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  • News, Telecommunications - Written by on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 12:01 - 47 Comments

    iiNet’s piracy stance attracts global praise

    malone4

    news A decision by Australia’s third-largest ISP to pull out of controversial secret talks with the content industry over Internet piracy issues has attracted international attention, with global commentators and readers highlighting the ISP’s approach as a sensible one to dealing with litigious film and TV studios.

    Thoughout 2011 and 2012, the Federal Attorney-General’s Department held secretive closed doors discussions between a number of Australian ISPs and representatives of the content industry such as film and TV studios, with the aim of finding a resolution to the ongoing issue of Internet piracy. The department has rejected a number of attempts by external parties to make the talks more transparent, such as responding only minimally to Freedom of Information requests dealing with the talks.

    iiNet had always appeared to be a relatively reluctant participant in the talks, given that its 2012 High Court victory against the content industry meant that it was under no obligation to cooperate voluntarily in helping the groups police illegal downloads of their content. And in late December, the group’s chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby announced the group would take a further step and pull out the talks entirely.

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

    “While we appreciate the efforts of the Attorney General’s Department (AGD) to draw the parties together and thank the AGD, Communications Alliance and the other companies who have persisted with the discussions, the time has come for us to make it clear that we won’t participate in a notice-notice trial on which the talks now focus,” he added, noting a variety of reasons for iiNet’s decision — revolving around the idea that the content industry needed to move forward in terms of opening up online access to its content — not moving back by merely trying to police out of control downloads enabled by the changed technology environment.

    iiNet’s decision was widely reported locally, but what Australia’s technology community may not have realised was the degree of international attention the move attracted. One of the first international news outlets to report the move was US site Techdirt, one of the main global sites reporting on the ongoing battle between traditional copyright owners and today’s generation of Internet-connected consumers.

    Techdirt commenter Mike Masnick wrote: “The problem, of course, is that the entertainment industry still doesn’t understand what’s happening. They flat out reject the idea that piracy might be due to their own unwillingness to embrace the internet and provide more content, in more convenient ways at better prices … It’s nice to see iiNet call them out so directly.” In addition, a number of Techdirt commenters from other countries such as the US, the UK and Canada suggested that it might be beneficial for ISPs from their countries to follow iiNet’s lead.

    A similar article on file-sharing news publication Torrentfreak was notable for how many comments it attracted largely praising iiNet — with over 300 comments debating the issue. “This is the only ISP in the world that is standing up to these bullies,” wrote one commenter. “The only ISP that cares for its customers. Request everyone in Australia to switch to iiNet,” wrote another. And a third said: “Now it’s time for all of the isp’s around the world to do the same.”

    It was a similar situation on global technology news aggregator Slashdot, where a number of readers noted they supported iiNet’s stance. “My congratulations to Australians for having an ISP that stands up for the interests of its customers,” wrote one commenter. And on another global aggregator, Reddit, TorrentFreak’s article was linked and received more than 4,000 up-votes by readers, with almost 1700 comments debating the issue.

    “iiNet have been the voice of reason in Australia for years now,” wrote one commenter on Reddit. “We need these guys in the US,” wrote another, and a third: “If anyone in Australia is not using iiNet, please switch. I would sign up for iiNet right now but I don’t think they provide service in North America.”

    In all the comments on the various sites, it was difficult to find comments supporting the content industry’s stance that those who download content illegally on the Internet should be identified and made aware of the illegal nature of their behaviour, or fined or prosecuted. In general, the overwhelming sentiment expressed across the various sites was that the content industry wasn’t doing enough to make its content available online at a reasonable price and in a technical format that would allow customers to purchase and consume it.

