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iiNet withdraws from proposed notice-notice trial scheme

iiNet Chief Regulatory Officer Steve Dalby

Outdated content delivery models were back in the headlines this week as news outlets reported on iiNet’s decision to decline to participate in a trial being considered in round table talks on copyright issues.

These talks have been going on for a few years, originally kicked off by Communications Alliance, other ISPs and various rights holders, more recently also involving Federal government agencies and consumer representatives.

We’ve continued to participate in these talks, even after the landmark High Court ruling in April, when the High Court firstly, unanimously dismissed the claim that iiNet was authorising copyright infringement by its customers and secondly, made it clear we had no obligation to the rights holders to harass our customers.

While we appreciate the efforts of the Attorney General’s Department (AGD) to draw the parties together and thank the AGD, Communications Alliance and the other companies who have persisted with the discussions, the time has come for us to make it clear that we won’t participate in a notice-notice trial on which the talks now focus. Here’s why.

A broken record

The conversation has failed to move on. The rights holders are still insisting ISP’s should perform work on their behalf instead of addressing what we have always said is the root cause of the infringements – the limited accessibility to desirable content and the discriminatory and high cost of content in Australia. Infringements are a symptom – access is the problem.

Data retention proposals

iiNet won’t support any scheme that forces ISPs to retain data in order to allow for the tracking of customer behaviour and the status of any alleged infringements against them.

Collecting and retaining additional customer data at this level is inappropriate, expensive and most importantly, not our responsibility.

It’s not iiNet’s job to play online police

We’ve been over this before. The High Court spoke loud and clear in their verdict when they ruled categorically that ISPs have no obligation to protect the rights of third parties, and we’re not prepared to harass our customers when the industry has no clear obligation to do so.

It’s time to find a new way

We believe that timely, affordable access to legitimate content is the best option for reducing unauthorised sharing.

iiNet has repeatedly and publicly called on the studios and content owners to enter into commercial discussions for the digital distribution of their desirable content.

To quote MM from the iiTrial: “The law as it stands has given clarity; this whole idea that people will wait 12-18 months; consumers are just not buying it. You’ve got to address what is now a broken model from last century.”

Hollywood, you know where we are

Allow me to re-state, for the record that iiNet has always maintained that it’s not OK to download or share movies and stuff via peer-to-peer networks, like torrents. As we said after this year’s High Court decision, iiNet does not condone piracy; we just didn’t agree with the studios that it was our job to do their work for them.

We’re still holding out for a commercial solution that will work for ISPs, the rights holders and our customers and that improves the supply of legitimate content but it’s clear that this is not going to be the outcome of the current talks.

It’s time to change the tune.

69 comments

  1. Adam Nelson says:

    I think there argument will be. If you can’t remove the choice of piracy then a content distributed paid model will never be as successful or popular.

    So as a movie studio/stupido you want to remove piracy first before releasing the “paywall”

    • Adam Jobbins says:

      @Adam Nelson,

      They only need to look at the rampant success of iTunes for digital music to show that a paid model can and does work.

      The entertainment industry is making more money than ever, but insist on clinging to archaic business models that keep the middle men fat.

      Matt Inman (The Oatmeal) sums it up well in this comic http://theoatmeal.com/comics/music_industry

      • Jerry says:

        @Adam Jobbins,

        So true, the state of video content is being held back due to the powers that be not wanting to give Apple (or a similar service) as much power as they did with iTunes and “their” music.

        Perhaps they’re hoping the Internet fad disappears so they can continue to operate like it’s 1899?

      • Lerris says:

        @Adam Jobbins,

        Let us not forget Steam either. In the supposedly single most piracy ridden environment (to the point where publishers have used that as a reason not to make a PC version of a console game) Steam is raking in money hand over fist.

        Some people will download it rather than pay yes, but services like NetFlix, Steam, and iTunes have proven that for the majority its a matter of access to the content they want. As soon as the corporations gave them an easy way to buy what they wanted, they bought it.

        • Steve Dalby says:

          @Lerris,

          >>Let us not forget Steam

          no – they are a very good example of ‘getting it right’ and responding to their market.

          As Valve CEO, Gabe Newell observes, “Our goal is to create greater service value than pirates, and this has been successful enough for us, that piracy is basically a non-issue for our company.”
          http://blog.iinet.net.au/sky-isnt-falling/

          • Que says:

            @Steve Dalby,

            OMG, you think that the 30-80% increased price to Australians is a good example of Steam “getting it right”? Despite the $AU being higher than the $US.

