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  • Intellectual Property, News - Written by on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 11:08 - 63 Comments

    Consumer group has piracy conflict of interest

    news A substantial conflict of interest issue has arisen regarding the participation by the sole consumer group invited to attend the Government’s secret Internet piracy talks, with the group’s chairman attending the meetings also currently leading the peak national organisation devoted to advocating copyright on behalf of creative professionals.

    On Thursday this week, major Australian ISPs will sit down with representatives of the film, television and music industries in a closed door meeting arranged by the Federal Attorney-General’s Department, with the aim of discussing a potential industry resolution to the issue of Internet piracy. The meeting will be the fifth such meeting to be held, after a series of other meetings were held late last year under similar circumstances.

    The Attorney-General’s Department has in the past kept the meetings heavily under wraps and has explicitly denied requests to attend the meetings by consumer groups. However, yesterday the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, which is itself funded by the Federal Government, confirmed it had been invited to attend the latest round of talks.

    However, a substantial conflict of interest issue has emerged regarding ACCAN’s attendance at the talks. ACCAN has stipulated that it will be represented by staffer Jonathan Gadir, its in-house acting director of Policy & Campaigns. However, yesterday it emerged that the organisation’s chairman, UTS law professor Michael Fraser (pictured), would also be attending the talks.

    It is believed that Fraser will be attending in his role as director of UTS’ Communications Law Centre. However, in May this year, Fraser was also appointed chairman of the Australian Copyright Council. The Australian Copyright Council is a major national organisation established in 1968 and devoted to advocating on copyright issues on behalf of the creative industries — Australian writers, musicians, photographers, artists, journalists, film-makers and architects.

    The group has an active role in influencing copyright policy in Australia, and this role sees it advocate strongly for the rights of the creative industries. For example, in a submission to the Federal Government’s Convergence Review earlier this year, the Copyright Council argued that under proposed changes to Australia’s Safe Harbour scheme, it was an important element that Australian Internet service providers should “adopt and reasonably implement policies to avoid liability for authorisation” of copyright infringement, “including termination, in appropriate circumstances, of the accounts of repeat infringers”.

    The issue of whether ISPs should terminate the accounts of users who can be demonstrated to infringe copyright is an extremely inflammatory one, and very few Australian ISPs will actively take such action, typically seeing it as being against the rights of users. The issue is likely to be one which has been and will again be discussed at the talks being held by the Attorney-General’s Department. And is is likely that ACCAN will argue against the need to terminate users’ accounts for repeated Internet piracy activities.

    Fraser also has an extensive background in copyright protection in general in Australia. He has been a director of the Australian Copyright Council since 2001, and was also a founder and CEO of the Copyright Agency Limited for 21 years. CAL is an organisation which seeks to collect copyright fees and royalties for copyright holders in Australia, including journalists (disclosure: Delimiter publisher Renai LeMay has received fees from CAL for re-prints of articles he wrote when employed by the Australian Financial Review).

    Fraser has not returned a number of calls seeking comment about the conflict of interest in his role attending the Attorney-General’s talks. However, the professor’s attendance at the talks has not gone un-noticed, with the Australian division of political organisation the Pirate Party slamming Fraser’s attendance at the talks.

    “Whilst including ACCAN as the consumer representative is a step in the right direction in addressing concerns that consumers will be represented, we can’t help but feel that they are a poor choice,” wrote the organisation’s deputy president Simon Frew in an open letter to the Attorney-General’s Department on the issue. “Their chairperson is Michael Fraser who has also just been named chairperson of the Australian Copyright Council. He is not a representative of consumer interests and it is hard to see an organisation that he leads will be an impartial and fair advocate for consumers.”

    “To rectify this imbalance we request that these discussions be opened up to transparent public participation. Whilst organising public participation would be difficult for the meeting planned Thursday, we would be able to send a representative to carry out this function as some representation on behalf of the public would provide a better outcome for Australian consumers than the currently proposed limited representation.”

