Digital Entertainment Alliance Australia plans talks with ISPs

New Australian conglomerate formed to combat movie piracy

Australian entertainment companies and distributors have come together to form a conglomerate aimed at sitting down with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telecommunications to look at ways of combating online piracy.

As reported by The Australian, the group, called the Digital Entertainment Alliance Australia (DEAA), includes a consortium of television, cinema and general media operators and distributors.

Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association chief executive, Simon Bush, confirmed to Computerworld Australia that the group was in alliance with the Australian Content Industry Group (ACIG) and had been working together since 2010.

The group began developing terms to negotiate with ISPs after 34 entertainment companies led by AFACT lost an appeal to the Federal Court ruling that Perth-based ISP iiNet did not authorise the acts of infringement by its users.

In March, AFACT announced it had lodged a further appeal of the Federal Court's decision, moving to the High Court to try and overturn elements of the appeal ruling.

"The case galvanised the content industry to come together as a single voice and we want meaningful dialogue moving forward," Bush said. "Since the iiNet court case, we formed the DEAA and we will continue to be in discussions with ISPs and the government."

However, he said the DEAA was not involved with the case against iiNet and hoped to work with the ISP in the future.

"Meetings that we've had in the past [with ISPs] will still go ahead," Bush said.

While the group has no chairman or spokesperson as yet, a person from one of the companies involved may be appointed in the near future.

Bush also said various sectors of the film industry were working on strategies to address piracy and meet consumer demand for digital formats. One idea was to shorten the window between when a film was released in the cinema and it became available online.

"A premium service is under trial in the US where the window between the cinema release and the street [release] date has been shortened," Bush said.

"However, I don't think theatrical exhibitors and distributors would be too pleased with a movie going digital at the same time it was released at the box office."

For example, he said that if a major Hollywood studio released Ironman 3 to a cinema and other formats on the same day, the cinema owner could turn around and refuse to show the movie because they would lose business.

Bush said the flow-on effect could mean lower revenues and lead to fewer movies made in the future.

"That's not saying that we can't be innovative to attract consumers," he said. "We want to work with the exhibitors to make sure we get digital content out there in a more exciting way for the consumer."

DEAA members include:

  • BBC Worldwide
  • Foxtel
  • News Limited
  • The Independent Cinemas Association
  • The National Association of Cinema Operators
  • The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT)
  • The Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association
  • The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance
  • Hopscotch Films
  • Hoyts
  • Blockbuster
  • Video Ezy
  • Deluxe Entertainment
  • Potential Films
  • Palace Films and
  • Becker Entertainment.

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More about: ACT, BBC, Blockbuster, Bush, EAA, Foxtel, Hoyts, iiNet, Video Ezy
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Comments

Phil

1

Lovely! A list of national and multinational megacorps with whom I will no longer do business. They have all previously demonstrated a lack of interest in doing what's right and are ONLY interested in blaming the ISPs while simultaneously screwing the end consumer of content. Every single word out of their collective mouth is full of furfies, red herrings, misdirections and insincerity.

Almost NOBODY is proposing that you make content available digitally simultaneously with the big screen release.

The real issue is that (a) the vast overwhelming majority of content is not, never has been and never will be made legitimately available "online" (b) the prices charged for content that HAS been made available does NOT properly reflect the true value (ie NOT a recent release, no physical media, no additional content, cheaper to distribute, so WHY does it cost just as much if not more than purchasing "the physical media")

These megacorps are REFUSING to accept the PROVEN AND DOCUMENTED FACTS that the two primary causes of "piracy" are lack of availability and poor-value-for-money for what IS available. Many people are generating content, making it available online at *reasonable prices* and selling INSANELY HUGE volumes. The fact that their per-unit price is significantly lower for 'purely digital/online content' compared to equivalent 'physical media' pricing is NOT a factor for consideration when you sell literally MILLIONS and MILLIONS. It is beyond belief that these megacorps cannot see that "the McDonalds Model" (sell 'cheap' and sell trillions) in the brix-n-mortar world translates directly into the online world.

Jason

2

"However, I don't think theatrical exhibitors and distributors would be too pleased with a movie going digital at the same time it was released at the box office."

Sums up the problem right there. A release will "go digital" as soon as a torrent appears, sometimes months before it's released at the box office locally.

If you want to keep supporting the distribution channel that holds your revenue hostage, it's your choice but until you make the content available digitally, the consumer will have less options to give you money and more experience with pirated content.

Bruce

3

Anyone else not convinced by the distributors claims at wanting to go digital? Total crap.

This is a the old media guard trying to prove to everyone they are being open and communicative, all the time just looking for a way to beat ISPs to bring them into line with their thinking. At best we will end up with an unpopular model that generates the same excessive profit, medium controlled distribution model to what we have today. That's not want consumers want...remember us and meeting our demand?

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