    Some commenters, however, did point out that there are currently some platforms, such as Apple’s iTunes platform and the Hulu streaming platform internationally, or the Quickflix and FetchTV IPTV and video on demand platforms in Australia, that did allow customers to buy content online.

    iiNet itself appears to be aware of the international attention which its move has caused. “Interesting to see the international coverage of this issue reflects some of the similar frustrations suffered by consumers elsewhere,” wrote Dalby in the comments underneath his blog post in December.

    opinion/analysis
    Of course it’s not surprising that commenters on sites such as Slashdot, Reddit, Techdirt and Torrentfreak are supporting of iiNet’s move — being a reader of those sites for many years myself, I am fairly confident in saying that their readers tend to be quite libertarian when it comes to their views on government and corporate control of what happens on the Internet. The general view of most of these readers on these sites would appear to be that big business and government should either ignore what happens on the Internet or cooperate with it, rather than try and fight and control it.

    But what I found quite startling was how unusual iiNet’s move was perceived as being. Globally, it appears that very few ISPs of any size are standing up to the content industry on behalf of their customers and demanding better services for those who simply want to get legitimate access to desirable content. In this vein, iiNet’s actions and approach to the situation in Australia would appear to be positioning it as a global leader in these matters, at least in the eyes of customers, if not in the eyes of the content industry.

    There’s a recurring meme in Australian corporate and political circles that espouses the view that Australia is too small and too remote to lead the world in most areas — so we should merely attempt to replicate locally best practice from overseas. But perhaps the fabled Australian rebellious attitude that so many believe dates back to our convict days has some uses after all: It seems like iiNet’s unwillingness to simply bend over and let Big Content target its customers has positioned Australia out in front in at least one field.

    Image credit: iiNet

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    47 Comments

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    1. tinman_au
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink |

      “Thoughout 2011 and 2012, the Federal Attorney-General’s Department held secretive closed doors discussions between a number of Australian ISPs and representatives of the content industry such as film and TV studios, with the aim of finding a resolution to the ongoing issue of Internet piracy.”

      Where the other stakeholder representation in that…you know…us.

      Oh, right, that would be the officials that work for our elected representatives (the ADG). Shame they don’t actually take their job seriously.

      On another note, I’d really hope any new model that Big Content tries rewards the actual artists more, and not themselves, partially because they should stop screwing the artists, and partially because I think that will just be a commercially sensible part of a successful model to get artists/fans behind it.

      • Ferretzor
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink |

        “Where the other stakeholder representation in that…you know…us.”

        +over 9000

        I can’t see how these talks do not also include discussion along the lines of the recent “Australians are being price gouged” hearings. They are, after all, fairly highly related issues.

        Maybe thats something for iiNet to raise if it ever gets involved again. Along the lines of a “we will support your copyright agenda when you help us by providing a single global price with no region locking on all content”. Having easily accessible content with no legal pitfalls just has to be in the best interests of an ISP I would guess.

        • Steve Dalby (iiNet)
          Posted 16/01/2013 at 12:05 am | Permalink |

          @Ferretzor
          >>I can’t see how these talks do not also include discussion along the lines of the recent “Australians are being price gouged”

          +1

          At the first meeting the Attorney General’s department attended, the then AG made that very point, quite bluntly.

          Sadly he is no longer the AG and sadly that point has been ignored ever since.

      • Austcc
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink |

        They were specifically banned from those talks.
        http://delimiter.com.au/2011/12/23/secret-piracy-talks-govt-banned-consumer-groups/

      • Michael
        Posted 16/01/2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink |

        What could “we” possibly contribute, though?

        The discussions weren’t about whether piracy is justified. Legally, it is never justified. I don’t know what the average consumer could really add to the discussion.

        • GongGav
          Posted 17/01/2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink |

          ‘We’ could contribute the commoners stance on privacy for starters. Piracy itself isnt legal, but we’re also entitled to our privacy, so which takes priority?

          Should there be an unnecessary burden in a third party, just in case? The reasons these changes are getting publicity is because of the vested interests of those sitting at the table, and biased lawmaking of this level never ends well.

          The reality is that the key stakeholders want a criminal level data retention for civil breaches, which is what most people are complaining about.

    2. tom
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink |

      creditz to iinet! If they keep their stance and remain consistent in their approach all i can say a tonne of RESPECT to them for doing what is RIGHT. It seems like Mr Dalby may have an idea of what universally preferable behaviour is about and will stand up for what is right and that he understands more than the average joe out there who will jump on the anti piracy bandwagon of these corporate bullies and scream “thiefs thiefs”. Anyone with a moral compass and who has an understanding of the world and what is really going on also comprehends who the real thieves are. It is those who are doing the fingerpointing!

