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  • Opinion, Telecommunications - Written by on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 13:56 - 87 Comments

    In secret piracy talks, iiNet risks losing its integrity

    opinion By participating in a series of highly secret, closed door negotiations with the Government and the content industry over the future of Internet piracy in Australia, national broadband provider iiNet risks losing its integrity and the trust of its customers that it will represent their best interests on the issue.

    If you have followed the news in Australia’s telecommunications at all over the past few years, it should be obvious that very few of the organisations currently attempting to shape the future of online copyright infringement in Australia in secret, Government-sponsored meetings held over the past six months have much integrity to lose.

    The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (and its shadowy network of sister organisations) represents a throng of content producers such as film and TV studios who refuse to make their content available in Australia in the timely and readily consumable fashion desired by their paying customers, yet have repeatedly engaged in legal action or quasi-legal threats against both Internet service providers and those very customers for trying to work around their antiquated distribution model. Plus, the group appears to be pretty much a front for the Motion Picture Association of America, which is known for the same behaviour internationally.

    The Internet Industry Association — never a bastion of transparency — has distinguished itself over the past year by gifting the industry with an Internet filtering system which purports to block Australians from accessing child pornography online (itself a laudable aim), but in fact is trivial to circumvent and comes with inherent concerns around transparency, civil oversight and scope creep. Having done so, the organisation exited stage right and left the project in the hands of the Australian Federal Police, which will only discuss the issue when legally forced to by the Senate or by Freedom of Information request.

    Telstra, of course, is a multi-headed hydra which tends to display differing degrees of ethical behaviour depending on who its current chief executive officer is (under David Thodey it’s been pretty good; under Sol Trujillo not so much) and which department you’re dealing with, but in general has a solid and well-recorded history of blocking competition in the telecommunications sector (South Brisbane, anyone?) and seeking to hold Australians in the past when it comes to new technology. Little brother Optus is a step up on the ethical scale, but isn’t exactly known for its transparency.

    And of course there’s the kind-hearted host, the Attorney-General’s Department itself, which is perhaps best known to Australian technologists for concocting a wild scheme a year or so back which would have seen every email and telephone call in Australia tracked, in a giant database which would be accessible to law enforcement. Joy.

    The Communications Alliance is one of the only organisations with a fairly clean record to attend the talks (perhaps because it was only formed a few years ago ago). However, the organisation didn’t disclose the fact that AGD was creating that database, despite knowing about it for some time — which begs the question of what else it wouldn’t disclose. It’s clear the group represents Australian telcos — not their customers.

    Add to this heady mix the fact that all parties concerned continue to refuse to disclose any details — at all — regarding what was discussed over four lengthy meetings they have held on the issue of Internet piracy in Australia over the past six months (what information we do have has been dragged out of the department painstakingly by Freedom of Information requests) and you don’t have to be a cynical old journalist like yours truly in order to smell a conspiracy being hatched.

    In this cadre of shady dealers known for keeping a backup ace or three in their shorts, national broadband provider iiNet is, to put it mildly, something of an oddity.

    Led by a maverick entrepreneur passionate about bringing fast broadband to all Australians, iiNet is a company virtually defined by its steadfastly ethical and transparent operation. Its chief executive, Michael Malone, has openly and honestly answered questions from the press about the company and his views on the industry for several decades now, every time they have asked, and is a regular poster on platforms such as broadband forum Whirlpool and social network Twitter, where he is known for his forthright answers.

    In an industry known for its shoddy customer service and disregard for user problems, iiNet’s customer service (in which we may include the call centres of subsidiaries Westnet and Internode) is renowned as stellar.

    The company has continually, for two decades now, pushed strongly for positive technological change to benefit consumers, sequentially being at the forefront of launches in areas like ADSL, ADSL2 and ADSL2+, Internet telephony, value-added services such as game and file servers, self-service portals and more — and now it is attempting to drag the content industry into the new millennium through its promulgation of the FetchTV IPTV platform (which, for all its faults, is a decent effort).

    And perhaps more than anything, iiNet is known for its defence of its customers in the multi-million-dollar lawsuit it is fighting against AFACT. All AFACT wants is for iiNet to take responsibility for the file-sharing habits of its customers; whereas all iiNet wants is for AFACT to respect the actual laws of the land in Australia and prove that they’re doing anything wrong, before it takes action. It sounds like common sense — but common sense rarely enters into the online copyright infringement debate — as we’ve previously chronicled, self-interest is more the norm.

    With all this in mind, the question asks itself; Why the heck is iiNet having closed door discussions on the issue of Internet piracy with a group which includes its biggest competitors, organisations which are currently suing it, and a government agency which is known for concocting gargantuan conspiracies to monitor and control the Australian Internet? That’s exactly the question Whirlpool user DNAlchemist asked iiNet yesterday — or, to put it in his words: “Is this really a consultation, or are you just being asked whether or not you’d prefer lubricant?”

    The answer came rapidly.

    “Well, who is better qualified to listen to what rights holders want?” replied iiNet regulatory chief Steve Dalby. “We’ve probably given it more thought than any other ISP and understand the implications and flow-on issues (of any suggestion) as well, if not better than anyone.” He continued: “Businesses and governments conduct meetings every day of the week. It’s not usual for those meetings to be public. Given the width of the gap between the parties, I wouldn’t say any ‘agreement’ is imminent. Nevertheless, the answer is – yes, they’ll remain private – not that the existence of the discussions have ever been a secret.”

    *cough* come again?

    For Dalby to claim that these discussions have never been a secret is patently absurd. We only know that they exist because their existence was leaked to the media six months ago. Since then, I personally have been engaged in a dogged battle with the Attorney-General’s Department to get any information about them at all. We only found out yesterday that no less than four meetings (not two, as had been thought) had been held between September and February this year. Meetings which iiNet blithely attended, discussing matters of which the public knows nothing, but which will affect them dramatically.

    As Delimiter chronicled yesterday, AGD has used a complex series of legal arguments to prevent almost all records of the meetings from reaching the public’s eye. It has applied the black marker to all notes taken by government workers at the meetings, the identities of those who attended, the agendas, any material handed out, and so on. This week it even claimed it had no record of who attended the February confab — despite the fact that the meeting was held just a month ago.

    And yes, iiNet is qualified to discuss what AFACT and the rest of the content industry wants to happen on the issue of Internet piracy. It bloody well should be — after all, it’s been listening to AFACT drone on and on in first the Federal Court, and now the High Court, about what it wants for several years now. In fact, given the fact that AFACT itself tends to be fairly stupid as an organisation, I would say there’s a solid chance that iiNet now knows a lot more about what AFACT wants than AFACT does itself.

    But what appears to have been left out of Dalby’s somewhat blithe response to this issue is a few … pesky questions about the ethics of what iiNet is doing right now.

    Can you imagine the response of iiNet’s legal team, upon being told that iiNet was planning to sit down for coffee at Casa de AGD with AFACT, the very organisation which is currently suing iiNet in the High Court? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t something like: “Uh, sure, Steve — that sounds like a great idea. Pass the bagels.”

    And given the derisive statements which senior government figures such as Communications Minister Stephen Conroy have already made about that same case, you can imagine the response of the sitting judges of the High Court, upon learning that the two combatants in a case which will set a substantial precedent in Australian intellectual property law, are sitting down every month or so for coffee and a chat, along with the department which is principally responsible for writing legislation in the space. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t something like: “Uh, sure, guys — you go ahead and discuss the issues. I’m sure there’s no chance to prejudice the case or to spur new legislation to override our High Court judgement.”

    Personally, I am appalled that iiNet ever agreed to participate in these talks, given the blatantly obvious conflict of interest which they represent with regard to its High Court case against AFACT. I find it very hard to believe that the company has not received several stern pieces of advice on the matter from its legal counsel — advice which it then blithely ignored.

    Every stakeholder in this issue — from AFACT to iiNet to other ISPs and the Government — acknowledges that the pending High Court decision in the #iitrial will have a dramatic impact on the online copyright infringement landscape in Australia. I can understand why the content owners and even the Government (which so often seems to play along to their tune a little too closely) is in favour of undercutting that decision with a series of concurrent discussions on the sidelines. But why does iiNet seem to feel the same way?

    On a separate note, one has to wonder how iiNet’s customers feel about the issue.

    iiNet has always taken the position that Internet piracy is not a legitimate activity, and it hasn’t ever explicitly defended the practices of its big-downloading customers in this area. On the face of it, the ISP’s High Court defence has transparently been about allocating responsibility for those illegal downloads where it belongs — on customers’ heads — rather than on iiNet’s head as a simple traffic intermediary. However, there is no doubt that in practice, the ISP’s high quota broadband plans at least enable Internet piracy, even if they don’t explicitly encourage it. And the ISP’s actions in forcing the burden of proof for allegations of Internet piracy back on content owners (rather than simply forwarding on infringement notices to its customers, as ISPs like Exetel do) have also had the practical effect of allowing its customers to feel ‘safe’ in their illicit BitTorrenting.

