MPAA to start hassling Australians

Just when you thought we had one evil company holding Australia’s telecommunication freedoms to ransom, another company is planning to join the arena of denying users freedom.

Amazingly however, Telstra’s Bigpond ISP has been mentioned in the media as not in support of this new company.

– Telstra don’t like competition at all ? Well, this isn’t related to Telstra in any large way at all.

Essentially, a group known as AFACT which has ties in with the MPAA in the USA, are set to start sending ISPs notices over users found to be using P2P to gain access to content that the TV stations and the like choose to take the slow road with and display months behind the availability of the US screening.

Arrrr landlubbers, Australia has the largest per capita of piracy rates, at 15.6 percent of all online TV piracy.

So, for those of you thinking of fetching your daily dose of US aired entertainment by leveraging the internet, it might be time to think about this new move.

AFACT proposes a pressure method to get ISPs to POLICE users use of the retail supplied internet connection.

It’s not the ISPs responsibility to interfere with any aspect of a users access to the public internet.
And besides that, IP owners (Copyright owners) have several avenues to attack pirates should they choose to do so.

AFACT claim ISPs aren’t doing enough to combat illegal downloading.

Well, I think the ISPs are doing plenty in doing nothing. The ISP is a retail supplier of services.

Tell me, who is responsible for a child after it is born? The hospital? No. The parents? Yes.
The parents are in direct control (or lack thereof) of a childs actions.
The same applies to the ISP.
The user is responsible for the actions of their connection, not the ISP.

The ISPs actions should stop – full stop – at the point of supplying IP connectivity to the internet. Anything after that is the users responsibility.

But, and a big but, much like the phone network, connections should be able to be monitored in the presence of a court order. They must obtain a court order to tap a phone line, the same applies to any users specific usage of the network.

It would be invasion of privacy and therefore illegal to do otherwise.

I’m all for maintaining and upholding the law, and I think AFACT are stepping the line with this.

The ISP simply provides IP transmission. That’s where it should stop. Email, File servers, web space, all optional extras to the user should they choose to use them, but the consumer is buying IP connectivity, and not any form of monitoring unless the user specifically requests as such.

Amazing, Bigpond’s stance on it is that content owners have many avenues to pursue infringements and they won’t be taking any of AFACTs claims against users at face value, which is a good thing, because any idiot can draft a letter stating their copyright was breached, its not the ISPs job to police that, civil proceedings exist to police that, and a court order can be used to obtain the required information, anything outside of the structured legal process to target IP (copyright) theft is nearly certainly going to be invasion of privacy.

I’m not in support of copyright breach at all, but I am 100% in support of a users right to privacy, and the way AFACT are going is a clear cut proposal that will forcefully disconnect users, using privacy invading tactics to do so.

Let’s hope the whole industry get together on this one and protect the freedom of the internet and the privacy of its users.


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