            Steam = games not film or video.

            “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

          • Brad says:

            @Que,

            Good point, the reason why gaming works is because its so hard to play pirated games online. Movies and music is a totally different issue.
            I really dont get it though, increased cost of seeing movies plus an increased population means more money for the same amount of input. I really cant fathom how they say that piracy is destorying the industry, its BS. The issue is not going away though and i think one day pirated stuff will be very hard to get.

    • Ben Miles says:

      Nice work guys. Well said.

      I freely admit that I download shows (what other choice do I have living in Australia, and also in the country where Foxtel is not available). However, if the option for me to purchase those shows were available – at a fair price – then I would probably accept it.

      When you have to wait 6 months to 2 years for a show to be picked up by an Aussie network; this forces people to seek a different way of accessing that content. Sometimes Aussie TV never picks up a show at all so you have no other choice.

      I’ve been banging on about this issue for years. These companies are dragging their feet and still living in the stone age as far as copyright law goes. Once they make the changes required, perhaps we will see a better system for accessing digital media.

      • AJ says:

        @Ben Miles,

        I agree.

        The cost of Foxtel etc. are beyond most peoples budgets, not all of us work in the mines. iTunes is not an option for me as I refuse to pay nearly more than what it will be to buy on CD/DVD. I prefer to just to wait for the CDs/DVDs to come out, its ad free and cheaper. If they aren’t released in Australia or are too expensive, I buy from country of origin. There is no justification for them to charge CD/DVD prices for digital content.

        If anyone had a pass to watch whatever content—from all over the world as its airing, not five years later—and they had it for a reasonable price, I’d sign up tomorrow.

    • Piggs Mayfly says:

      G’day all, interesting discussion.

      Does iiNet take any action to limit peer to peer downloads?

      Merry Xmas
      Piggsie
      .

  2. saudukar says:

    Muffin logic. Just like rusted cars at the bottom of a dam.

  3. Chandler says:

    I’ve said the same thing here and on other sites many times.

    Content holders are too concerned about putting into place protections to (supposedly) prevent piracy – which we all know still occurs, and I very much doubt that the removal of DRM would increase the amount of piracy. If they just took all that time and energy and put it into a working content delivery system that was priced properly… my god, they would be rolling in money.

    The success of Spotify and the latest Doctor Who series via iView speak volumes about how successful content delivery in Australia can be.

    Give us the same functionality for your paid content, and for the right price we’ll be throwing our money at content holders.

  4. Mike says:

    Well put Steve and a position I completely agree with. I am continually flabbergasted by the high cost of DVD and Blu-rays locally, when it is far cheaper to buy online. Unfortunately the entertainment industry are firmly entrenched in late 20th century distribution models that treat the customer as cash-cows (Disney’s vault for instance). Like dinosaurs, unless the\ entertainment industry evolves, they are doomed to extinction and the asteroid is already in sight…

  5. David Mann says:

    <3. Thanks guys!!

  6. shawn says:

    I am a senior on a pension.I go without a LOT of things to keep my internet.
    I already have to pay for a telstra phone line which i do not want.
    I have the right to be able to d/l anything i wish without extra charges.
    Take note i am not doing some filthy rich ‘person’ out of money because most of the stuff is too expensive for me to pay for.
    If the internet changes against free speech etc., then a way will be found no doubt.

    • Ryan says:

      @shawn,
      Sorry Shawn, but you don’t have the right to download anything you wish without a charge. While I completely back iinet on this one, and completely agree that a new distribution model needs to be created, the fact is that what you think you have a ‘right’ to download is material owned by someone, that they’ve paid to create, and you’re stealing it.

      • Rage Against says:

        @Ryan,

        Actually, he’s not stealing anything. By definition that would mean he was taking something from someone else so that they were left without it. It’s copyright infringement by making a copy of some 1s and 0s – not stealing!

      • Gazardio says:

        @Ryan,
        It is not stealing, technically it is copyright infringement. I see this scenario as exactly the same as someone watching a concert from the balcony of the house across the street from the festival grounds; The vision is poor, the audio is often crap, but the fact is that you weren’t going to buy a ticket in the first place and therefore no one lost out on any money by you watching on from a sub-standard position.