    “Due to the secrecy surrounding the negotiations so far, we are concerned that the agreement will be unbalanced in favor of rights holders and old media at the expense of consumers. Our attempts at finding out details through a Freedom of Information request was met with many pages completely blacked out, exacerbating our fears that consumers’ rights will be trampled on.”

    In response, a spokesperson for the Attorney-General’s Department wrote to Frew, denying the Pirate Party’s request to attend the secret talks, but holding out the possibility of greater public participation in later talks. “Please be assured that arrangements for the roundtable discussion to be held on 7 June 2012 specifically include a number of participants from several consumer representative bodies,” they wrote.

    opinion/analysis
    It’s hard to see what bigger conflict of interest there could be in these talks, than for the chair of the consumer group attending the talks to also be representing the creative industries, and I feel very strongly that Michael Fraser must recuse himself immediately from attending the talks held by the Attorney-General’s Department.

    Fraser’s defence in this case would no doubt be that he is attending the talks in his role as director of UTS’ Communications Law Centre. However, it is my strong personal opinion that that it is impossible to separate Fraser’s role at UTS from his other roles chairing both the Australian Copyright Council and ACCAN. This is the same person, after all.

    It is possible to argue that ACCAN’s staff representation at the talks, Jonathan Gadir, will act independently of Fraser, and this is no doubt the argument that ACCAN would make in this case. However, Gadir could hardly help but be aware that ultimately Fraser is, in some form, one of the figures overseeing ACCAN in general. Ultimately, all staff at ACCAN are accountable to the organisation’s board, and Fraser chairs that board.

    In general, ACCAN and the Australian Copyright Council are organisations which represent very different and conflicting interests. It bears noting that the content industries, which the ACC represents on issues of copyright, have long been debating what legal action should be taken against the telecommunications consumers represented by ACCAN. We’ve seen this issue play out in the High Court courtesy of iiNet’s legal defence against the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft. Fraser cannot be unaware of this fact, as he is an expert in copyright law; and I believe he should seriously consider the fact that his dual roles chairing ACCAN and the ACC place him in an unavoidable and ongoing conflict of interest situation.

    There is also a wider issue here. Why has the Attorney-General’s Department invited a UTS professor to attend these talks, but not opened the talks to the wider public? It increasingly seems as as if the list of those who are allowed to attend these secret talks is a highly exclusive one. The longer they go on without the involvement of the public, and without any information from the talks being made available, the longer this whole process becomes increasingly compromised. And I, for one, am tired of it.

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    1. Daniel Myles
      Posted 06/06/2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink |

      What a joke. These talks are a joke, the government is a joke. Transparency around this issue is the biggest joke of all.

    2. Goku Missile Crisis
      Posted 06/06/2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink |

      This is absolutely scandalous. How can ACCAN possibly represent the interests of consumers in the face of such high-level conflict of interest? And another thing – why is ISOC still not invited?

      This would be a good time for iiNet to walk away, as previously threatened.

    3. muso1
      Posted 06/06/2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink |

      Fair point.
      Who would best represent consumers instead.
      Don’t suggest The Pirate Party!!!!!!!
      The best, least biased Aussie consumer advocate I’ve come across is Choice:
      http://www.choice.com.au/about-us/who-is-choice.aspx

      • Posted 06/06/2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink |

        +1

      • Goku Missile Crisis
        Posted 06/06/2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink |

        +1

      • GongGav
        Posted 06/06/2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink |

        +1

        I’d still like to see The Pirate Party be involved with this, simply for balance. There are so many biased players at one end of the debate, there needs to be biased players at the other end to keep them in check.

        Choice is a good option, and I’d also like to see ACCC involved as well as a neutral bystander. You cant tell me that with all these like minded groups together there isnt some informal colusion happening as a result. Colusion thats not to the benefit of the consumer.

        Any talks like these should have ACCC involved by the way for that very reason.

      • Posted 06/06/2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink |

        I know it’s weird to even suggest it, but why shouldn’t we let the people represent themselves? Open the dicussions up, air it on TV and stream it over the Internet, allow public submissions. I heard this could just work – the Greek even called it “democracy”.