    3. *insert witty name*
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink |

      Nice one iiNet! Happy to have been with you for years now :D

      If only our elected representatives remembered who they represent, they are there supposed to protect us from irresponsible scope creep by governments and big business taking advantage en masse.

      Although this no longer happens due to our crappy two party preference system.

      The AG must be an elected ‘representative’ they are appointed by the Governor General (who is appointed by the Queen).

      In short

      Yay iiNet
      Boo Government/Big Business (or rather; uninformed business)

    4. Troden
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink |

      I’ve been with iiNet for 7 years and wouldn’t dream of changing.

    5. Posted 15/01/2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink |

      Second largest ISP – they brag about being #2 …

      • Toby
        Posted 16/01/2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink |

        Idiot.

    6. Peter
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink |

      Renai,

      I think we should look at their defiance for what it is. It’s about share prices. They pulled out because they see their short/mid term interests in building their customer base is best served by not cooperating. This is an ISP who remember has half of its traffic in BT traffic. Their business decision is clearly to be a good communication pipe. This business model needs more customers to support growth as revenue per MB declines. It’s what Share Holders demand. It’s purely a commercial business decision – nothing more, nothing less, despite the sales pitch of altruism.

      The alternative is to make content agreements where they have added value. While they outwardly call for content to come to them – they still have to utilise third party providers (fetchTV) to get it because presumably, they can’t make deals with content directly. Distinct from Telstra and others around the world who are going for a convergent model which would arguably have higher return per customer.

      The point is, lets call it what it is. Business. Pure, unadulterated business.

      • belize
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink |

        Spot on 100% correct Peter.

        iiNet know exactly what their customers use their service for and the effect that introducing a graduated repsonse regime would have on their revenue.

        They’re taking a risk though. Content owners are starting to do deals with ISPs. And the question that is now starting to arise is: whether a content owner should do a deal with an ISP that will assist them in protecting their copyright, or instead with an ISP that won’t.

        iiNet presumably believe that they can reliably grow their business well into the future by continuing to fill their network predominantly with illicit content. And of course, that’s their commercial prerogative.

        • Steve Dalby (iiNet)
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink |

          @belize – your lack of understanding of the economics of the provision of internet service in Australia is obvious.

          There is no commercial benefit for us to carry torrent traffic or ” illicit content”. We don’t encourage it, we don’t condone it. We’ve proved that in the courts.

          if you did a little research on the subject you wouldn’t need to make stuff up.

          • pfff
            Posted 15/01/2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink |

            How can you say you don’t “condone” it?

            You accept that it occurs all the time by way of your service.

            You acknowledge that it constitutes the majority of traffic passing across your network.

            And you allow it to occur.

            Sure you pay lip sevice to not encouraging it, but unless you have a different definition for the word “condone” to that of the Macquarie Dictionary, you actually do condone it.

            I guess what you mean to say is that you don’t “authorise” it, from a legal perspective. And yes, that is what you proved in the High Court. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t condone it.

            And while I know you can’t comment on the business models of other ISPs, why do you think (for argument’s sake) it is that only iiNet pulled out of talks with content industry? Could it be something to do with iiNet’s failure to come to an agreement on certain negotiations with the content industry in respect of providing legitimate content services?

            • Steve Dalby (iiNet)
              Posted 15/01/2013 at 11:56 pm | Permalink |

              @pfff
              >>you actually do condone it.
              No, we don’t .
              I appreciate your point of view, which you’re entitled to, but I’d suggest that three Federal Court Judges and five High Court Judges disagree with your opinion.
              So no – we don’t.

              >>why do you think (for argument’s sake) it is that only iiNet pulled out of talks with content industry?

              That’s perfectly simple. The studios threatened to sue us if we didn’t do what they demanded.

              Can you guess what that threat is worth now – Sweet FA.

              There is no other ISP in the world in the same position as iiNet now that we no longer have that threat hanging over us.