        While Shawn’s delivery needed work (I assume that he was actually saying that no one has a right to moderate his online experience), your response is also reaching.

        I am happy to pay for ad-free TV (what Foxtel used to be). I am happy to watch ad-funded free to air TV, without the complete destruction of every series aired (mid season “finales”, shows in regular time slot being shown out of order) and the significant delay in broadcast. The system is broken and only they can fix it and they cannot complain when people look for methods that work.

      • eloquentloser says:

        @Ryan,

        “that they’ve paid to create, and you’re stealing it”

        Well, in some cases they have paid to create it.

        In others they have essentially been bequeathed material by the U.S Government’s continual crusade to extend the term of copyright at the behest of large corporations who donate directly and obtrusively to the re-election funds of politicians.

        And.. it’s not stealing, it’s copyright infringement. It’s not an absolute moral right, it’s a Government bestowed monopoly.

      • Aka says:

        @Ryan,

        Actually, strange as it may seems, you do indeed have a right to download almost anything in many countries, including, AFAIK, Australia, Switzerland, etc, as long as it is for personal use and you are not sharing that content. Downloading by itself in these countries may not require a license. If it turns out that what people download is legal content but being shared without a license, the persons who can be prosecuted are those who are doing the sharing (i.e. the distributing) , not the downloading. This is why sharing copyrighted content through P2P without a license is illegal because doing it requires uploading (i.e. distributing) as well as downloading.

        The well publicized three-strike laws against file sharing in Europe and elsewhere only target P2P.

        Actually it is kind of a grey area. We can agree that it may be reprehensible and morally wrong to download some content for free, however so far preventing people from downloading stuff is not technically doable. Preventing this would essentially require anyone who downloads anything to check on the copyright status of the stuff they are downloading, which is simply not possible at present.

      • Willy75075 says:

        @Ryan, You are very correct, until we get to the end – it is NOT stealing, it is copyright infringement. Stealing is theft, which is defined as “In common usage, theft is the taking of another person’s property without that person’s permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it.” according to Wikipedia. In this case, you are copying a file, and you are not depriving the owner, or anyone else, of it. As a matter of fact, it is quite possible for the owner, or anyone else, to never find out it was copied, thus being completely unaware it happened. Not so when something is stolen.

      • Gary says:

        @Ryan,
        Hear, hear!

        Sorry, Shawn, but you are not entitled to have something just because you want it. Forget “legally” entitled — you are not MORALLY entitled to it, either. If you don’t wish to pay the price the owner of the content is charging for it, then your options are to (a) convince a friend or relative to buy it for you; (b) see if you can find a used copy at a lesser price; or (c) do without it.

    • Didgeridoo says:

      @shawn,

      Get rid of your Telstra landline Shawn and “go naked” You’ll save at least the cost of line rental. The only thing which won’t work is the device which dials up to 5 numbers of your choice in an emergency – it’s called the Smart Dialler (I think !)

      • M says:

        @Didgeridoo,

        Unfortunately not everyone has the luxury of naked DSL… For some of us we have to pay for a fixed line, and often high usage charges for less data

      • Roybio says:

        @Didgeridoo,

        If only we could. There are still dozens of Telstra-only exchanges out there that force people on to a landline and ADSL (1, not 2) accounts, usually with deplorable quality and speed. Gong naked reduces the cost and improves the DSL signal quality, but the option isn’t there. ADSL original would have been ousted from all exchanges long ago in favour of ADSL2 if it wasn’t for Telstra’s practices.

        We each just have to wait our respectives turn for the NBN to be installed to our neighbourhood’s.

  7. Richard says:

    And what is so sad about this is that it’s the performers and screen-writers that pay the price. Hollywood’s failure to engage better distribution models is costing it dearly and that means less money for those that produce the content and less money to invest in future content.
    In the meantime, Google and Facebook are making huge incomes, off? … online content!

    • Steve Dalby says:

      @Richard,
      @Richard, that is an excellent point. The middlemen have failed to look after the creators of the content which drives their revenues. At both ends, the interests of the creators and the consumers are being ignored by these middle men.

      That is why it is so gratifying to to see so many creators dealing directly with their consumers by the medium of digital content, distributed via the ‘net.

      Surely the next generation of indies will totally ignore traditional distribution channels.