    “We don’t talk about piracy” has been the unspoken agreement between iiNet and its customers, as the issue was swept under the industry radar. This approach has served the company — and many other Australian ISPs — well. Customers have been able to obtain the content they often can’t get otherwise in the format and timeframe they want, while ISPs have reaped the benefits of growing broadband consumption. And the whole deal has been positioned as the right approach to take to force the content owners to actually … make their products available for sale in a timely fashion and in a manner that consumers want to buy (rocket science, I know).

    AFACT’s lawsuit threatened to throw a spanner in the works of this cozy relationship, but iiNet’s staunch — and so far, successful — defence in the Federal Court has reassured customers that the unspoken bond between them and their ISP was still intact. iiNet’s legal team would be the public face of their demand that the content owners pony up and make their content available legally, in a decent video format, through a platform like Apple’s iTunes — and at the same time as it’s available in countries such as the US. And, of course, iiNet’s customers would feel comfortable that their fairly high-priced broadband plans were paying for more than gigabytes — they were also supporting the right philosophical position.

    By participating in the Government’s secret talks on the issue, however, iiNet is signalling to those same customers that its tacit understanding with them is in fact … null and void. In fact, did something so nebulous ever exist in the first place?

    Now, to be honest, I’m not really that surprised.

    As a company, iiNet is growing up. It’s grown so fast, and come so far, in fact, that it’s now becoming just another company — with the same multi-faceted, complex approach to issues, the same internal divisions which hamstring its operations, the same regulatory and financial constraints, and above all, the same self-interest in everything it does. Idealism very rarely survives in such highly capitalistic environments — and it never thrives. As we’ve seen in recent weeks with iiNet subsidiary Internode, even the staunchest and brightest of companies managed by steadfast individuals may falter in the transparency with which they conduct their operations. In fifty years, there may come a time when future journalists try and work out just when iiCorporate (or the iiBorg, as it is increasingly known) ever had a human face.

    But that doesn’t make it right.

    iiNet’s staunch defence in the AFACT trial saw the ISP painted as its customers’ white knight — standing upright in shining armour and yelling defiance at the unclean copyright hordes. It is unseemly — and disturbing — for that same bright figure to be skulking around the back corridors of the Attorney-General’s Department clasping sweaty palms with those same opponents — as well as the great broadband evil in the form of industry titan Telstra.

    Australia’s telecommunications industry is already littered with characters of questionable integrity. I don’t want to see iiNet’s name added to that (growing) list.

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    1. Noddy
      Posted 20/03/2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink |

      “iiNet’s staunch defence in the AFACT trial saw the ISP painted as its customers’ white knight — standing upright in shining armour and yelling defiance at the unclean copyright hordes.”

      Were they? I thought they were just avoiding being sued? Their argument for not passing on notices was that they should be compensated. I never saw them mention they were protecting their customers. I have seen Whirlpool people say it, but never got that impression that iiNet thought they were. They always seemed to just be saying, not us, we aren’t responsible for what our customers do.

      • Steve Dalby - iiNet
        Posted 20/03/2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink |

        >> I thought they were just avoiding being sued?

        Sort of.
        We couldn’t avoid it – the studios took the action – unless we rolled over and complied with their demands. We refused to incur costs and disconnect customers on the strength of unproven allegations.

        What we were fighting was Hollywood’s claim that because we didn’t do what they demanded, we must have been guilty of ‘Authorisation’. That is, we didn’t stop the infringers, therefore we were as guilty as them.

        We were never a ” …white knight — standing upright in shining armour and yelling defiance at the unclean copyright hordes.” Whatever the Hell that sentence means. What’s a copyright horde ?

        Copyright infringement is wrong. The Law says so. We agree.
        We just don’t think it is our job to do the studios work for them or to pay for it to be done for them.

        • Noddy
          Posted 20/03/2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink |

          It’s a real hard nut copyright infringement enforcement. I don’t agree with it because I worked in an industry where piracy was rife, games development. But I do not agree with companies taking people to court and getting large payouts. It seems the only option at the moment. You can’t take someone to court for $50, it’s just not economical. I’d prefer a fine like other infringements, not big, just a slap. The only thing is without the ISP it’s impossible to identify anyone.
          There will be a whole pile of people saying how many megabucks the games industry makes. At times it does, other times are lean. There are only a few studios (Valve, Blizzard) who have a steady income stream and don’t suffer from a cash shortage at some time or other.
          Quote away with the few artists who say they don’t mind copyright infringing. They are usually the ones you hold up as earning megabucks anyway. There are a lot of real people who don’t get the megabucks whose livelihood is being ruined by piracy.

          • raymond
            Posted 21/03/2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink |

            ” I’d prefer a fine like other infringements, not big, just a slap. The only thing is without the ISP it’s impossible to identify anyone.”

            if you proved to a court of law that there was suficcient evidence that the infringement was happening, and they granted you a court order, the isp would dig through their records and hand over the customers details, at which point the copyright owner can then sue that customer.

            the isps are always happy to comply with the law, but the copyright holders didnt want to prove anything, to anyone, even remotely, they just wanted to allegde something happened and have your details available.

            • CLANCULARIUS
              Posted 21/03/2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink |

              “the isps are always happy to comply with the law, but the copyright holders didnt want to prove anything, to anyone, even remotely, they just wanted to allegde something happened and have your details available.”

              In the handing over of such documents without a court order (ironic the copyright holding studios don’t wish to obey the law here) this would have left iiNet open to action for the breach of the Privacy act from the customers whose data was leaked (being IMO one plausible reason why iiNet refused to hand over said information).

              Of course the copyright holders (oddly enough the who’s who of Hollywood, little representation is given to the smaller groups or even individuals [like myself were I to get my hobbyist work published] ) wouldn’t have cared little about this, being too busy in their attempts to launch the Australian equivalent of the predatory ‘pay up or else’ scheme (as laid bare in the UK with the now defunct ACS:Law group).

              Like they always say; ‘follow the money trail’

            • Noddy
              Posted 21/03/2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink |

              But that is why you see the big money lawsuits with $3000 dollars being charged for one movie. It’s too damn hard and expensive to do anything.

    2. jon
      Posted 20/03/2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink |

      That’s right Noddy, iiNet has always sought to distance itself from content pirates, they were just arguing that they shouldn’t be the ones to police it.

      The good versus evil roles that the writer is trying to put on each side are pretty unrepresentative of reality, and read like somebody trying to whip up a bit of outrage where there is none.

      And nope I don’t work for iiNet.

    3. Posted 20/03/2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink |

      @Noddy and Jon

      I address these points in the article:

      “iiNet has always taken the position that Internet piracy is not a legitimate activity, and it hasn’t ever explicitly defended the practices of its big-downloading customers in this area. On the face of it, the ISP’s High Court defence has transparently been about allocating responsibility for those illegal downloads where it belongs — on customers’ heads — rather than on iiNet’s head as a simple traffic intermediary. However, there is no doubt that in practice, the ISP’s high quota broadband plans at least enable Internet piracy, even if they don’t explicitly encourage it. And the ISP’s actions in forcing the burden of proof for allegations of Internet piracy back on content owners (rather than simply forwarding on infringement notices to its customers, as ISPs like Exetel do) have also had the practical effect of allowing its customers to feel ‘safe’ in their illicit BitTorrenting.

      “We don’t talk about piracy” has been the unspoken agreement between iiNet and its customers, as the issue was swept under the industry radar. This approach has served the company — and many other Australian ISPs — well. Customers have been able to obtain the content they often can’t get otherwise in the format and timeframe they want, while ISPs have reaped the benefits of growing broadband consumption. And the whole deal has been positioned as the right approach to take to force the content owners to actually … make their products available for sale in a timely fashion and in a manner that consumers want to buy (rocket science, I know).”

    4. Steve Dalby - iiNet
      Posted 20/03/2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink |

      Quiet day in Delimiter-land, Renai ?

      That little rant almost seemed like the outline for script – which you might hope to be picked up by Hollywood.

      Complete with shattered dreams, evil empires, white knights, shadowy networks and all sorts of secret, sneaky, censored, closed-door meetings that nobody knows anything about until they read it in the papers !!

      Pirates running rampant thanks to upstart, maverick technocrats giving the wink and a nod in exchange for thirty pieces of silver. Very colourful, very inventive.

      Who do have in mind for the acting talent ? Jonny Depp? Brad Pitt is good with accents.

      You can put “OPINION” at the top of your rants, Renai, but that doesn’t mean you are able to fabricate material to suit your personal, emotional state of mind .

      If you spent five minutes thinking about it, you’d see that it is obvious that iiNet is an important player in the copyright infringement space. For our own interests, for that of our customers, and yes – the industry at large, we need to participate. We need to make sure the ISP view is firmly and logically put up against the RH’s demands that the internet be switched off.

      Does it make any sense for us to say – “We wouldn’t touch that discussion with a barge-pole.” “You rights holders just have a chat with the government and we’ll go along with whatever you come up with.”

      Yeah, right.

      How you come to a conclusion that there is a conflict of interest, it is impossible to say. It is absolutely in our interest to participate in these discussions.

      Does the High Court’s opinion have any bearing ? Of course it does.
      Should we wait for their judgment before making any kind of agreement with RHs? Absolutely.
      Will the Court be swayed by whirlpool posts or delimiter articles ? Give me strength.
      Do our legal team support our actions? Damn straight.
      Are we “blithely ignoring” them ? That suggestion is professionally insulting and offensive.