        • Posted 06/06/2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink |

          What a crazy idea; didn’t that go out of fashion thousands of years ago?

        • Bruce
          Posted 06/06/2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink |

          Because that would be a bit like the discussion we get to have on bicycle helmets and speed cameras every now and then. People get to vent and then they are ignored, meanwhile the illusion of democracy and choice moves on.

          • Troden
            Posted 07/06/2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink |

            U got it Bruce!

      • Myke
        Posted 06/06/2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink |

        At the very least it should be someone that is paying for Game of Thrones and covers their ears in polite conversation so they don’t get spoilers!!!

        • Steve Dalby - iiNet
          Posted 06/06/2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink |

          + 1

          :-)

          We’ll be there, but I can’t see rights holders (Hollywood) changing their position any time soon.
          AFACT don’t have any customers in Australia, they are all in California.

          We have suggested that they focus on what the market is demanding, but its a waste of breath. They are on another planet. Their masters have set the agenda and they will only do that bidding.

          They don’t care much for consumers – as you will have read, Gane thinks they are ‘unreasonable’ to tell him what they want.

          Gane has made multiple calls for legislative change, over time.

          That’s where their efforts will go. This forum won’t contribute to such legislative change, I’m not expecting anything useful from the rights holders in 2012, we didn’t get any productive suggestions from them in ’05 or ’06 or ’07 or ’08 or ’09 or ’10 or ’11. We did get clear and total rejections of all proposals put to them by the Telco industry.

          They want harder laws and they’ll dig their heels in until they get told to go away.

          • Daniel Myles
            Posted 06/06/2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink |

            Do you envision a possible outcome where eventually the government tells them to go away Steve?

          • Dan
            Posted 06/06/2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink |

            Just get Neal Gane to draft the legislation he’d like the Government to adopt, then put it to the public for their opinion.

            If the people that care to read it are still alive and haven’t died of shock or laughter, then maybe the AG will get the point that Gane and his crew are only in it for themselves and are not really in touch with the public at large.

            • muso1
              Posted 06/06/2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink |

              Telcos like iiNet make more money when there is more free/cheap content for the public to download.
              That’s ok. They still make good money when their customers are downloading legally, so it would be nice if they talked a little more about the artists, film makers and musicians who are caught in the crossfire here, instead of just lambasting AFACT.
              It isn’t JUST about the public versus rights holders… and I think the Australian government realise this. It’s about ordinary creative people investing in their work, then finding they can’t recoup their investment because there is a rampant culture of grabbing entertainment without paying for it.
              iiNet are doing very nicely financially. So are the big Hollywood studios. So maybe we can focus on the struggling content creators themselves.

              • Anonymous
                Posted 06/06/2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink |

                Citation for piracy causing losses, you speak of?

              • Harimau
                Posted 06/06/2012 at 11:30 pm | Permalink |

                That sounds reasonable. Except that… Authors and creators receive up to 10% (but usually less), of revenue (but often profit). So, realistically, authors and creators are hit by piracy at least 90% less than publishers and media groups.
                Yeah. I think that’s something you’re glossing over in your argument there.
                As far as creator-owned and creator-distributed works (i.e. indie) go, your argument may at least hold up.
                But, honestly, completely commercialising a creative (or scientific) endeavour is wrong, and you should be ashamed. I’d guess that if you asked them, most creators would still create without monetary reward; the money just lets them continue creating. Remember, piracy is a service problem. Provide the better service.

              • Steve Dalby - iiNet
                Posted 07/06/2012 at 12:09 am | Permalink |

                Muso, the first thing to realize is that these guys in MIPI, ARIA, ACIG, AFACT etc, etcetera have failed the artists.
                They have not and will not look after you. The most efficient distribution system in the history of the world is the internet. They want it switched off.
                They don’t give a flying fig about artists and creative – they just want to bleed you dry.
                They have failed you by failing to keep up with the times, the internet is about twenty years old, so they’ve had twenty years to embrace it. Instead, in 2012, they want a law to switch it off.
                We’ve offered to help them sell as much of your stuff as we can.
                They’ve told us to eff off.