    • Sean says:

      @Richard,

      Spot on!

      iiNet are setting an example we should all follow. We should all walk away from “Big Media” and find new ways to support artists.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndTMY6PPS2g&feature=youtu.be

      If fans support their artists directly then that is another nail in the coffin of the music and movie industry giants.

  8. Jim Embury says:

    With you all the way on this one innet.

  9. Paul says:

    Thanks for the adult and mature attitude to customer rights to privacy.
    I deplore the attitude of governments and the big corporations who desire nothing more than to monitor and track everyone and what they are doing and worst of all communicating about with their friends and associates.
    Big Brother is definitely striving to become the order of the day. I have rights to privacy and to be respected for being a decent and responsible individual. Nobody has the right to invade my privacy unless I give permission to do so; and that means that the government does not have that right either.
    Thanks for being a decent ISP provider and wonderful company to your customers.

    • AJ says:

      @Paul,

      I couldn’t have said it better.

      The day they are allowed to monitor me is the day I disconnect. I’m not paying for someone to read my personal emails or whatever they want, that is an invasion of privacy that I will not tolerate.

  10. Rory says:

    And this is why i’m a loyal customer of iinet!

    Thanks iinet :)

  11. D Burgess says:

    Microsoft has seen the light with its release of the update version of Windows 8, available as a download for under 40 dollars and in several stores under $50.

  12. john cross says:

    i also agree and will stay a loyal customer

  13. Matt says:

    couldn’t tell you how much I support what you guys do.

    As a US citizen, I beg you – please don’t give in to the atrocities and lies that they proclaim are true.

  14. Steve Dalby says:

    Interesting to see the international coverage of this issue reflects some of the similar frustrations suffered by consumers elsewhere.

    I particularly like this quote from the ‘tech dirt’ article, there are other comments along similar lines after other online articles (see also torrentfreak responses).

    “Perhaps we should send the execs for all of the US ISP’s down to Australia and let them talk about this down under for a bit. My guess is that level headed thinking like this stems from the increased blood flow to the head from being upside down…

    Cheers to iiNet! It’s refreshing to see a provider push back against the propaganda and so blatantly call them out on their own failures to service their customers. If you ever decide to expand to the states I will absolutely throw my money at you!” : http://bit.ly/UEWENC

    A couple more international articles can be found here.
    Similar: http://torrentfreak.com/isp-walks-out-of-piracy-talks-were-not-the-internet-police-121217/
    Similar: http://www.webpronews.com/australian-isp-tells-entertainment-industry-to-start-offering-better-service-2012-12

    • Arvid says:

      @Steve Dalby,
      Behind you guys 100% watching the courtcase unfold and waiting for the same court cases to start on DVD recorders, Tivo, Foxtell and yes any video recorder, camera or scanner. All these devices like the internet are capable of infringing copyright except for personal use (in Aus).

      As for the elephants in the room youtube has just about everything and just as in the Bruce Willis court case against Apple, few people know you only have the use of the music/videos, you do not own a copy unlike when you bought a book or video/dvd.

      Westnet/iinet clearly are better or seek to be better than the competition. Perhaps this business model is something the movie distribution companies should aspire to in content distribution.

      Perhaps insteaad of putting effort into lawyers, they created a legitimate one stop shop through a portal for high quality documentary supported and extras content.In many respects, even archive.org (stuff out of copyright no-one wants) is better than anything offered by the industry.

      iView and catchup TV content is not as good a quality but watchable whereas the services of the industry could be very good and people would pay if organised through the ISP’s for free download content as in Tivo (WHICH you should be able to watch as you download!!!)

      The NBN is like a railway or lighthouse in that the taxpayers pay for it, but the benefits will accrue to all who use it for their business. Certainly in the case of high quality content, it will enable better distribution.

      Openning negotiations with ISP’s is the way to go, NOT taking them to court.

  15. Michael says:

    Its this kind of thoughtful and proactive action along with protection of digital rights that is the reason I will be churning from optus (not that optus has been terrible). Looking forward to being an iinet customer.

  16. Dav says:

    iinet I love you guys ur the best

  17. Paavo from Finland says:

    You are absolutely right! Please show the way for the rest of the world.

  18. A Blockhead says:

    No apostrophe in ISPs.

  19. John says:

    Been with ozemail/iinet since March 2001 and I am glad that the ISP that I picked is ready to stand up to the government and business that either want to rip us off or invade our lives.

