Copyright infringement scheme a "waste of time": Exetel

The ISP's chief executive, John Linton, claims the scheme will have no influence

The copyright infringement scheme put forward by the Communications Alliance and major Australian ISPs has been labelled a “waste of time” by John Linton, chief executive of internet service provider Exetel.

Telstra Bigpond, iiNet, Optus, iPrimus and Internode have all joined the industry body in compiling the discussion paper (PDF). The scheme will target internet users who breach the Copyright Act 1968 by downloading unauthorised copies of movies and other copyright material, and ISPs would be required to send education and warning notices to customers whose internet accounts may have been used for file sharing.

Linton told Computerworld Australia that while Exetel wasn’t invited to participate in the scheme, it would have declined on the basis that it would be ineffective.

“Based on its contents — it will have absolutely no influence at all... other [than] to prove to the rights holders that ISPs will do everything possible not to play any meaningful part in protecting copyright unless legislation is passed,” Linton said.

“It is a timid start to addressing the issue that is far too limited and far too cumbersome.”

Linton agreed with the rejection of the scheme by the Australian Content Industry Group (ACIG), which represents organisations including the Copyright Agency Limited, Microsoft, Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA), the Business Software Alliance (BSA), Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) and the Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), on the basis that it did not meet industry expectations.

“It does nothing at all to address the problem of copyright infringement… I believe no ISP should be ‘saddled’ with the job of assisting any other commercial entity protecting its 'rights' unless, and until, the Australian Federal parliament enacts legislation that spells out exactly what is required of ISPs.

“You will never get a bunch of self-interested parties to ever agree on anything of their own volition. The nonsense expressed in the current document makes that crystal clear.”

According to Linton, copyright infringement “is of no direct concern to Exetel as a commercial entity”.

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

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Tags Australian Content Industry Group (ACIG)Exetel CEO John LintoniprimusCommunications AllianceoptusTelstracopyright infringementAustralian Federation Against Copyright Infringement (AFACT)

More about BSABusiness Software AllianceIinetInteractive Games and Entertainment AssociationInternodeiPrimusMicrosoftOptusPrimus AustraliaTelstra CorporationTelstra CorporationTelstra Corporation

8 Comments

steve

1

We will endup just like china, filtered interent. There is no way to stop it and if so it will find another way.
I use torrents to download shows i have missed or shows we dont even get here. Catch up tv etc they files are double the size of a torrent file...i dont no about other peopl up i have a monthly limit and it all counts towards that, more i can get for less the better.
And for all those going to say ur bad/pirate blah blah, i buy dvds and watch normal tv etc etc

tuxsavvy

2

Wow, first it was Stephen Conroy with his `Great firewall of Australia' plan and now this. I can see how this is all working, the greed hasn't stopped to think about its motives and takes it into its own hands. People like Exetel's CEO should be praised for acting more mature despite being snubbed by this so-called elite club of kids.

Jada

3

The internet is freedom and it should stay that way, for the people.

sick_of_pollies

4

So what is the penalty that hollywood companies incur when they snoop on data packets to prove infringment? Umm let me guess... zero! I thought unauthorised access to data was illegal obviously this is only the case when it suits your purposes. You wouldn't allow someone to stand at a window of my house and peek in to see what i am doing so why are these companies or their agents allowed to spy on us in cyberspace???

Moonhead

5

ISPs provide a particular service, consisting of an internet connection with whatever attributes, in terms of speed etc, for which the client is willing to pay . Their responsibility ends there. If ISPs can be held accountable for the uses to which customers put their internet connection, then we might just as well expect phone service providers to be accountable for the outcome resulting from any conversation between parties for which they were the carrier service. This would clearly be unfair and unenforceable. Let's stop trying to make ISPs the scapegoat... They're just an easy target. Let's instead start providing internet-based services which deliver a broad range of entertainment at reasonable cost to the consumer. We don't all want to be criminals, we just don't want to have to pay $30 for a DVD which cost 50c to produce. And yes, I know there's more to the cost of DVD production than the hardware etc, but most movies I want to watch have already made a huge profit for the studios. I just want to pay a fair price for the privilege of viewing the product, thanks.

gnome

6


@Moonhead, you're right about the fact that the network people are merely providing a commoditsised transport service for data.

It's been said before, but it is as stupidly counterproductive to attempt to use legal muscle to hold ISPs responsible for the data they carry as it would be to try and hold a toll road operator responsible for ensuring that nothing illegal is carried on their roads.

chugs

7

um i'm confused.Linton's company at the moment sends notices to users advising them of a allegation of copyright infringement.

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/941332

How can Linton argue against what is essentially a copy of existing Exetel policy?

Steven

8

@chugs the answer to that is easy - John Linton argues against anything that others propose, even if it directly contradicts his own past statements, in order to gain attention for himself and his company.

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