                • muso1
                  Posted 07/06/2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink |

                  Steve,
                  I agree with you.
                  Certainly in the case of Spotify, the labels have signed agreements that are not good for artists, and it’s obvious now the industry organisations are going to move to save themselves, whatever the cost to the individual artists.
                  The problem is your wholly negative view of the content industry.
                  You are right, since the advent of the internet, more and more musicians and film makers have moved away from the mainstream industry and struck out on their own. Widespread illegal downloading attacks the health of their business much more than a bigger business with more irons in the fire. The pirates are exploiting entrepreneurial start ups.
                  Now indie artists don’t have a voice at these negotiations either!
                  What the Telcos need to realise is that they are best served financially by encouraging and nurturing the great artists of the future. Not by ignoring rampant filesharing while saying “nothing to do with us”, and not by squeezing content creators for every last penny while their backs are against the wall.

                  • GongGav
                    Posted 07/06/2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink |

                    Some 10 or so years ago, Napster ruled supreme in the world of piracy. It was a damn convenient tool, illustrating clear as day what the benefits of the internet were for distribution. It was also doing so with illegal content. The music industry shut it down.

                    Rather than read the message being screamed in their face that people wanted such a service, they went about things business as usual.

                    Enter Apple.

                    With iTunes, Apple took that theory of Napster (online distribution), and legalised it. In one fell swoop they took what the RIAA chose to ignore, and turned it into a multi-billion dollar business. The industry failed to capitalise on the opportunities in front of them, and simply gifted them to a 3rd party.

                    This is fact. Its what happened. The music industry refused to change with the times, and have paid the price. Its not piracy thats causing their problems, its their recalcitrance to change their business model.

                    And other branches of the entertainment industry are following down the very same path. At least with TV and movies there is SOME progress with Netflix and Hulu, but the expansion of those services on a global scale is still evidence they are reluctant to change with the times.

                    They just dont get it. Whether thats delibrately or not doesnt even matter. They are the ones missing out on opportunities. And instead of looking for ways to make the most of those opportunities, they are trying to put Pandora back in the box. Again.

                    History repeating itself, the same thing happened with video recorders hit the market.

                    • muso1
                      Posted 07/06/2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink |

                      I agree with you.
                      Apple isn’t the best analogy however because they made a lot of money from the music player (iPods, then iPads and now iPhones). Down loadable music appeared a no brainer for Apple because supplying cheap content drove their profitable hardware sales, hardware sales the record companies didn’t/don’t have. In addition, Apple don’t pay to create the content, they just distribute it (unlike record labels). And finally Apple were able to broker a kick ass cheap deal for that content, because the labels were dying at the hands of pirates.
                      So yes, Apple have shown more business sense, more forward thinking, but Apple are also very different from the record companies.

                      • GongGav
                        Posted 07/06/2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink |

                        Fair point. Apple did have an ulterior motive, more than willing to admit that. But they wouldnt have had a leg to stand on if the RIAA hadnt gifted it to them.

                        There was a business model there screaming to be put in place, and the RIAA had all the cards. Yet rather than change the way they did things, they blinkered their eyes and let the ‘trusted’ friend of Apple get the rewards.

                        iTunes was in no small part responsible for iPod’s working. If the RIAA had put their own version in place, I wonder how successful the iPod would have ended up being…

                        Perhaps we need to thank the RIAA for their short-sightedness, as it went a long way to proving the digital distribution platform was worth doing.

                      • Harimau
                        Posted 08/06/2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink |

                        You make it sound like they’re victims, when it was clearly a failure of business.

          • Anonymous
            Posted 06/06/2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink |

            Steve, can you send those proposals to this mate, please? https://auinternetaccess.wordpress.com/

            • Steve Dalby - iiNet
              Posted 07/06/2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink |

              No, I wont send those proposals – coz they are all dead in the water and I am not going to muddy that water with proposals made obsolete by the High Court.

