Pirate Party Australia objects to the recent proposal by Communications Alliance LTD, titled “A Scheme to Address Online Copyright Infringement.”[1]

The proposal aims to introduce an infringement notice system sent by ISPs on behalf of content rights holders to notify users of alleged copyright infringement linked to their account, as well as education about online copyright infringement.

“We’re not surprised to once again see a proposal with the purpose of giving up customers’ personal information on the whims of a dying industry, upon nothing more than an accusation. It’s a privacy nightmare.”, said Brendan Molloy, Pirate Party Secretary.

“Internet service providers should not be the mouth pieces for media industry propaganda. I find it very likely that this system will be used to spread misinformation by the industry, and can and will be abused,” he continued.

“We have seen time and time again studies that have been based entirely on false premises by this industry, and while entirely debunked by the community, they continue to push these ‘reports’ as fact.” [2][3]

While the proposal itself has many flaws, Pirate Party Australia applauds the Communications Alliance for acknowledging that unauthorised access to online content and copyright infringement is a direct result of television and film often being delivered in an untimely manner, and that it is a market failure that has caused the growth in file sharing.

However, Pirate Party Australia are cynical of the scheme’s aim to achieve a prolonged change in user behaviour.

“It is not the user’s responsibility to change their behaviour to fit some archaic ideal of intellectual property ownership. In the real world, where possessions are tangible, people acknowledge that you can steal something if you can touch it. Internet users have a very different perspective on intellectual property than the rights holders. They see sharing as a cultural activity, not something done maliciously to hurt the content owners,” said Mozart Palmer, spokesperson for Pirate Party Australia.

ISPs would also not be required to issue more than 100 infringement notices per month.

“ISPs are pandering to the interests of the industry as little as possible, so as to not alienate their own customers the same way the media industry has. ISPs realise that they will face losses as their customer base diminishes if they follow the same path,” claims Molloy.

Pirate Party Australia is still waiting upon a response from the Attorney-General’s Department to an FOI request regarding an opaque ‘stakeholders’ meeting held earlier this year, allegedly where no minutes were taken, and will make a release regarding this information as soon as it is made available.

[1] http://www.commsalliance.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/32293/Copyright-Industry-Scheme-Proposal-Final.pdf
[2] http://delimiter.com.au/2011/03/17/aussie-piracy-report-a-farce-says-pirate-party/
[3] http://www.efa.org.au/2011/02/17/afact-study/

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