      You can continue to write this fiction Renai, but I hear more and more people in the industry mocking the Delimiter style. That’s a pity, because these are important matters that are of interest to the general public. Misinforming the debate with these imagined activities isn’t helpful.

      • Posted 20/03/2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink |

        hey Steve,

        I’ll be happy to eat my words and stop talking about this issue, on one condition:

        Can you tell us what is being discussed at these closed door meetings?

        Cheers,

        Renai

        • Noddy
          Posted 20/03/2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink |

          He can’t tell you that. It’s copyrighted ;)

          (I think it’s available on a torrent though)

        • Steve Dalby - iiNet
          Posted 20/03/2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink |

          I’m surprised you need to ask. This has been going on for years and little has changed.

          Let’s review the parties and the background to the discussions which have been going on since at least 2005 (my first experience).

          One. Rights holders (RHs) – because they claim that their copyright is being breached and that something should be done about it. They don’t want to go after the infringers because there are too many of them and the publicity resulting from personal prosecutions is not likely to be positive. They do think that the internet is the problem, so going after those companies that facilitate internet access is a better option. (Cue iiNet)

          Two. Government representatives – because breaching copyright is against the law and government is responsible for ensuring that the law is enforced or modified to meet the prevailing public policy.

          Three. Internet Service Providers who provide access to the net. I’ll repeat that. They provide access to the net. This is another way of saying they don’t deny access to the net.
          ISPs have obligations that prevent them from monitoring or spying on their customers. They can not legitimately know what customers are using their internet connections for. If they did want to know, they would need a budget similar in size to that of the FBI.

          Four. Consumers, who use the net for a range of things. Some use it to share content without the permission of the rights holder of that content. Most fixed line internet connections are shared within a business or household. It is impossible to know the identity of the individual who is running which application at any time.

          Most, if not all of the discussions over the years have been conducted between the RHs and the ISPs. These have been fruitless. The RHs want all the benefits of remedial action, but want the ISPs to foot the bill. ISPs don’t want to pay to protect the rights of third parties. The gap between the parties is considerable and unlikely to close.

          Consumers have apparently opted to stay out of the debate. They see that ‘everybody is doing it’ that nobody is getting caught and happily believe that the RHs are bastards, spending billions on marketing hype, creating massive demand for attractive content, then miserably controlling access to it. Given that people are clever and will look for solutions, they find that they can source the very desirable content at zero cost, for a little bit of risk.

          Government probably wishes the whole thing would go away, but given that it hasn’t, they have reluctantly joined in the conversation, to see if a commercial solution could be encouraged.

          I’m not going to give you a “She said, he said” recount and I didn’t take notes, but that’s the gist of it. Boring, isn’t it ?

          The gap between RHs and ISPs is massive. Just because we meet doesn’t mean that we are “skulking around the back corridors of the Attorney-General’s Department clasping sweaty palms with those same opponents”.

          Meeting isn’t agreement.

          I’m not agreeing with you, but we are exchanging views. Is that “skulking” are we “clasping sweaty palms” ? Your insinuations are off the mark and offensive.

          I don’t care whether you eat your words or not. We are trying to get on with business – you are writing inaccurate, fanciful and misleading rants.

          I understand that it is not very exciting if a bunch of boring businessmen continue to meet and get nowhere – compared to the idea that some super secret cabal is conspiring to turn the goodies to the Dark Side, so that Australian consumers are sold into economic slavery controlled by the faceless henchmen of Hollywood.

          But hey – that’s life.

          • Posted 20/03/2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink |

            Cheers Steve — I really appreciate this transparency.

            You’re right — it is boring, and from your post it looks as if, despite all the talks, lawsuits and so on, nothing much has really changed, after all this time. That’s reassuring. In the documents which the Government has released over time under FoI, they regularly refer to getting closer to an industry settlement and “negotiating”, which had fuelled an impression that the various groups had stopped discussing the issues and were coming close to an agreement of some kind.

            I don’t think an agreement would necessarily be a problem, but I think that it would have to happen with a degree of public consultation on the matter which doesn’t exist at the moment. That’s the main issue which I have with these talks being held behind closed doors — clearly there is a public interest in this issue, but without the public being represented, there is a risk of such an agreement being too heavily slanted toward commercial or even law enforcement interests.

            Your comments reassure me that this doesn’t seem close to happening.

            I still think there is a conflict of interest in iiNet attending the talks, however. So much of the issue hangs on what happens in the High Court, and the Government’s response to that. It just doesn’t appropriate for iiNet to be discussing this particular issue with AFACT.

            To take an example from another sector, it would be fairly normal for different divisions of some companies — Apple and Microsoft, for example — to be talking to each other on cooperation measures in some areas, even while they are suing each other in other areas. In fact, this is precisely what happened in the 1990’s when Apple was suing Microsoft for stealing its graphical user interface.

            However, my issue here is that AFACT isn’t really a company with commercial interests per se. It’s an organisation set up with one sole purpose — to stop copyright infringement. In this case, it’s pretty hard for any discussion which iiNet has with AFACT to not be pertinent to the ongoing legal action. Whether information from those discussions spills over into the courtroom or not … it seems rather weird for iiNet to be talking to AFACT at all at the moment, outside discussions between lawyers.

            As for the white knight issue and the copyright hordes … of course iiNet is looking out for its commercial interests and I applied a bit of hyperbole. But I think it is hard to overlook iiNet’s role in this situation as being more than just a self-interested company. In an age where almost nobody is standing up for change in copyright law to match the change driven by new technology, iiNet is doing so. Some of these issues go beyond capitalism, and I think iiNet’s role in them has gone beyond capitalism as well.

            Many people really do see what iiNet is doing as *good* and AFACT as *bad*, and are phrasing it in those terms. Personally, I see it in terms of change. Organisations which obstruct change (AFACT) will normally suffer, while organisations which promote change (iiNet) will do well. As a journalist I am normally in favour of change — in fact, in a pure sense, I think that’s what journalism (and art) is meant to be to society — a mechanism for speeding up change.

            Anyway, thanks for your comments and your transparency on this, it is much appreciated.

            Renai

          • Filly P
            Posted 20/03/2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink |

            Steve Dalby said: “Internet Service Providers who provide access to the net. I’ll repeat that. They provide access to the net. ”

            So tell me – where does throttling bittorrent traffic and caching popular copyright works on your network fit in with an ISP’s role of providing access to the net and your legal responsibilities with respect to authorising the infringement of copyright?

            • Wellington
              Posted 21/03/2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink |

              I’d love to hear an answer to this question Steve

              • Steve Dalby - iiNet
                Posted 21/03/2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink |

                @wellington
                >>I’d love to hear an answer to this question Steve

                To tell the truth, I’m not sure what the question is.

                We don’t throttle traffic of any sort, services get shaped when they exceed their quota. As for caching, whatever we cache is done by agreement with the content owner. It’s licensed to us and we pay the appropriate fees.

                What does that have to do with our role as an ISP ? – I still don’t get the relevance of the question. Maybe its a generalisation more appropriate to other ISPs ?

            • PeterA
              Posted 21/03/2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink |

              So tell me – where does throttling bittorrent traffic and caching popular copyright works on your network fit in with an ISP’s role of providing access to the net and your legal responsibilities with respect to authorising the infringement of copyright?

              How can you tell a particular user doesn’t have the right to download a particular file?

              Oh I know! iiNet should pay to have access to the Rights Holder content and consumer databases, they should run every piece of media that passes through their networks through a content identification engine (maybe the rights holders will sell them access to one) and then once they have confirmed everyone who accesses the content is allowed access, only then will iiNet allow them to download something.

              Or, we could run the internet the way that works, which is caching is treated as part of the fabric of the internet, and required to reduce the latency and bandwidth requirements of heavily accessed materials.

              PS. who downloads infringing material using cacheable protocols? Maybe we should ask iiNet.

              PPS. The law is currently structured to (correctly) target Distributors of infringing material. In this case, caching it isn’t distributing, it is transmitting. (like Australia Post storing packages in a distribution warehouse doesn’t make it liable for the storage of prescription drugs transmitted in the post without a valid prescription).

              The Distributor is the person who offers (illegally) the material without rights to the copy they are offering.

              • Wellington
                Posted 21/03/2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink |

                Well, caching isreproducing, a right comprised in the copyright of copyright materials, which often requires the licence of the copyright owner……

                As for the throttling of bittorrent protocols – there’s evidence that iiNet, amongst others, do it – which of course goes directly to their knowledge of infringing activities occurring on their network and reasonable steps that they can take to prevent those infringements occurring.

                • Steve Dalby - iiNet
                  Posted 21/03/2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink |

                  >>> throttling of bittorrent protocols – there’s evidence that iiNet, amongst others, do it

                  No. That’s not correct.

                  I suspect you are confusing QoS, congestion and throttling.

                  It is common practice for traffic to be categorised. Using QoS, some traffic types are given priority over others. Voice traffic gets priority over browsing, for example. Email, IPTV, VPNs, all sorts of traffic types are managed and prioritised. Bittorrent traffic doesn’t get any specific category, it’s just lumped in with other low priority traffic.

