick up a code key that allows me to see any of the Murdoch garbage channels.

    It's almost enough to make me go out and buy a TV, just the thought of shafting the old fart.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On another note

    Does anyone have any ideas how his Paywall subscriptions are doing?

    I seem to be getting regular emails now (every week) to try out their online offerings for a £1. (And then pay big, of course).

    Must be struggling on that front too Some statistics would be wonderful.

    1. -tim

      Re: On another note

      What happens to the paywall subscriptions when a major ISP decides to drop his IP addresses at random times.

  30. Richard Jukes

    Has anyone not told him that this issue was settled about 15 years ago? There is plenty of case law on this and it really is not that easy to change the 'accepted' practice.

  31. cynic56

    You wotters!

    I think you're all being weally, weally howwible to that poor old man! He seems ever so nice.

    Mummy, why are those men in white coats coming to see me?

  32. Bladeforce

    This guy reminds me of..

    ..Microsoft. Backs against the wall because new technology and programs dare encroach on their cash cows, then set loose the last chance saloon FUD

    1. Sanctimonious Prick

      Re: This guy reminds me of..

      LOL! Like the Micro$oft vs. Open Source? PMSL

  33. SpiderPig

    Murdock pffft

    What everyone needs to remember, and especially here in Australia, is that Murdock is a US citizen and him sticking his nose into our countries business warrants a big F!#$K OFF from us all here.

    From an Australian standpoint the reasons why we have people downloading content is directly associated with his FOXTEL being arrogant rip off merchants. THEY were the ones who stitched up the deal so GoT episodes could not be seen locally until after the season had finished on FOXTEL, so what happened? all the tech savvy fans just went and downloaded them.

    The Free to Air broadcasters here are also in the same boat, they screw up the order of the series, stop showing it if the ratings period has finished and then if some ridiculous reality show comes along where they make more money they either dump the show or put it on late at night.

    We in Australia have been putting up with being ripped off for too long, as far as I am concerned they can all go jump, the US networks don't care, they have made their money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Murdock pffft

      ^^^ this

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Change the business model

    People do naughty downloady-things because they want their content NOW.

    Make their content easier to access, make it affordable and watch the $$$ come flowing in.

    Or not.

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