  20. Luke says:

    I don’t get it. On the one hand iiNet’s position is completely fair and reasonable, backed by precedent (at law), and could prove to be a smart commercial decision if it leads to future distribution agreements with rightsholders (through fetchTV, perhaps).

    The part that makes no sense to me is how rightsholders have decided it’s better to persist with the old physical distribution model, instead of embracing a new opportunity. Are DVD sales still profitable? And if so, are they *that much more* profitable than online distribution?

    Movie studios and record labels are big business. I have no doubt this course of action was chosen deliberately and carefully. I’d love to know the how & why.

  21. Magnus says:

    And this is why I have been a loyal iiNet customer for just under 15 years (two months to go before I hit the big 15!) Where’s my presents!?

    iiNet actually cares about its customers and their right to privacy.

  22. Gardner Bickford says:

    Courageous, visionary, and correct!

  23. Nikola says:

    You gentlemen have my respect!

  24. Drew says:

    Steve, thanks for continuing to fight for truth, justice and a non-American way.

    Piracy is bad okay! The problem is who are the pirates? Charging us up to 34%-51% (Choice research) more for digital content based on “zone”. The $AU is higher value than $US yet the cost of media for us continues to rise. So who is the pirate and why do people choose illegal means to avert what would be illegal to do if this was done under Australian law.

    Delaying content release for no discernible reason other than profit margins.

    I also hear the word “Artist” used being liberally used a lot. None of the people who pursed iiNet were artists. None of the people collecting the rights fees are “artists”. The mega profit margins from those block buster movies rarely if at all go to the artists. Hence the migration of artists to more direct mediums online to gain access to direct profits.

    Again Steve, keep up the good fight. Send Bob over to the US, perhaps he can teach them how to sell intuitive common sense products to an intelligent customer base.

    • Steve Dalby says:

      @Drew,
      >> who are the pirates?

      I like that. I might use it (but only if I can get your permission to copy it)

    • Bulldust says:

      @Drew,
      We economists call it price discrimination. Price discrimination only works if you can prevent those who have access to the lower priced item from sharing/giving/selling it to those you intend to charge a higher price.

      It works for plane tickets where they are locked to your name, movie tickets where they are pretty much used straight away and so on … it does not work when content is digital or easily digitised and distributed.

      The old media distribution models will die, as surely as the cassette tape has died.

  25. Joshka says:

    What is iinet doing to make the question of ‘playing online police’ moot?

    Can iinet sort out some way of encrypting all communications in such a way that no relevant data can be logged on behalf of an external entity even if they wished it? You can’t provide something that you don’t have access to.

    A similar idea was mentioned in a Cnet article recently. This would be a compelling reason to change to iinet from just about any other ISP.

  26. Go IINet, it’s your birthday! Not real though, just for play!

    Seriously, you have all my support. Your clear and precise interpretation of the law and your responsibilities under it is absolutely correct and justified.

    That you have gone further to defend consumers in general and your customers specifically as people who deserve the best quality globally-provisioned products at reasonable prices is wonderfully outstanding!
    In this document Holdrin and Levine outline a case against intellectual property entirely (http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/papers/ip.ch.1.m1004.pdf), while I don’t expect IINet to go as far as someone who is not invested in protecting their rights to copyrighted materials, the core reasoning for your excellent stance is well-outlined therein.

    My expectation is that you may have to remain alert against actions which unjustifiably attempt to alter your position for awhile yet, is sad that older more established businesses wish younger more ethical operators to do the work of making profits for them by engaging in egregious rent-seeking behaviours, but taking a firm stand against such unconscionable activity will certainly put IINet (and other businesses which understand this) in good stead to continue to grow into the future.

    Bravo for being such an ethical business, you clearly understand well what is happening! Respect and kudos to everyone at IINet, keep up the good work. :)

    • Steve Dalby says:

      @Michelle Hyde,
      >>you may have to remain alert against actions which unjustifiably attempt to alter your position for awhile yet…

      Yes Michelle, I agree.
      If the rights holders get their way, the Attorney General will make legislative changes which will change our obligations. The High Court interpreted the law that exists today. If the Parliament is convinced the Law must change, then we will have a whole new ball game.

      That possibility seems some way off, however, and the AG will need to get any changes passed by both Houses of Parliament. The Greens appear to be unsupportive of both strengthened copyright law and the attendant data retention, so it would be a fight.

      Nevertheless we should not let our community guard down.