                  During congestion events (which we always attempt to avoid), low priority traffic can see the effect of congestion before high priority traffic. We don’t throttle any traffic types, regardless of your suggestion.

                  >>> which of course goes directly to their knowledge of infringing activities occurring on their network and reasonable steps that they can take to prevent those infringements occurring.

                  Given your basic premise is false, this is moot.

                  Just like ‘everybody knows’ people are speeding on the roads, I don’t have specific information about individuals driving those speeding vehicles. We don’t monitor our customers’ internet activities. To do so would be against the Telecommunications Interception Act.

                  So – perhaps, like you, we ‘know’ that, in the abstract, Australians illegally share files over the internet, but both you and iiNet are unable to confirm specific infringements without court orders, warrants or permission from an authority.

                  Given that lack of specific knowledge, the so-called ‘reasonable steps’ are limited.

                  • Wellington
                    Posted 21/03/2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink |

                    Ok thanks – so you have the ability to ability to identify, categorise and deprioritise bittorrent trafic, which you know is used by your customers, in the vast majority of instances, to infringe copright. Good to know.

                    • Posted 21/03/2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink |

                      Wellington,

                      just a warning — your posts are verging on the inappropriate. It is well known that iiNet doesn’t throttle BitTorrent traffic, and you are also being somewhat rude regarding both Steve Dalby and Senator Ludlam — both of whom have gone to great lengths this week to provide transparency on these issues. We are very grateful to both for their contributions.

                      If you don’t moderate your posts a bit, I will consider putting you in the sin-bin for a week. Please see our comments policy here:

                      http://delimiter.com.au/comments-policy/

                      Cheers,

                      Renai

                      • Wellington
                        Posted 21/03/2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink |

                        Sorry Renai – I was just putting forward propositions and Steve’s responses to these are illuminating. I agree, his posts have been very helpful.

                        You said that everyone knows iiNet doesn’t throttle bittorrent – I can’t help but refer you to one of your own articles from 6 or so months ago that seems to suggests otherwise (or atleast alludes to a report that does)I:

                        http://delimiter.com.au/2011/10/21/which-australian-isps-throttle-bittorrent-the-most/

                      • Posted 21/03/2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink |

                        Interesting — you’re right. I had forgotten about that article. It obviously doesn’t reflect proof of in-network tampering, and obviously we now know the real deal courtesy of Steve’s comments, but definitely worth bringing up that link again. Thanks for reminding me of it, I apologise!

                    • Steve Dalby - iiNet
                      Posted 21/03/2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink |

                      @ Wellington.

                      No – that is also incorrect. You have carefully and deliberately twisted what I said.

                      Making stuff up is unhelpful.

                      Let me expand on my previous comment – We can’t ‘see’ bit torrent traffic, it is NOT identified, it is like a lot of other unidentified traffic which is simply left over and ‘unknown’. When I said lumped in, I was NOT referring to any ability to identify it and selectively allocate its own specific priority. It is lumped in by default – being unidentified, along with other traffic.

                      Your rephrasing of my answer is wrong. Nice try.

                      We don’t need to deprioritise all sorts of stuff. It just ends up in the left-overs, AFTER we have specifically tagged traffic that we want to have a priority.

                      • Resin
                        Posted 21/03/2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink |

                        Really? It seems highly unlikely that iiNet is not able to determine what propostion of traffic on its network is bittorent traffic. And if they don’t know, it’s probably been structured that way in accordance with legal advice that regardless of the utility of knowing, no one should know, and systems that enable such knowledge should be destroyed or never developed.

          • Clytie Siddall
            Posted 20/03/2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink |

            “Consumers have apparently opted to stay out of the debate.”

            Really? Many of us have posted, tweeted, commented, emailed, donated and demonstrated in favour of net neutrality in general and against copyright trolling.

            Just in the area of ebooks, I’ve spoken repeatedly about territorial rights excluding Australians from ebooks (including those by Australian authors), several of the Agency 6 publishers doubling ebook prices for Australians just before Christmas 2011, not to mention the barriers to purchase and access created by proprietary DRM, walled gardens and predatory “purchase” contracts which actually only rent you the ebook. I have personally visited hundreds of threads on these topics alone.

            I don’t pirate content, but I’m increasingly p*ssed off by the arrogant and inefficient behaviour of big publishers and studios. Do they want us to buy their stuff or not?

            I’m especially angered by the bullying and frankly dishonest behaviour of content lobby groups who sue kids for huge sums, just for downloading a single song, and continue to push the lies that every piece of content illegally downloaded is thus a sale lost. Did you miss the evaluation that a single iPod could “cost” the content industry billions of dollars?

            Every time my family wants to watch a movie or TV show and it’s not available to Australians, every time we have to buy a game overseas because it’s not available here, every time I try to buy an ebook and see the notice which effectively says “No Australians allowed”, I do something about it.

            How about you? Have you surveyed your customer base on the issues you’re discussing with government and AFACT? Or don’t their needs and views count in this long-term, aggressively secret discussion? (When you have to dig information out with repeated FoIs, and still find much of it “redacted”, no doubt “in the interests of national security”, that general-purpose whitewash, you are encountering aggressive, and historically quite unnecessary secrecy.)

            Disclosure: I am a long-term Internode customer, and a prolific purchaser of legal online content.

            • Noddy
              Posted 20/03/2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink |

              Where do you think the no Australians allowed comes from? You think US companies just decide to limit access to Australians when they don’t for others for no particular reason? It’s Australian distributors who insist they limit access to preserve their monopoly. Cross them and they don’t sell your products here.

              • PeterA
                Posted 21/03/2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink |

                Here is where you have it right Noddy.

                They get more money from the Australian distributors than they would get for selling it direct to the public.

                Therefore, by not telling the distributors to go jump, they are continuing the region lockout of Australia.

                PS. If all of the content producers started selling on their own terms in Australia, and told the distributors to like it or lump it, what the hell do you think would happen? The distributors wouldn’t buy anyones products? really? If they refuse to distribute products, what exactly is their business model?. Oh, they distribute someone *elses* products. Here’s the deal. You sell to every Distributor the same product, for the same wholesale cost. Let the Distributor add their markup. Whoever has the most efficient business model wins. this is how capitalism works. But, I mean, we really should change laws so capitalism doesn’t find the most efficient model, we should change laws so our special brand of capitalism always finds the most efficient model that resembles our current inefficient ones the most.

                • Noddy
                  Posted 21/03/2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink |

                  At several points I have worked as a developer owned by a publisher. I can’t talk for every publisher but we sold to Australian distributors at the same price as any other country.

                  The idea of telling the distributors to go jump is one I’d like to see. For it to work all publishes need to do it similtaneously. All buyers need to then order direct off the publisher as they do in other countries. The buyer has to not need the distributor for other product as they will not get it or get charged a lot of they bypass them for some product. Some contracts with distributors have to be broken with possible penalties. It would be nice, but they have a big lock in here, in a lot of cases there is not an alternate distributor.

              • Clytie Siddall
                Posted 21/03/2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink |

                I’m sure this greed from local distributors is a factor, but there are mainstream ebooks (at least) which are NEVER made available to us.

                Whenever I write to an author, telling him/her that I am not allowed to buy a specific book, the author answers numbly, “But I insisted on world rights for ebooks”.

                When I contact publishers, they refuse to answer. Diesel eBooks contacted HarperCollins to ask one of my questions, and HC answered, “We haven’t turned on any of our ebooks for Australia yet”.

                Leaving aside the fact that the answer was incorrect, staggering ignorant and didn’t actually address the question asked, this does show that publishers control access to a large degree. You won’t even get to distributor level if the publishers refuse to make the product available.

                If we’re discussing why Australians pirate content, and how to prevent it, access to legal, timely and reasonably-priced content is a key issue.

                • Noddy
                  Posted 21/03/2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink |

                  Oh, for sure. Having legal access will reduce it somewhat. I don’t think it wil put more than a dent in it though. There are plenty of times things were available cheaply and easily and there wasn’t really much difference in piracy levels. I hate the Australian book/DVD/whatever “cartells”. I am doing my bit to avoid them. I am sick of paying $30 dollars for a paperback. I now use my kindle and buy books at < $10 a copy. If it's not available to Australia I buy something else, their loss. I don't absolutely need to read a particular book, there are so many fine books out their to choose from.

          • Myke
            Posted 21/03/2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink |

            Steve,

            The boring meetings sounds reasonable.

            But … why would the attorney general’s dept waste time censoring ‘boring meetings’ etc?

            Surely they have better things to do with their time?

            Myke

    5. Common sense
      Posted 20/03/2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink |

      iiNet seems to be doing it’s best under difficult circumstances, particularly when the government is inadequately representing the people. The government is keeping it secret. The music and movie megacorps are still trying to avoid using the more than adequate copyright measures that are in place and place the burden of proof on the right party. Place blame were blame is due.

    6. Steve Dalby - iiNet
      Posted 20/03/2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink |

      >> “… it seems rather weird for iiNet to be talking to AFACT at all at the moment, outside discussions between lawyers.”

      It is weird. I don’t enjoy it. They want us to invest so that they can get our services for free.
      At the same time they are telling us that we must stop consumers getting their stuff for free.