              >>Could it be something to do with iiNet’s failure to come to an agreement on certain negotiations with the content industry in respect of providing legitimate content services?

              No.

              Even during the case we were negotiating with the same studios that were suing us. We supply a substantial amount of legitimate content to our customers via freezone and fetchtv.

              • belize
                Posted 16/01/2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink |

                just had look at the high court judgement – at no point does it use the word “condone”. I tend to agree with @pfff – iiNet does condone copyright infringment because it overlooks it. You don’t authoirse it under the Copyright Act though.

                When you say you were negotiating with studios duiring the case – presumably those negotiations fell over? Or are they still going?

                Sure you offer fetchtv and freezone – but fetchtv a has pitiful number of subscribers – one wonders whether it’s a going concern? And freezone is not really offering “big content” . DO yoiu guys have any plans to offer content that actually has wide public appeal?

                • NBNAccuracy
                  Posted 16/01/2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink |

                  Have to agree. iiNet and all ISPs benefit greatly from piracy. It is not in there interest to in anyway be seen to try and stop or control it in any way. I am not saying they need to go as far as handing all the customers over to be prosecuted. But what measures have they taken to stop it? Zero.

                  • Brendan
                    Posted 16/01/2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink |

                    Rubbish.

                    ISPs sell capacity based on averages; mass downloading distorts that, increases load (torrent traffic is a large percentage of usage; that’s hardly surprising, it will be a negative outcome, not a positive, on the bottom line).

                    Some ISPs may choose to run plans that have a low return for high-capacity, but they will go broke if they don’t also seek to make a profit from under-utilised services.

                    People still presume the charges ISPs level have a 1:1 relationship with actual 1:1 contention input costs. If you believe this, you are mistaken.

                    ISPs do best when they charge a lot, and people use SFA of their quota. Profit shrinks as services consume more of their alotted quota.

                    ISPs are against having to spend a sh*t-ton of money to be the proxy knee-cap squad for rights holders; whom regularly fail to use the courts system (which carries costs) to seek legal recourse.

                    Instead, they have repeatedly attempted to subvert due process and seek to have legislation and all many of policies changed, so they can maintain their archaic business models.

                    And everyone else is expected to pick up the tab. I have no issue with ISPs (any ISP for that matter) make the decision to tell the Industry to “shove it” and go do their own dirty work.

                    They have had ample, ample opportunity to find an equitable solution. The chosen path has been to bully, subvert, threaten and blame. When that hasn’t worked, they’ve lobbied politicians to turn back the clock, so their old business models can be maintained.

                    Of course iiNet are protecting their business. Anyone would. That’s hardly offensive. But, equally, it’s not offensive to expect the Rights Holders to foot the bill if they want to protect their own investments.

                    • belize
                      Posted 16/01/2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink |

                      Brendan

                      Of course telcos (including iiNet) lobby the Government as much as (if not more than) the content industry (one need only look at the Aust Government’s lobbyists register to see that: http://lobbyists.pmc.gov.au/who_register_clients.cfm).

                      As for your assessment of the ISP business model, it’s useful thankyou.

                      But I also think it useful question to ask the question: “what would happen to iiNet’s revenue, if all infringing bittorent traffic on its network were to stop tomorrow?” My guess is it would collapse as customers flock en masse to cheaper, lower data allowance, plans.

                      To my mind (and I’m happy to consider the views of others) there has been no greater driver of (residential) broadband revenue growth for Australian ISPs (who continue to charge volumetrically) than piracy.

                      And sO while it’s convenient for an ISP to say that it has no obligations in relation to the content that travels across it’s network, it’s also reasonable to say (particulalrly when half of an ISPs traffic is infringing content) that piracy has been a major contributor to ISP revenues,

                      So when you note that content owners unfairly expect ISPs to do some of their enforcement work, you should also note that if it weren’t for infringing content content (and in iiNet’s case, 50%+ of its traffic is infringing content) ISPs like iiNet would be no where near as big as what they are today.