    4. Daniel Myles
      Posted 06/06/2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink |

      The Government would never bring in choice or a party that genuinely represents the consumer, it would undermine the pre-determined outcome of the meetings.

      • muso1
        Posted 06/06/2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink |

        It’s arguable whether entertainment or tech bring in more money for the government. So why would the outcome be pre-determined, other than the understanding that a total filesharing free-for-all isn’t sustainable?

        • Posted 06/06/2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink |

          The outcome is clearly not predetermined, because so far the various parties have not been able to come to any agreement.

        • mike
          Posted 06/06/2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink |

          I’d like to see a solid source on the current market not being sustainable.

          Since MP3 became a thing, there has been more music festivals, more bands, more music released than ever before. That is certainly clear.

          • Anonymous
            Posted 06/06/2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink |

            +1

            All evidence shows that the industry is thriving. Despite ‘rampant piracy’ statistics.

        • SMEMatt
          Posted 06/06/2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink |

          It doesn’t matter who brings in the most tax dollars but who brings in the most bribes(whoops I meant political party donations).

          • muso1
            Posted 06/06/2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink |

            “t doesn’t matter who brings in the most tax dollars but who brings in the most bribes(whoops I meant political party donations).”

            I think you’ll find Google and Facebook are well up there in terms of lobbying and donations.

        • Alex
          Posted 06/06/2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink |

          Unsustainable? The music & movie industry is BOOMING right now. Box office records smashed, etc, etc. Removing the middle man (ie parasites) from the equation and allowing artists to promote and sell their music/movies online is not only sustainable but it is a model that has been proven dozens and dozens of times. We need to let evolution run its course here

          • muso1
            Posted 06/06/2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink |

            Proof that the music industry is ‘booming’?
            I’m certainly neither seeing it, or hearing about it with regards to Aussie musicians.
            And yes, it’s great that gatekeepers are swept away, but where does taking music files the artist asks you not to come into it?

            • Anonymous
              Posted 06/06/2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink |

              Everything related to copyright is booming: http://www.techdirt.com/skyisrising/

              • muso1
                Posted 07/06/2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink |

                Mike Masnick’s ‘study’ was entirely funded by the tech industry.
                It counts the sale of musical instruments and iPods as income for entertainment companies.
                If you take away iPod sales (which are in the many millions), the music industry is losing income at a fast rate of knots.

        • Shane
          Posted 06/06/2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink |

          “… So why would the outcome be pre-determined, other than the understanding that a total filesharing free-for-all isn’t sustainable?”

          Devil’s advocate: Actually, a total filesharing free-for-all is entirely sustainable in the greater scheme of things.

          What wouldn’t be sustainable in an economy without copyright, however, would be anything resembling the current Hollywood, AFACT, and the various “AA” organisations that bind them – these have absolutely zero intention of letting any other economic model take root when rorting the current one offers such opportunities for further concentrating wealth.

          These talks have never been about the public interest. They’ve been about maintaining and consolidating control of a large chunk of the economy. And I dare to suggest that not one person amongst those directly involved in these talks isn’t aware of that (unless they’ve had their head in the sand since at least 1998, or for those old enough, 1976).

          Copyright is, fundamentally, a control mechanism, and historically one of political/economic censorship (qv the Stationers Company of England). It is certainly not the be all and end all, and appears to be tilting back towards its roots rather than staying true to its modern ideological framework (“limited times”, “progress of science and the useful arts”, etcetera).

    5. Daniel Myles
      Posted 06/06/2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink |

      By stacking the talks and denying any transparency, repeated FOI requests and then bringing in a gov funded so called cosnumer group who’s head is a representative of copyright interest, doesn’t that suggest pre-determined?? Sure does to me.