      There is no conflict. Just weirdness.

      Speaking of weird …

      >> “For Dalby to claim that these discussions have never been a secret is patently absurd. We only know that they exist because their existence was leaked to the media six months ago.”

      Have you read what you wrote? You are saying that the only reason that you know about the ‘highly secret’ meetings was that it was in the papers six months ago. Personally, I think it was made known prior to that. If it’s reported in the public domain, how can it be secret – never mind ‘highly secret’? And you reckon my comments are ‘patently absurd’ ?

      • Posted 20/03/2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink |

        Steve,

        the existence of the first meeting was only in the public domain because someone leaked that to the press. Since that time, iiNet has been the only organisation involved to willingly provide any, and I mean any, information about what’s going on there. I refer you to the following articles on the matter:

        http://delimiter.com.au/2012/03/19/blackout-govt-piracy-meeting-completely-censored/
        http://delimiter.com.au/2012/01/17/govt-censors-secret-anti-piracy-meeting-notes/
        http://delimiter.com.au/2011/12/23/secret-piracy-talks-govt-banned-consumer-groups/
        http://delimiter.com.au/2011/10/17/govt-redacts-isp-anti-piracy-consultation-text/
        http://delimiter.com.au/2011/10/03/no-minutes-taken-at-secret-bittorrent-meeting/

        Cheers,

        Renai

      • Glenn
        Posted 20/03/2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink |

        Steve, first off its good that someone from iiNet is posting here, its more than consumers get from other ISPs, thanks.

        Im interested what you make of Renai’s assertion that “iiNet risks losing its integrity and the trust of its customers”.

        Personally i think iiNet definitely has had some golden years of customer loyalty and satisfaction, but wonder if that has continued into the last few years, do you see the media cartels as a threat to iiNets brand value ?

        • Steve Dalby - iiNet
          Posted 20/03/2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink |

          >>Personally i think iiNet definitely has had some golden years of customer loyalty and satisfaction, but wonder if that has continued into the last few years, do you see the media cartels as a threat to iiNets brand value ?

          Hi Glenn, I hope Renai doesn’t mind us turning this into a discussion forum :-)

          Customer retention is very important to us. Customer service plays a great part in that, so to do great products and services as well as value for money. On top of that (and this goes to Renai’s article) humans can’t help but to anthropomorphise things, including companies. So companies end up with ascribed personalities.

          Just like beauty, personality is also dependent on the observer. We can though, try to be honest and human in our contacts with the rest of the community. After all, most of us care about the way we are perceived, we like what we do and we are proud of our achievements.

          If developing that corporate personality also attracts or retains customers, then that is good news. But we don’t think that is enough.

          Our competitors are all after our lunch. We will eat theirs if we get the chance. Business success requires hard work, but even though Renai questions our ethics, we follow our own path and for us that means the customer comes first. Good service is good business. That’s the focus. If that increases brand value, that’s a bonus.

          • Danni
            Posted 21/03/2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink |

            Hi Steve.

            As Glenn has already stated, thank you for joining in the discussion. And I’ll echo his statement that it is rare indeed to see someone from any corporation do so. so, kudos to you!

            I’d also like to say that I love your dedication, tenacity, and integrity. It takes guts to stand up for what you believe in, especially against opposition that wields wealth and political clout. I’ve nothing but respect for you.

            Regarding Renai’s article, I do think she has a point – that entering into closed talks holds an inherent trap. Refuse the talks, and you are decried as doing nothing. Enter the talks, and you are accused of joining in the same closed-culture, backroom dealing entities that you are making a stand against in other arenas. It’s a lose-lose situation. To me, the only option in these circumstances is not to play. You’ve already done a lot of (open and transparent) work to meet their demands and discuss options. You have defended your clients, your business, and your own beliefs. Keep doing that.

            The SOPA/PIPA protests, and the ACTA protests that followed, weren’t as simple as the public rejecting rights holders assertions. It was also a backlash to non-transparent legislation that effects the internet and the public’s usage of the net. Australia hasn’t been overly affected as yet, but a large part of that is due to the court case between you and AFACT, although the TPP may result in an Australian backlash. The internet-using public are basically saying that we ARE stakeholders, and we demand the right to be consulted. Renai’s main contention, it seems to me, is that you run the risk of being included in that backlash simply by being included in non-transparent negotiations – regardless of your stance.

            It may remain a lose-lose situation, which would truly suck. But I would hate to see the adversarial tone of Renai’s article result in your dismissing her very real concern.

            • Nicholas
              Posted 21/03/2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink |

              I thought Renai was male? You referred to him/her as female.

              Have I missed something?! /boggle

              • Posted 21/03/2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink |

                I am male :)

                • Nicholas
                  Posted 21/03/2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink |

                  Must be the frog name :P

                  Renai/Renee etc

                  Glad it’s all sorted. I can safely go back to my lurking ways.

                • Danni
                  Posted 21/03/2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink |

                  @Renai – oops! My apologies. I did the stupid assumption thingy.

                  @Nicholas – thanks. :)

        • Steve Dalby - iiNet
          Posted 21/03/2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink |

          >>> … someone leaked that to the press.

          Renai,

          Did you ever pause to think who that someone might be ?

          Who would have the incentive to suggest that ” … the mood among industry representatives at the gathering was broadly co-operative and in agreement. Industry sources also said the department was beginning to accept that the introduction of three-strikes laws was likely.”

          Are there other sweaty palmed skulkers ?

          • Goku Missile Crisis
            Posted 22/03/2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink |

            For someone who is busy warning that Delimiter’s voice may soon render it irrelevant to industry types, you sure are putting a curious amount of effort into the comments here, and now this?

            This nudge nudge wink wink suggestion that you were responsible for leaking any details about these meetings to the media is disingenuous to say the least. Whether you did or not, that is a weasel’s way of trying to assuage your guilt at being complicit in corporate attempts to enforce protection of their dying business model.

            Truly supporting the interests of your customers would mean insisting that actual consumer groups are at the table when these discussion are held – or better yet, the EFA. I don’t think there would be anywhere near the stink that’s been kicked up around the secrecy involved, if groups like that were included from the beginning in a show of good faith.

            • Steve Dalby - iiNet
              Posted 22/03/2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink |

              @Goku – Obviously my comment was too obscure. I should have been clearer.

              We didn’t provide the leak for the original Oz article.

              I was inferring that the motivation for the leak could reasonably be extracted from the statements in the article.

              It is only the RHs that want a three strikes regime, not ISPs – so, in my mind, it is highly likely (especially so, given the newspaper involved) that the pro three-strikes comments and therefore, the leak, came from rights holders.

              I think if you read my comments again, with the Oz article, that conclusion should be obvious.

              >>> I don’t think there would be anywhere near the stink that’s been kicked up around the secrecy involved, if groups like that were included from the beginning in a show of good faith.

              Exactly, but you over-estimate our ability to determine the invitees. We don’t convene these meetings.

              I agree that community and consumer representation is appropriate, but why aren’t the organisations themselves pursuing an invite ? As Renai says, these so-called highly secret meetings have been regularly reported – apart from the Australian article, he has listed five of his own stories on the subject.

              • Goku Missile Crisis
                Posted 23/03/2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink |

                Steve, I’m sorry I misunderstood your implication the first time. I agree that the RHs logically have the most motivation for leaking details suggesting a three-strikes policy is imminent.

                I have to take issue with this, though:
                >>> I agree that community and consumer representation is appropriate, but why aren’t the organisations themselves pursuing an invite ? As Renai says, these so-called highly secret meetings have been regularly reported – apart from the Australian article, he has listed five of his own stories on the subject.

                As you would know, at least one of those articles reported the fact that such orgs HAVE sought to be included in the talks – and been rejected:
                http://delimiter.com.au/2011/12/23/secret-piracy-talks-govt-banned-consumer-groups/

                Ultimately, the problem here is that this is being treated as an industry problem with an industry solution. It’s not. These talks could potentially lead to ISPs and RHs becoming judge, jury & executioner when it comes to “acceptable” use of the internet. It’s not a situation in which I think it unreasonable for the public to be kept fully informed, if not directly involved, from day one.

                The closest thing we consumers have to representation in these meetings is the ISPs. It is disquieting when people like yourself profess ignorance of the degree of secrecy involved, when you seem not to understand what the big deal is, why we care so much about this. Thankfully there are people like Renai to turn up the heat on the Government and hopefully force them to either be more forthcoming with details, or ultimately accept that these discussions are illegitimate and need to be reframed in an open manner.

                • Steve Dalby - iiNet
                  Posted 23/03/2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink |

                  @Goku
                  i think we may be in violent agreement.

                  >>”…such orgs HAVE sought to be included in the talks – and been rejected:”

                  Yes, I read that as well. If it is important to them, they should be persistent in their approaches.

                  >>>”These talks could potentially lead to ISPs and RHs becoming judge, jury & executioner ”

                  Yes. ISPs certainly don’t want that responsibility. They are not equipped and it isn’t appropriate. They are pushing back on that scenario (at least iiNet is).

                  >>> “The closest thing we consumers have to representation in these meetings is the ISPs.”