                      • Steve Dalby (iiNet)
                        Posted 18/01/2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink |

                        @belize
                        >>“what would happen to iiNet’s revenue, if all infringing bittorent traffic on its network were to stop tomorrow?” My guess is it would collapse as customers flock en masse to cheaper, lower data allowance, plans.

                        If you want go down that rabbit hole, perhaps you should consider the whole equation and add the impact of reduced costs (incurred by ISPs) resulting from a reduction in infringing traffic. Your argument is dodgy at best.

                        @NBN Accuracy

                        >>You are making a big assumption here. How do you know that rights holders haven’t offered to pay for the work involved in identifying someone?

                        Let me put your mind at rest. The rights holders have maintained the position they took at the beginning. They find the suggestion of paying for matching and notification of allegations to be “utterly unacceptable” . I’ve heard that phrase from their reps on more than one occasion, including at AGD meetings.

                      • NBNAccuracy
                        Posted 18/01/2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink |

                        Sorry Steve, not calling your honestly into question, but I do like to hear these things from a third party rather than a vested interest. There has been a lot of misinformation due to politics and vested interests in the NBN discussions to make me wary of any one sources information.

                    • NBNAccuracy
                      Posted 16/01/2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink |

                      Rubbish youself Brendan,

                      ISPs charge increased amounts for increased quotas. I do not believe they increase quotas by an amount to make a loss.

                      “I have no issue with ISPs (any ISP for that matter) make the decision to tell the Industry to “shove it” and go do their own dirty work.”
                      Without the ISP to identify who is using a particular IP it is impossible to “do their own dirty work”. It isn’t a matter of passing the buck, it’s a matter of finding a way to identify the person, and only the ISP can do that.

                      “They have had ample, ample opportunity to find an equitable solution. The chosen path has been to bully, subvert, threaten and blame”
                      Isn’t that exactly what you are doing. Saying it is their fault and that you will keep taking their lunch money til they give you what you want?

                      “it’s not offensive to expect the Rights Holders to foot the bill if they want to protect their own investments”
                      You are making a big assumption here. How do you know that rights holders haven’t offered to pay for the work involved in identifying someone? No real details of the talks have been released.

      • Steve Dalby (iiNet)
        Posted 15/01/2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink |

        >>I think we should look at their defiance for what it is. It’s about share prices.

        Ha-ha! It has probably helped our share price that we won, but are you suggesting we should deliberately have gone some other way to drive the share price down ?

        >>”They pulled out because they see their short/mid term interests in building their customer base is best served by not cooperating.”

        It appears you have come to that position without much reading.

        It’s not our place to do the studios’ work for them. I’m guessing you use the word ‘cooperating’ in much the same way as Hollywood does – “you do what we tell you to do!”. They reap the benefits and we reap the costs. That isn’t cooperating, that’s bullying.

        The courts agree with us.

        A couple of corrections. One – You misquote Michael Malone who actually said that half the traffic on the internet (at the time of the 2009 quote) was torrent related. That applied to all ISPs not simply iiNet.

        Interestingly, in the US where legitimate on-line access has been made available via Netflix and others, torrent traffic has dropped at the same rate Netflix traffic has increased ( see http://www.wired.com/business/2011/05/netflix-traffic/ ). That supports our argument that the best remedy for infringement is making the stuff available.

        Two – in response to your claim that “This business model needs more customers to support growth as revenue per MB declines.” we simply don’t sell by the MB. Sure, customers can purchase plans with set quota, but the fact is, the more they use of that quota, the less profitable we are.

        Thirdly, on your comment of ” It’s purely a commercial business decision – nothing more, nothing less, despite the sales pitch of altruism.”
        There is no altruism involved. The company is made up of Australian staff that think the internet is awesome. It is a fantastic medium that can improve peoples lives and enable the digital economy, including as a low cost distribution model for digital content.

        The 34 studios that sued us seemed to think that we should spend less time connecting customers and more time disconnecting them. We called them out on that, we spent a lot of money in the courts defending their suit and in the meantime the media, the general public and a lot of our customers have asked us to comment on a range of issues. So we do.