      • @Steve Dalby, You’ve painted a frightening scenario. I really hope our politicians and attorney general are steadfast enough in representing the feelings and beliefs of the citizens of Australia not to cave under pressure from rights holders represented by powerful lobby groups. I argue for complete information freedom, (doing away with copyright and intellectual property is a good idea), and feel the time has long past come for superior ideals to be implemented in policy — however this would involve making sweeping changes institutions (like the now-defuct ASCAP, the RIAA, MPAA, and AFACT, etc.) wouldn’t enjoy as it would mean their ideals would also radically change. These institutions are formed on shaky ethical ground and because of this their arguments do not enjoy robustness.

        We need to move towards a model more in line with what Richard Stallman (RMS) has been espousing for decades now. Free, open, public models of producing all sorts of work are the superior way of doing things.

        Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu write well about the cutting world of venture capitalism moving more towards this sort of model in an attempt to generate more ethical investment in their book “The Gardens of Democracy”.

        In slightly different words, they iterate something I’ve been saying for a long time; everyone benefits _most_ when EVERYONE benefits.

        Ethical arguments advanced for the benefit of everyone are simply more robust than arguments advanced for the benefit of corporations revolving around the principle of “We’d like more money and don’t want to have to do work to get it”, which leads what Boldrin and Levine term “egregious rent-seeking behaviour” which is awful to see. It’s essetially negative-sum and as such is doomed to failure far more quickly than more robust outlooks which are more geared towards positive-sum thinking.

        It’s great to see IINet being such positive players, championing both new corporations as well as consumers, so in what you recognise will be a continuing battle I am filled with admiration and the desire to help! :)

  27. Fibbs says:

    Higher charges compared to the US.
    Geo-blocking trivial content.
    Advertising saturation on local pay per view.
    I could go on and on.

    Yet we as consumers continue to pay and therefore justify these blatant money grabs.

    Hats off to the pirates for making the smart choice as a consumer and going elsewhere.

    Congratulations iinet, on a win for the consumer(the guy that used to come first).

  28. John says:

    I think copyright is absolute piracy and illegal extortion backed by laws made legal born of greed and control over what others do with what they have already paid for…and to force them to comply with this farce….

    If this law is the right thing to do then why does it not apply to cars houses clothing and every other product produced from someones brain imagination and effort… music is no different to that… this intellectual ownership is ridiculous when the collective consciousness of all thought and ideas come from the same pool that is contributed to by everyone incarnate and discarnate and available to everyone on a free basis…

    I think most people have really had enough of this type of extortion in many areas, but this is the worst in my opinion…

  29. Simon W says:

    I have a very slow iinet connection while my neighbour has a faster competition (not Hel$tra .. obviously) connection. The only reason why I stay with iinet is due to their stance on this issue.

    Keep it up, and fix my connection?

    • Adam O'grady says:

      Hi Simon,

      ADSL speeds do depend on a few factors, including length of line from the house to the exchange, internal cabling and the quality of the internal/line cabling used. In some cases, people living next door might also be connected to two different exchange/RIMs which can cause a variation in the speeds. What I would recommend however, is trying an isolation test (https://iihelp.iinet.net.au/Isolation_Test) and also testing your modem in all the different phone ports around the house, this can help isolate common causes of low speeds. If you connect wirelessly to the modem, we would also recommend trying to connect via Ethernet cable as there might be wireless interference impacting the maximum throughput speeds. Lastly, if you don’t have Naked DSL, check your phone line for a clear dial tone and no line noise. Problems with either of these can also impact your ADSL and should be reported to your phone provider.

      Regards,
      Adam

  30. Mario says:

    Thank You IINet

    You have my business because of this stance

  31. Ben Miles says:

    Nice work guys. Well said.

    I freely admit that I download shows (what other choice do I have living in Australia, and also in the country where Foxtel is not available). However, if the option for me to purchase those shows were available – at a fair price – then I would probably accept it.

    When you have to wait 6 months to 2 years for a show to be picked up by an Aussie network; this forces people to seek a different way of accessing that content. Sometimes Aussie TV never picks up a show at all so you have no other choice.

    I’ve been banging on about this issue for years. These companies are dragging their feet and still living in the stone age as far as copyright law goes. Once they make the changes required, perhaps we will see a better system for accessing digital media.