                  Yes – That is not right is it ?

                  >>>”It is disquieting when people like yourself profess ignorance of the degree of secrecy involved, when you seem not to understand what the big deal is, why we care so much about this. ”

                  If I didn’t understand what a big deal it was, I wouldn’t have spent so much time in this forum over the last three days.

                  Just the opposite. I’m saying the issue is out there – consumers shouldn’t hide behind a ‘secret meetings’ excuse any more. They can get involved. It is a big deal, it’s been a big deal for a long time, there have been thousands of articles in dozens of countries on this issue for years.

                  This is a global issue. Regardless of a few articles labelling these recent meetings as ‘secret’ – the issue isn’t a secret. Even if it was, it isn’t anymore. What are consumers doing about participating in developing a solution? Waiting for an invite ? We didn’t.

                  Have community and consumer groups been active in the debate? – No, not in my experience. The responses I got when I spoke to consumer groups was – “This isn’t a priority for us right now”. Obviously they haven’t been really trying, otherwise they wouldn’t have accepted a brush-off so readily.

                  >>>”Thankfully there are people like Renai to turn up the heat on the Government and hopefully force them to either be more forthcoming with details…”

                  Cool. It’s really, really, really important to consumer organisations … so they’ve left it to the media. Lets hope this exchange pricks a few consciences. I’m sure you could follow them up yourself.

    7. Steve Dalby - iiNet
      Posted 21/03/2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink |

      @Myke
      >>But … why would the attorney general’s dept waste time censoring ‘boring meetings’ etc?

      I agree – I think that the meetings should be opened up. I have repeatedly called for Consumer/Community representation, and the answer is always “Maybe at the next meeting”.

      @Danni
      >>entering into closed talks holds an inherent trap.

      Possibly, but I have taken the view that if these discussions are going to be held, then I want to be part of it.

      I think the business risk to iiNet of any arrangements being put in place by others, without our input, far exceeds the negativity attached to our participation.

      I think the same approach should be taken by Consumer or community representatives and they should be persistent in their requests for inclusion.

      • Nicholas
        Posted 21/03/2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink |

        Really good debate here guys.

        Steve – we (the faceless internet masses – ie. consumers) are thankful for you trying your best to get things done ‘correctly’ without getting stonewalled.

        Renai – thanks for putting out the articles to generate debate. There will always be haters, but at least the questions get asked.

        Interesting times ahead in the internet landscape. The sooner the RH’s just offer their content for $10/month ala Netflix USA, and send it over devices like FetchTV the sooner everyone can just shut up and take my money.

      • Danni
        Posted 21/03/2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink |

        @Steve – fair enough, and as I said, it is a lose-lose situation. It makes sense that you choose the option that best supports your business. As long as you are aware of the possible negative public reaction, it can be deminished, at the least. Thank you for pushing for transparency, and for talking to us about it! I also agree, consumer groups need to push harder, as do the media. Renai and a few others are doing a great job, but most media outlets are blissfully (or willfully) ignorant.

        Thanks for reading my thoughts on the matter, and best of luck with the talks and the future.

        @Nicholas – I %100 agree with your post. Well said.

    8. PeterA
      Posted 21/03/2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink |

      I’d like to tack on the end of these comments:

      @Steve: Renai’s article might have been horrible hyperbole and painting an overly complex (and really quite odd) narrative, but your comments as a direct result have given me (and I can assume others) a slightly better feel for at the very least iiNets position on the whole thing. You aren’t throwing consumers to the wolves so to speak.

      So, while you might not like the article, the result has been better journalism as a whole. There is more information out there now, and that information is clearer, than it was before. Not to mention, this kind of thing (iiNet’s position on certain things) can change over time. No one can reasonably expect every position to be rigid. But at least iiNet’s position remains [mostly? entirely?] unchanged (namely law and due process should be adhered to in all cases, not ignored when any one particular industry squeals).

    9. socrates
      Posted 21/03/2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink |

      I don’t see a problem with iiNet being at the talks – if there have to be talks, that is. The government, for whatever reason, seems open to a large amount of suggestion from the content corporations.

      One possible benefit of iiNet attending is that they are a significant player but without an in-house content marketing operation. This should mean that they can be a lot more objective than the service providers who are flogging a lot of stuff themselves.

    10. Jonathan Wilson
      Posted 21/03/2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink |

      I do not have a problem with copyright holders wishing to enforce their copyright.
      What I have a problem with is:
      1.Anything related to ISP disconnections (3 strikes etc)
      2.Anything that in any way makes ISPs liable for the actions of their users (we need to go the other way and increase safe harbor provisions for ISPs with respect to their users actions. In fact I would advocate going further and giving ISPs similar status with regard to their users actions as telephone companies have with regard to the actions of their users when it comes to illegal or potentially illegal activity carried out over the phone lines)
      3.ANYTHING at all that allows copyright holders to obtain user information about ISP customers or that allows copyright holders to request ISPs take action (adding a “strike” to the customer or sending the customer a notice for example) without first having to go to court and show in front of a judge clear proof (with the same standards of evidence that would apply in any other copyright case) that at was illegally sharing AND clear proof that they do hold the copyright to or are authorized to act on behalf of the entity owning the copyright to

      If going to court is too expensive or would cause problems for the court system (i.e. preventing more important cases being heard), create a new special system for this but keep the same standards of evidence I mentioned above.

      • Steve Dalby - iiNet
        Posted 21/03/2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink |

        >>>”What I have a problem with is:…”
        >>>”In fact I would advocate … ”

        The Attorney General would no doubt be a good starting point for any advocacy
        Business spectator (or Google) is a good source for contact details.

        http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/67A576305E1A459CCA25779800035CE4?OpenDocument&emcontent_gillardregime

        The official site is less fulsome.

        http://www.attorneygeneral.gov.au/Contacts/Pages/default.aspx

      • Noddy
        Posted 21/03/2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink |

        So, what would you suggest?

        Unless there is an economical way of penalising people the only options are expensive and that means people caught would pay big dollars if found guilty.

        I know there will be posts that they need to change business model, blah, blah, blah. But it is an existing law, and one that is ineffective because there isn’t an economical way to enforce it.

        Sorry if you think content creators owe you something. The rise of the internet has worked two ways, it’s increased the ease and volume of copyright violation. It has also show content creators what a bunch on whiney douche bags the people who they worked hard to produce content for really are.

        • Steven
          Posted 23/03/2012 at 2:54 am | Permalink |

          Noddy, you seem to have missed the third way “the rise of the internet has worked” – the way it has allowed legal download services such as Steam, iTunes, Amazon and many others to thrive while allowing consumers to access content in convenient formats and reasonable prices.

    11. CMOTDibbler
      Posted 21/03/2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink |

      To borrow from Lyndon B Johnson, the government probably believes it is better to have iiNet inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in. I think what they might have is iiNet inside the tent pissing in.

    12. Sputnik
      Posted 21/03/2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink |

      Perhaps we are approaching this from the wrong side?

      Why not change the laws regarding content so this becomes a non-issue?

      Or, we charge ISP users $5 per 10GB of traffic over 10GB a month or something and then send that money to the RHs? (In return, users can download what they please). (Adjust numbers to suit).

      Charging $30 for a DVD just doesn’t work these days. Hell even if I wanted to pay $30 a disk, I don’t like filling my lounge room shelves with DVDs when they can all hide invisibly on a single device, which is indexed and easier to access.

      • Noddy
        Posted 21/03/2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink |

        Stuffed if I want to pay $5 per 10GB so you can just take what you want.

        Also, which rights holders get the money? Even distribution? Where is the incentive to create something good? Produce any bit of rubbish and dip your hand in the bucket of money?

        • Sputnik
          Posted 21/03/2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink |

          You wouldn’t pay anything unless you exceeded a download point of X size.

          Lets face it, all those home users on 100GB plans aren’t downloading linux distros.

          I agree the issue of distributing that money back to RH’s becomes a serious issue, but surely that could be worked out.

          I honestly don’t see any other solution unless the RH’s start distributing online, globally and instantly at a fair price.

          • Noddy
            Posted 21/03/2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink |

            I’m on a 200GB plan, don’t use bittorrent, violate copyright or download linux and still manage to use a large portion of my quota.

      • CLANCULARIUS
        Posted 21/03/2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink |

        A tax collection for rights holders would not be a good idea.

        This would only encourage a churn and burn system where releasing just about any old rubbish and sticking your hand out afterwards for a share of this tax. I don’t copyright infringe – save HDD caching of web pages which may contain infringing material – so why should I have to pay this tax and see a share go towards movies I did not purchase either. Under your system the producers of the movie The Hurt Locker – which I have never seen not intend to purchase – would still get money from me through a share of this tax.

        There are plenty of further arguments against such a tax but to keep this post short:
        I fail to see how such a system would ‘promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts’.

    13. Stephen
      Posted 21/03/2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink |

      To be honest, I think this particular article/opinion piece was misplaced. Iinet is the only participant who’s said anything about these discussions. I’d prefer to see criticism of the others in the room (except that we don’t really know who they are).