      • muso1
        Posted 06/06/2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink |

        I guess government do ‘represent the people’. In addition, the ISP’s are more interested in appealing to their customer’s demands than giving in to the content industry’s wishes on filesharing.
        So as a content creator myself, I don’t feel at all like the deck is stacked in my favour.
        However, if I had any power to do so, I would suggest a truly unbiased consumer group be incorporated.
        Musicians, film makers and journalists are consumers too.

        • Posted 06/06/2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink |

          “I guess government do ‘represent the people’.”

          Bwahahaha. If that were true, then I wouldn’t need to spend so much time holding Australian Governments to account for stuff they do which is not in the public interest ;)

          • muso1
            Posted 06/06/2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink |

            Again, fair comment I suppose.
            But they are accountable for their actions at every election, and I guess I would be surprised to see labour pick another fight with consumers, just as they’ve made the slightest of polling recoveries post carbon tax and pokies reform.

            • Daniel Myles
              Posted 06/06/2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink |

              Government already have consumers who are aware of these secret, closed door talks offside by doing stupid stuff like this and appointing an organisation to represent them that clearly is biased one way.

              I agree musicians and artists need to make a living. What I don’t agree is media rights holders who refuse to budge with their outdated business models, and refuse to give consumers affordable options, all to line their own pockets.

              • muso1
                Posted 06/06/2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink |

                I doubt even 10% of content consumers have even heard about ‘secret talks’.
                Also, the movie, television and music scenes are extremely varied,. There is no blanket refusal to offer affordable options, although it’s true the big players (major labels, mainstream tv) have not helped either consumers, or a lot of their own workforce.
                My main problem is consumers determining what is regarded as affordable and what isn’t, without knowing the cost of production. I think a $1.69 song off iTunes is ‘affordable’.

                • Daniel Myles
                  Posted 06/06/2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink |

                  I think a $1.69 song off iTunes is ‘affordable’.

                  Too bad that is the price the US pays. Last time I checked Aussies pay $2.20.

                  • muso1
                    Posted 06/06/2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink |

                    I actually got that price from iTunes AUS.
                    For example, every song on the new Missy Higgins album is $1:69 (in Australia)

                    • muso1
                      Posted 06/06/2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink |

                      The new Kylie single is $1.19 (AUD)

                • Harimau
                  Posted 06/06/2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink |

                  What is the cost of the production of a novel?
                  The cost of the computer, the word processor, and possibly the earnings that the author might otherwise receive if they didn’t write and did something else.

                  Content creation is, on the whole, cheap (unless you’re, say, producing a blockbuster film). It is cheap, but it is “valuable”. You shouldn’t confuse the two. A seasoned chef and an amateur cook are given the same ingredients to produce potentially the same dish. Naturally, they aren’t the same end-product. They have the same cost, but which would you pay more for?

                  The consumer always “dictates” the price, except in a monopoly. Maybe, as a content creator, you just need to reach out to your audience (consumers) more. Although you sell at a lower price, you sell on volume, that’s how it works. I don’t think you’ll easily saturate the market because, well, we live in a planet of seven billion people. Try a little harder. Piracy is not the problem, but the symptom: Another distribution service (which just happens to be “free”) is superior to, and more convenient than, your dinosaur business model. So provide the better service and set a reasonable price, and people will be happy to pay.

                  But if it is seriously costing you a million dollars to write your novel or create your album… well you seriously need to look at your finances, your business plan and generally the way that you create.

                  • muso1
                    Posted 07/06/2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink |

                    “What is the cost of the production of a novel?
                    The cost of the computer, the word processor, and possibly the earnings that the author might otherwise receive if they didn’t write and did something else.
                    Content creation is, on the whole, cheap (unless you’re, say, producing a blockbuster film). It is cheap, but it is “valuable”. You shouldn’t confuse the two”

                    No man.
                    Most of the great novels have taken a year or more to write.
                    That’s a year of food purchasing, energy bills, rates, running a car, health costs, child care etc, etc…
                    How many here work for free for at least a year, just in the HOPE they will get some (un-guaranteed) income at the end of 12 months?
                    I have music software products myself. They involve working in some of the most expensive studios in the world. Then it takes 6 months to a year of unpaid work to edit and code the product. I’m investing my own savings in this innovative product. And in the end, if no one likes the product, my money is lost.
                    So yes, content creation is very expensive. Always has been, always will be.