    (Sorry, I meant to post this as a direct reply to the main topic, not as a reply to Ryan’s comment above)

  32. Kim says:

    I followed the High Court case with great interest and applaud the stand that iinet has taken. Steve, you’ve articulated iinet’s position clearly and compellingly. The rights holders are dinosaurs in this debate. Fact is, the internet is a revolution of sorts, much like the printing press was. There’s no going back and the rights holders need to adapt. It’s not as though lots of money can’t be made through the internet …

    I’ll fess up to downloading so-called illegal works but some of my Xmas presents for my family and friends are going to be fully paid-for DVD’s of some of the best things I’ve seen. I don’t want to be giving them videos of inferior quality. And frankly, if I wasn’t internet-savvy and hadn’t downloaded the ‘pirated’ works, I wouldn’t have known about them to buy them as presents for others.

  33. I’m with you, iinet…….. and glad you got the court ruling in your favour!

  34. David Moderate says:

    This is a huge topic and I for one like paying for what I download. That may sound strange but I am voting for the content I like. If I am a fan of something I want to see more of it. A small charge from those who like the content produces more.

    However, I don’t believe these companies that are complaining about piracy and wish stricter controls over the net are being honest because while they are claiming that they are losing money what has not been proven is that they are losing sales.

    How many people who download pirated content would purchase that content if the illegal avenue was closed? How many real sales are made as a result of watching or using pirated copies?

    China printing DVDs by the billions of the latest movies from blu-ray disks is a multi-billion dollar hole in the market. That’s real and it so far has been ignored.

    My scumbag nephew downloading free games until they cost a cent is not a loss at all. The fact that I have spent hundreds of dollars on games that he got exited about and promoted is a plus for the content providers.

    They want to bring morals into it when what it really should be about is business.

  35. Charles says:

    Good on you iinet! I’m staying with you even tho it’s ADSL1 because of your stance on this matter. I could have an ADSL2 internet thro telstra (they control all the lines on my exchange) but I refuse to take it because I would rather stay with a provider who has my interests at heart and stands up for my freedoms. Keep up the good work!

  36. Neoculture says:

    Big Media’s idea of digital distribution:

    (1) pay for a download in a single digital format which can only run on DRM-laden machines, and which can be revoked at their whim… or simply because their authorisation website is down; or
    (2) pay for the privilege of “streaming” the media to any device I want – paying for the bandwidth every time – which can be revoked at their whim or simply because their server us down.

    My solution:
    buy the CD/DVD/BluRay, rip it to my fileserver to whatever format(s) *I* want, and being able to watch it wherever and whenever *I* want.

    But apparently Big Media considers my solution “stealing” (their words for it, it’s actually copyright infringement – ie a contractual dispute) because I didn’t pay to “watch the media”, according to them I paid to “watch the media from the DVD” and I need to pay for *every different way* I want to watch or listen to said media.

    Remind me again who the crooks are?

  37. Rhonda says:

    From Ryan quote “I am happy to pay for ad-free TV (what Foxtel used to be). I am happy to watch ad-funded free to air TV, without the complete destruction of every series aired (mid season “finales”, shows in regular time slot being shown out of order) and the significant delay in broadcast. The system is broken and only they can fix it and they cannot complain when people look for methods that work.”
    I am a pensioner and use my experienced gained since my first use of telephones and the old Amiga model of computer. I have also been entertained by the TV since 1956.
    I am totally frustrated by the Big T wanting 600% for a broken service and TV repeats blocking free entertainment with reruns this last year of many movies being aired every 3 months. I am using the free digital TV service from VAST and currently spending a few nights every week doing something more interesting than watching re-runs. Cost of movies as rent, buy, or download is totally beyond my budget. I neither obtain or download music or movies and have only one radio station available by air.
    In such a deprived environment of outside entertainment or influence I would have every reason to despise the cost and controls that affect our lives. However I accept this condition with a calm feeling as no cost at all is paid to companies who own what I want. I have the Big T limited to a paid line connection, a phone-in and a phone-out line, an internet connection, a pair of mobiles, and a voip service. Total monthly cost for line and calls of $150, compared with three monthly bills from Big T of $250 to 300 plus add $80 for mobiles and internet.
    I cannot calculate what has been lost by the companies that make my eyes go wide with longing, movies, music or video clips. Stargate, Supernatural, whatever but the moments of impulse buying has been lost. Best of luck to all out there but we are all in city and remote country at a loss to obtain what the other side of the world enjoys.

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