      It is good, though, to see a quick, direct response from the ISP. As someone who has recently become a customer of iiNet (through acquisition) I am keen to have an ISP that represents its subscribers rather than just taking the money and running. I am definitely not impressed with Telstra and Optus, and their desire to censor the interwebs.

      • Posted 21/03/2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink |

        “It is good, though, to see a quick, direct response from the ISP”

        +1

    14. Steve Dalby - iiNet
      Posted 21/03/2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink |

      @Stephen
      >>I’d prefer to see criticism of the others in the room (except that we don’t really know who they are)

      Renai posted the FoI docs. Plenty of references there. Even shows my phone number.

      • Posted 21/03/2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink |

        Telstra, Optus, AFACT, the Australian Content Industry Group, the Communications Alliance, the Internet Industry Association, various other film, movie, music and TV groups.

    15. Posted 21/03/2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink |

      Actually, I think Renai’s article was pretty good. It addressed a matter that has been a topic of discussion for some while: why are the secret meeting so secret? and why is iinet involved with them?

      Steve Dalby has let his views about Renai and his article be well expressed, and although Renai is being upbeat at the criticism it seems to me that Steve is still pretty angry so far.

      On to other matters: One thing that isn’t yet apparent to me is why the rights holders are so unwilling to set up a new business model and allow a low cost, world-wide distribution of media that makes use of the public craving for the latest shows? If they think they’re losing money from pirating (so called), why not actually do what the sweaty punters have been begging for years and make difficult/impossible to find shows readily available to download, for a fee? Aren’t they in the business of making money? Where’s the profit in encouraging people to go to unlicensed sources (through RH intransigence) for what they want, and then calling them criminals? I don’t see the payoff in the current system.

    16. Michael
      Posted 21/03/2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink |

      This has been one of the most interesting articles I have read in a long time on a subject that is important to the vast majority of Australians; particularly as the NBN rolls out and citizen’s guarantees of broadband access effectively being ratified (which in my mind alone justifies the investment in the project). I would like to thank Renai for posting the subject and offer special thanks to Steve for spending so much of his valuable time providing clear, professional responses to virtually every query presented; however aggressively.

      I think, in some ways, the broader point is being missed. The purpose of universal broadband access in Australia has become less about media content (although that is certainly its biggest consumer) and more about the availability of information and services to the public. I doubt anyone under the age of 50 conducts their lives these days without a substantial part of both their personal and professional lives being online. Everything from research to banking to communications to government services is firmly entrenched within our online community and any efforts to limit or control that in order to suit RHs would be a disaster for our progress.

      Is piracy wrong? Absolutely! The problem of trying to control/limit it by targeting ISPs is that it will ultimately penalise all subscribers for the actions of only some. It’s like shutting off the gas for a whole suburb because a half-dozen residents diddled their meters (or jacking the price up by several hundred percent). ISPs today are effectively another utility provider; as important as water, gas and electricity. A rapidly increasing number of people are already fully dependent on their ISP for ALL their communication needs as the use of VoIP grows. In its last election campaign, the government recognised the pre-eminence of a connected, educated population by making the NBN it’s key platform (and IMHO the reason why it squeaked through its win). They should ratify that platform by protecting its citizens rights to accessing that connection rather than trying to bow to lobbyist pressure.

      The ultimate problem (and I am sure I am preaching to the choir) is that content costs TOO MUCH. RHs are trying to hold on to the 70s-90s model of being able to stiff their customers with insanely high prices and huge profits. If they charged a reasonable fee for their content, and made it available in an appropriate timely fashion, there would be far fewer people downloading it for free. This is no longer rhetoric; Apple has proven 10 billion times over that the right price will attract the mass market; so have Hulu and Netflix in the US. Why not extend those models and offer crisp, high-quality releases of their products for a nominal price? Even localised with ads this would still be very appealing. 10 million buys @ $5 each with 10% piracy is a hell of a lot better than 1 million buys @ $25 each with 90% piracy (NB: I just plucked those figures out of the air). Once RHs move to a fair consumer model, many of their issues will go away. Unfortunately, I am probably being Utopian here as most RHs’ aren’t interested in fairness; their lobby is to be able to continue to charge high prices whilst also opening the door for ludicrously high lawsuits (a la $100k+ per infringement) in order to further line their already bulging pockets.

    17. Adam
      Posted 22/03/2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink |

      The easiest way to figure this out is to follow the money trail.

      No doubt, iiNet is probably positioning itself to get a golden handshake at some point. All in the name of providing a good return for their shareholders – which by law is what they’re supposed to do.

      Why else would you sit down?

      • Steve Dalby - iiNet
        Posted 22/03/2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink |

        >>>” iiNet is probably positioning itself to get a golden handshake ”

        Highly unlikely. This is more about avoiding being lumped with the inefficient costs of protecting Hollywood’s rights, while they get all the benefits. So: just the opposite to your suggestion.

        >>>”providing a good return for their shareholders – which by law is what they’re supposed to do.”

        Not quite.
        What we’re required to do is to act in the best interests of our shareholders. If that generates a good return, it’s a bonus. If we weren’t a financially healthy business, we would not have the wherewithal to deal with such matters, including defending the, so far, unsuccessful court case.

        >>> “Why else would you sit down?”

        Because it’s wrong.
        Because no equivalent jurisdiction equates allegations to guilt and because the RHs have to understand that switching the internet off won’t fix their antiquated, bad business practices.

        • Wellington
          Posted 22/03/2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink |

          Steve Dalby said “Because no equivalent jurisdiction equates allegations to guilt ”

          Well, we’ll have to take your word that that’s exactly what is being proposed.

          “Equivalent jurisdictions” (which I take to include the UK, France, South korea, New Zealand and the USA) all now have (at various stages of development) graduated response regimes which place a much greater degree of responsibility on ISPs to take action against piracy facilitated by their services compared to what iiNet has proposed as a compromise solution to this problem (which essentially involves complying with the law, as is).

          One has to ask: have all of those countries got it wrong in their policy approach to this issue, whilst iiNet’s approach, on the other hand (of essentially doing nothing), is an equitable one embedded deeply in the public interest?

          • Steve Dalby - iiNet
            Posted 22/03/2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink |

            >>>Well, we’ll have to take your word that that’s exactly what is being proposed.

            My direct experience is that a their allegations are riddled with errors. It is therefore, quite simple to show that allegations do not equal guilt.

            You might want to believe that their ‘evidence’ is cogent and unequivocal. It isn’t. I have no idea what experience you have on this front.

            >>>“Equivalent jurisdictions” (which I take to include the UK, France, South korea, New Zealand and the USA) all now have graduated response regimes which place a much greater degree of responsibility on ISPs to take action against piracy

            You may want to catch up on your reading. Don’t assume too much.
            The UK (apart from a host of other obligations) have ruled that RHs will pay 100% of ISP costs.

            France’s HADOPI is operated by the government utilising magistrates (not ISPs) . After spending 20m Euros a year for the last two years (of taxpayers money), they’ve sent out more than 800,000 notices and prosecuted 165 people – 0.02% effective rate. They have, not surprisingly flagged that it is not cost effective and are considering a ‘fair use’ policy.

            NZ require the RHs to pay a fee for the work carried out by ISPs. I understand the RHs don’t use the service, and no notices have been sent.

            In the US, some ISPs have struck a commercial deal. No details of the commercials are available and no notices have yet been sent.

            >>> have all of those countries got it wrong in their policy approach to this issue…

            I like the French approach. Their courts and government have been more involved in this for longer than us. They seem to be moving beyond notices.

            >>>whilst iiNet’s approach … of essentially doing nothing…

            Nice try – when you say ‘doing nothing’, you really mean not doing exactly what the rights holders demand – your colours are showing.

            We’re being criticised for being involved in discussions, for having tried to craft a solution, but obviously that’s ‘nothing’ to you ?

            I assume from your dismissal of our involvement that you subscribe to the simplistic – “hey you use the internet, your IP address came up, you’re a pirate – Disconnect !!” model?

            This is even despite the fact that there is no provision in the Copyright Act for such steps or such penalty ?
            You must think it’s OK for Hollywood to make up its own rules on anything.

            • Russell Stuart
              Posted 24/03/2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink |

              That’s the best summary of the state of play of the RH’s vs the Internet I have read. But you missed one recent development.

              In the US, the cable providers have agreed to implement a 6 strikes policy. The cable companies don’t do their own monitoring or filtering, then just forward the accusations of a RH onto their customer. After the 6th such notice, the ISP’s have agreed to implement punitive measures – throttling or disconnection. The customer is assumed to be guilty. If they want to challenge the accusation, they must pay the ISP to do the investigation. The threat of disconnection is worse that it would be here in Australia because many US internet users have only one broadband ISP available – their cable company. And of course only one cable company passes their house.

              From the consumers point of view this is obviously not a great deal. Some non government entity can accuse them of wrong doing at no expense to themselves and no burden of proof, the customer has to pay to extract themselves out of the mess if they are innocent, and the entity they are paying is an alliance of private companies whose main motivation is to extract money from them, not to implement the law fairly and justly.

              It’s not a great deal for the ISP either as they risk loosing customers and they still have the administrative costs. Which raises the question as to why the ISP would agree to it. The answer appears to be it is because they are cable companies, so their interests align with the RH’s to some extent as they make money from on-selling copyrighted content. To put it bluntly – if customers download cable content over the internet, they don’t need to buy cable channels.