                    • Harimau
                      Posted 08/06/2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink |

                      No, it doesn’t cost to create content. It costs to *live*. If you weren’t creating content, would you decide not to pay for food purchasing, energy bills, rates, running a car, health costs, child care etc, etc…? Please, don’t be silly. Perhaps you need to start negotiating better rates with your clients / publishers, and becoming more involved in the distribution process.

                      • Posted 08/06/2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink |

                        “No, it doesn’t cost to create content.”

                        A factually inaccurate statement.

                      • Noddy
                        Posted 08/06/2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink |

                        Hey, so what you are saying is that no one should be paid right? Afterall that only provide labour, just like the author. But if you are a bricky, bacause you make something that isn’t easy to copy, their labour has value, but the author’s doesn’t? BS

                      • Harimau
                        Posted 09/06/2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink |

                        Taken out of context, Renai. Do you know how annoying that is? The specific things I was referring to were “That’s a year of food purchasing, energy bills, rates, running a car, health costs, child care etc, etc…”. These are not costs incurred through the creation of content, these are costs incurred simply by living. Perhaps a poor choice of wording.

                        Noddy, I believe I specifically addressed the concept of cost vs value a single post above that, so I don’t know where you got that idea. Selective reading leading to a knee-jerk reaction? Seems to be a thing these days.

                        Here’s a summary of my main arguments thus far:
                        - Cost is not equivalent to value.
                        - Value is not the value of the content alone, but also includes, among other things, the value of convenience.
                        - Living costs aren’t content creation costs.
                        - The actual cost of content creation and distribution (as well as the barrier to entry for new creators) continues to decrease.
                        - For many creators, money is not the main goal; while for many publishers, money is the main goal.
                        - Content creation is more akin to a business than a regular job. You invest your time, you take a risk, and you try to differentiate and sell your product.
                        - Piracy (“free”) is often more convenient, therefore it must be competed with (with a more convenient means of distribution).
                        - A pirated copy is not equivalent to a lost sale.
                        - If the price and service is reasonable, people will pay for it. See Humble Bundle, see Steam, see Itunes, see Kindle.
                        - Big industry needs to catch up to modern technology and the modern market, not restrict or impose on our internet freedoms. Piracy isn’t killing the industry (which industry?), outdated business practices are.

                  • muso1
                    Posted 07/06/2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink |

                    ” Although you sell at a lower price, you sell on volume, that’s how it works. ”

                    That’s how it works for Walmart.
                    Personally I’m not a fan of stack ‘em high, sell it cheap art.
                    The most popular products are the crappiest in my opinion – A Current Affair, X Factor, Nicky Minaj, Justin Beiber, Titanic, Men In Black III.
                    Those all sell in enough volume to be sold extremely cheaply. What about the rest, or do you just want all entertainment to be ratings driven?

    6. Glenn
      Posted 06/06/2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink |

      Well done bringing this out in the open Renai

    7. Stephen O
      Posted 06/06/2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink |

      Why does the government think it is appropriate that only broadband and internet advocacy groups should represent consumers of copyrighted material? This is evindence that the talks are not about ensuring reasonable access to copyyrighted material but about technological ways to restrict that access. I do not advocate piracy, but I do advocate reasonable access to copyrighted material. Surely you must determine societies expectations around access to copyright material before you can investigate the technological solutions to facilidate (or restrict) that access.

      • Steve Dalby - iiNet
        Posted 07/06/2012 at 12:19 am | Permalink |

        Stephen O – these talks are about curtailing piracy.
        I’d like to make it more about making legal content available – but talking to AFACT and MIPI etc about such things, is akin to discussing the best way to the market with a horse. He may stand there and listen but the horse’s rider will decide where he goes. All the jockeys are in Hollywood.