        It’s not a sales pitch, but our responses, our commentary, as well as our success against a protracted, concerted, foreign legal attack has certainly not damaged the iiNet brand.

        Finally, on your “The point is, lets call it what it is. Business. Pure, unadulterated business.”

        Yes, it is. So What ?

        We are here to service our customers and to connect them to the ‘net. If we do a good job at that and manage our costs, we can make a profit. By being profitable, we have the luxury to afford doing cool stuff, like developing hardware and software for Australian conditions, employing a heap of people and influencing the world with our attitudes.

        We love that. It’s a great place to do business.

        • Andrew Mestoth
          Posted 15/01/2013 at 11:05 pm | Permalink |

          +1

          People seem to forget that the started over ALLEGED infringement. How is it IINET’s responsibility to determine who is guilty or not. That is the role of the police and the courts. If the studio wishes to PROVE a person is guilty of infringement, let them do it….in the court.

          As has been shown on several occasions, if given the option, movie studios often issue “this is infringing content” without actually checking if it actually WAS infringing, on the assumption that its too hard to actually for the alleged infringer to fight back, most notably in the “Buffy vs Edward” Remix DCMA saga (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/01/buffy-vs-edward-remix-unfairly-removed-by-lionsgate/)

          I can allege every reader of delimiter is actually a mass murderer, that doesn’t make it Renai’s (or your ISP’s) responsibility to prove they are or are not. If i wanted to pursue it, I would have to go via the police and the courts (and likely the AFP given the wide readership of this site). why shouldnt the movie studios.

          Also..wheres our AU Netflix? its not “new”…Wheres our equal access Ebook stores and Itunes stores (or steam etc), in AU we get a limited selection for twice the price. why hasn’t “Big Content” addressed that in their meetings or statements with a definitive statement?

          • Andrew Mestoth
            Posted 15/01/2013 at 11:06 pm | Permalink |

            (apologies for the the lack of sense re: on the assumption that its too hard to actually for the alleged infringer to fight back)
            it should have read:
            On the assumption that it is too hard for the alleged infringer to actually fight back.

        • Peter
          Posted 16/01/2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink |

          To clarify the Malone quote, here is the transcript:
          “At the time of first receipt of the AFACT notices, you understood, that is in the middle of 2008, as you have agreed or assessed, that more than half by volume at least, traffic over your service, was represented by BitTorrent downloads or uploads? “ – Yes.

          I note the question says YOUR service. You can spin it any which way you want, but you have your CEO admitting it is over 50%. Your ISP. That is, iiNet.

          On your point of “I appreciate your point of view, which you’re entitled to, but I’d suggest that three Federal Court Judges and five High Court Judges disagree with your opinion.”

          Actually no – the judges found the law doesn’t extend into P2P and suggested it required a legislative fix. Both separate judgements of the High Court found this to be the case. That does not preclude iiNet from not having condoned – simply P2P was not envisaged when the laws were written. There is a disconnect between the fact you won, (all credit to you), and why you won. There is a disconnect in the media between why you thumb your nose at the media, and the actual reasons for it. Your target market is the more youthful demographic who are more likely to download illegally – at least according to any study I’ve ever seen. By appearing/being belligerent , you appeal to them, increase your market share and make more money. That is why you do it – not because you are some great freedom fighters for the Internet.

          • NBNAccuracy
            Posted 16/01/2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink |

            “By appearing/being belligerent , you appeal to them, increase your market share and make more money”

            Very hypocritical really. They bleat on about how content should be delivered in a timely manner for a dollar or two and episode on demand. I see them changing for content, old content, seems no rush to provide the US content the next day from them. I wonder how they would react if customers broke their encryption and started fetch TV for free. I am sure they would “Stick up for their customers rights” and internally refuse to identify those customers as they wouldn’t want to bully them at all.

            • Brendan
              Posted 16/01/2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink |

              Again, with the assumptive reasoning.

              iiNet don’t control content. Rights Holders do. If Fetch, or Foxtel, or any other supplier in AU don’t have content, guess what? They haven’t been able to buy, or gain access to it.

              Why is content late, or in some cases never screened in Australia?