              The way we in Australia enforce the division between the local loop owner and the ISP protects us from this to some extent as is means most of us have access to multiple ISP’s, and under the NBN this will just get better. Nonetheless I can’t help but notice recent attempts by ISP’s to position themselves as media delivery companies – with T-Box, FetchTV and the like. If the NBN is completed I can’t see the current cable networks surviving, so this is likely to grow over time. Then the motivations of companies like iiNet will shift towards what we already see in this US.

        • Adam
          Posted 22/03/2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink |

          >>> Highly unlikely. This is more about avoiding being lumped with the inefficient costs of protecting Hollywood’s rights, while they get all the benefits. So: just the opposite to your suggestion.

          So if they pay you X dollars per case, then you’re not happy to help?

          >>> What we’re required to do is to act in the best interests of our shareholders. If that generates a good return, it’s a bonus.

          Yes, but that doesn’t mean that all deals are in the interests of consumers. You’re not the local copyright sheriff (that’s supposed to be the role of the government), but it looks extremely bad that attendees are going out of their way to make sure that it’s a black box.

          >>> Because it’s wrong.

          Yes it’s wrong, and you have the court’s backing – but you’re still attending secret meetings with things like SOPA hanging in the air. My personal experience is that when people want things to go in the direction “they” want, they simply eliminate people (and transparency) from the discussion.

          • Steve Dalby - iiNet
            Posted 22/03/2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink |

            @Adam
            >>>So if they pay you X dollars per case, then you’re not happy to help?
            Not offered. Not likely. See my comments on NZ.

            The point I continue to make is that if they refuse to pay for ISPs policing their rights, why do they think ISPs should? (There are many more issues than payment)

            Their constant whinge is an economic one about billions in lost profits – if the problem is fixed, they stand to gain some portion of those lost profits (but only if the argument is true) – so why would ISPs pay for them to make an economic gain without any benefit to the ISP?

            >>>it looks extremely bad that attendees are going out of their way to make sure that it’s a black box.

            Not sure what a black box is, but if you think we shouldn’t attend stakeholder meetings that could have a significant effect on our business, then I guess you don’t understand business.

            >>>you’re still attending secret meetings with things like SOPA hanging in the air.

            Too right !
            It is in our interest to be well informed and to offer our perspective, rather than have it served up to us on a plate.

            I don’t think labelling routine meetings as ‘secret’ serves any purpose, other than to increase readership.

            We will continue to advocate for increased transparency and a greater involvement of all stakeholders.

    18. Troden
      Posted 22/03/2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink |

      Id personally like to thank Steve Dalby for his input on this ‘forum’ of sorts. As a iiNet customer for over 5 years its good to hear responses direct from the horses mouth and not via the grape vine or roomers.
      No horses were injured in this comment.

      Thanks Steve!

      • Posted 22/03/2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink |

        +1

      • raymond
        Posted 22/03/2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink |

        +2

        Very well argued by Steve Dalby.

    19. Brendan
      Posted 22/03/2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink |

      Holy heck Renai. Don’t pull any punches! ;)

      I’m pleased iiNet is represented. I hope a number of other ISPs are as well. And industry groups whom purport to be “for the people” – they should repeatedly request entry to the meetings.

      I don’t agree with the title of the post, though. Or the content, for that matter. It’s the reverse; by taking this seriously and standing for a half-decent outcome it increases their integrity, frankly.

      Having a conversation with those whom will define your fate, is far better to not seeing it coming.

      I’m not sure there will be a satisfactory outcome for anyone, though, despite the effort, as I’ve commented elsewhere: http://delimiter.com.au/2012/03/21/senate-order-greens-demand-secret-piracy-docs/#comment-359875

    20. Richard Bourke
      Posted 22/03/2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink |

      Thank you Steve Dalby – you have provided invaluable information in this thread.

      As an Australian, it is always uplifting to see the underdog ‘aussie battle’ taking on Goliath, in this case the MPAA (mother of all Goliaths). It not only makes it easier to get to sleep at night, but every line of Federal and High Court transcript also provides a reason to break out the popcorn – yes I am one of the nerds that reads every line of transcript :)

      Thanks must also go out to Michael Malone who voluntarily led himself to character-slaughter by the butcher Bannon SC (always particularly scathing in his line of questioning!).

      As Steve correctly stated: other countries (UK, France, NZ, USA) do not force ISPs to bow down the demands of the MPAA. I am against Nationalism/Patriotism – however in this instance I’ll make an exception! Australia must not be bullied by the MPAA into being the first country to be at its beg and call.

      iiNet should be applauded for their unfaltering and unrelenting staunch defense of our rights and our freedoms. If I ever see Steve or Michael in the street I will offer them a hug and a beer.

      For they are our heroes.

      The MPAA needs to take a leaf from the RIAA – make content available where people want it, and remove market segmentation (e.g. region coding) once and for all.

      You wouldn’t steal a car.
      You wouldn’t steal a handbag.
      You wouldn’t steal a television.

      Market segmentation by region is stealing from consumers!

      Don’t buy into movie studio piracy!

      • Richard Bourke
        Posted 22/03/2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink |

        And finally I’ll quote my learned friend, Kim Weatherall:

        Copyright law has become immensely more complicated. It is simply not possible to explain copyright in simple terms. Ordinary people shouldn’t have to learn these complicated rules in order to avoid criminal liability.

        And second, why should the order be criminalise first, educate later? Why try to ‘educate’ people by holding over them the Sword of Damocles of a criminal penalty? Criminal law earns disrespect when it contravenes people’s moral sense. Frankly, at the moment, people have quite a lot of disrespect for the copyright law. People are likely to have even more disrespect if told that you can be a criminal for contravening these artificial and intangible rights where you didn’t know what you were doing was wrong. I think with copyright that, at least where we are talking about the general public (and not the nasty evil counterfeiters), we need to tread a little softly. Copyright depends on goodwill for its enforcement, because it is so easy to transgress. We need to handle that goodwill with respect, and treat ordinary people with respect, in the way we draft the laws. Threatening them with criminal liability is not a good way to earn goodwill.

        Empirical research shows:

        Treat people like criminals – they are more inclined to become criminals.
        Treat people like honest citizens – they are more inclined to be honest citizens.

        One day the MPAA will learn this piece of common sense.

    21. MM
      Posted 23/03/2012 at 12:22 am | Permalink |

      Steve has argued the obvious, but I’d like to go back to first principles. And it is about principles. I’ve spent $8.5m defending this case so far and it’s not about who pays, it’s about due process. The rights holders are alleging that an offense occurred at this date and time, and that iiNet should work out who that was (at our cost) and punish somebody because of that allegation. Forget about independent oversight. It’s just they said so. But overseas experience shows that they get it wrong so we can’t rely on their evidence, even if we thought that a lack of independent oversight was ok.

      I reiterate our other point: if you are breaching copyright, and a rights holder can be bothered suing you through the court system, in my opinion you are stuffed. We have never said online piracy is ok. Our philosophical position is that rights holders must actually put their evidence to independent scrutiny.

      MM

      • Posted 23/03/2012 at 12:44 am | Permalink |

        Hey everyone,

        FYI I believe this comment is by iiNet CEO Michael Malone (hence ‘MM’).

        Cheers,

        Renai

      • Richard Bourke
        Posted 23/03/2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink |

        >>> And it is about principles. I’ve spent $8.5m defending this case so far and it’s not about who pays, it’s about due process.

        I was going to mention that in my post – some people have the misconception that just because iiNet wins a judgment then AFACT has to pay. Actually AFACT only has to pay part of the total legal costs regardless of whether it loses. MM definitely is spending millions of dollars defecting the rights and freedoms of all Australian citizens.

        Now iiNet did know this at the very start – they knew it would cost them millions. They could have chosen to cave in to the MPAA and instead donate those millions to a more worthwhile cause (educating orphaned third-world children springs to mind!) but no – they chose instead to defend all of us.

        Words cannot express how grateful we are.

    22. Posted 25/03/2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink |

      So, iiNet talking privately with government bodies and AFACT to try to come to terms isn’t a good idea?

      Come on, give us all a break here. I don’t really think AFACT is going to negotiate out in the open, and paranoia aside, I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that iiNet’s goal is to screw it’s customers.

      I’m not saying you don’t make valid points. I just think the parties talking is a better idea than them suing each other ad infinitum. I think iiNet having the opportunity to get AFACT and the others to work through the technology and understand it in terms of their business practice, as others have put it, can only be helpful to both the content producers and the internet industry.

      So, I for one support iiNet in sitting down with all parties and trying to come to a reasonable conclusion. I assume that we will hear in detail when a provisional agreement is reached; I for one don’t want my time wasted with the minutae until that time comes and I imagine much discussion is needed before that will be arrived at!

    23. Posted 04/04/2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink |

      Might vote for the Libs :)

    24. Posted 04/04/2012 at 6:41 pm | Permalink |

      taking piracy offline ie off the internet will not stop people…they’ll just go down the video shop and copy disks so either way it doesn’t matter.




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