    8. muso1
      Posted 07/06/2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink |

      “Surely you must determine societies expectations around access to copyright material before you can investigate the technological solutions to facilidate (or restrict) that access.”

      I agree, and would personally support this, although I have no power in the debate.
      Just as an example though, I think one current issue is access to popular tv shows.
      Many expensive tv productions have up to now been financed by partnerships with foreign distributors. For example, the BBC wont make a major documentary series without seeking financial input from WGBH in the US and various European broadcasters (ZDF etc).
      Both the UK and US television cycles are very different to Oz. The US prizes Thanksgiving, Aussies ignore it.
      Blockbuster series may be aired on cold winter nights in New York and London, while Aussies are ignoring their television in favour of summer pursuits like twilight surfing and backyard BBQ’s.
      I guess nothing is unsurmountable, but airing a hit tv show at the same time and date in America and Australia isn’t a complete no-brainer.

    9. Daniel Myles
      Posted 07/06/2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink |

      If my ISP (iinode) brokered a deal with rights holders to stream to me via cloud my favourate TV shows and movies as they are released in the US, I would without pause, happy pay a monthly fee for this service no questions asked. I would imagine most people are in the same boat.

      Why can’t the rights holders see this??

      That’s what’s so ludicrous about these talks, the solution is so simple yet the rights holders are so focused on denying access they don’t or choose not to see it.

      I would take a punt and suggest that iinode would love to provide a service such as this to its customers.

      • muso1
        Posted 07/06/2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink |

        Because as i said, most of the current distribution deals pay for the creation of the product.
        Maybe Steve Dalby can chip in, but have any ISP’s offered to contribute upfront for major tv and film releases, so they can distribute them on their web networks?
        The web distribution of music – aka Spotify – can’t afford to pay enough to support musicians. I imagine the tv and film companies are looking at that and shuddering at the prospect.
        I’m a consumer too, and would love to watch my favourite BBC shows soon after they are originally aired, and not by the ABC 6 to 12 months later, but I understand my favourite shows are quite expensive to produce, and the ABC have contributed quite a lot towards those expenses. Would Telstra, iiNet, Optus?

    10. djos
      Posted 07/06/2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink |

      This is BS, once again we the consumer are not being represented in a fair or meaningful way, shame Roxon shame!

      I’m so fed up with the copyright bullies getting their own way, they need to F’off and fix their broken business models as their “predicament” is their own damn fault!

    11. Stephen
      Posted 07/06/2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink |

      I said in response to yesterday’s post (refer to http://delimiter.com.au/2012/06/05/consumer-group-invited-to-secret-piracy-talks/#comment-445031) that Professor Fraser must recuse himself. I think he now actually needs to go further, and decide which organisation he represents. He cannot impartially represent both consumers and copyright holders, and should resign from one of these posts. This is regardless of the current discussions – his two roles are clearly in conflict.

      In attending these meetings, he is also putting his ACANN staff member in an invidious position, where he doesn’t necessarily know which hat the professor is wearing when making statements and writing opinions regarding the secret panel’s proceedings.

      Again, though – ACANN should not be attending if the price of attendance is secrecy. The organisation cannot represent its stakeholders effectively in a secret forum.

    12. John
      Posted 11/06/2012 at 1:04 am | Permalink |

      I wish someone would explain to me why my receipt states “sale”, the advertisement says “for sale”, and I still cannot lawfully store in a format that doesn’t phone home to a foreign corporation or agency, It seems I still cannot use it as I see fit within my own network. I don’t understand why after purchasing it, why I have to buy it again in another format. I can never understand why the data on my network is not protected from all others including law enforcement because I collect to protect me from from everyone else, why shouldn’t everything I see, hear and write be accessible from my phone my computers and my network. What is it with others who want watch over my shoulder to check what I am doing, why should I not have the same rights to watch over them. Why do viruses, malware, trojan’s seem forensic?

    13. Posted 24/01/2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink |

      Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
      The words in your post seem to be running off the
      screen in Opera. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post
      to let you know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the problem resolved soon.
      Kudos




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