              Rights Holders have lucrative distribution models; we don’t get stuff in a timely manner, because that’s less profitable for content owners; they can sell the same content 12 different ways, to 12 different markets, with “exclusive” deals and re-run rights for a lot more than simply releasing it for a flat fee across any market.

              FetchTV doesn’t have a lot of content, because it’s not made available for purchase; or at a price that is well beyond their buying power. SelecTV had the same issue.

              Even Foxtel, with their buying power, struggles to manage simultaneous screen with US or UK.

              All of that has absolutely zero to do with piracy. Of which will always occur, to some degree. Much of the backlash comes down to the above choices of distribution, restricting access to people whom are quite happy to pay for content. Which is, really, the crux of the iiNet position.

              The Industry can dig itself out of it’s own mess if it chose to. That is less profitable than simply litigating and agitating to maintain the status quo.

              • NBNAccuracy
                Posted 16/01/2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink |

                “They haven’t been able to buy, or gain access to it.”
                That’s an assumption. I am sure it’s available for a price. Whether they are willing to pay that price is another thing.

                I see you ignore the major point of my post.
                So, yes or no. Would iiNet ignore someone cracking the encryption and streaming their paid content for free? Would they have a similar opinion to their own content to that of someone else. Would they blame themselves for not supplying up to the minute shows? Refuse to identify the customers do it because any that would violate their privacy?

                • JC
                  Posted 16/01/2013 at 5:48 pm | Permalink |

                  Who’s making assumptions? Maybe you should read your own posts once in a while.

          • Woolfe
            Posted 16/01/2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink |

            Um… So what if Bittorrent traffic was more than 50% anyway. The traffic is not the issue, the content in the traffic is the issue. Bittorrent is simply a tool. It has legitimate uses as well.

            Now it is more than likely that the majority of that bittorrent usage is infringing. BUT it is not actually IInets place to determine that.

            There are laws and rules in place right now that allow the studios to go after individual file sharers. IInet has stated in the past it will support that due process.

            What they won’t support is the Content industry railroading them into policing the content. Especially at their own cost. They are a business, as you are suggesting, they don’t just do things for charity.

            • Woolfe
              Posted 16/01/2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink |

              Oh and just to clarify the Content Industry, really really really isn’t a charity ;-)

        • Toby
          Posted 16/01/2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink |

          <3 steve. Thanks for taking the time to discuss with us, truly you've had me for a customer for a long time – both personally and for my business and your comments as well as your great service has ensured that I will be a customer for some time to come.

      • Super Ted
        Posted 16/01/2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink |

        Peter, for you to call these actions “unadulterated business” you must first know how business actually works. From your comment, this is clearly not the case. Actually the KPI revenue/MB is actually pretty humourous.

        It astounds me that people forget that whether its iiNet or Universal Studios, these companies are in the business of generating and maintaining sustainable growth and providing returns for their owners (shareholders). At the end of the day, the industry will change, but only when it becomes economically viable (to -their- owners and directors). iiNet are simply going about their business of protecting their interests (and all credit to them, because it’s working).

        As someone who works in finance but has a general interest in IT, it is painful to read the assumptions of the vocal minority here. No your theories don’t make sense. It’s not some giant conspiracy to inflate the share price (institutional investors are smarter than you). Hell half these comments are a stone’s throw away from what “aNTHONY b truth” has to say below.

        I hope iiNet continue to fight the good fight, while content distributors reassess their distribution means and pricing structure. One has to think that the way things are going, online home entertainment will become increasingly mainstream and businesses will recognise that market exists (whether it’s new entrants or established companies).

    7. Peter
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink |

      Drop copywrite to 2-5 years and all people should be happy
      btw all work done while I’m Alive may not become public domain in my grand kids life time
      just remember making profit from your creations is not given right

    8. Tom
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink |

      But what I found quite startling was how unusual iiNet’s move was perceived as being. Globally, it appears that very few ISPs of any size are standing up to the content industry on behalf of their customers and demanding better services for those who simply want to get legitimate access to desirable content.

      It shouldn’t be surprising for USA, since the big ISPs are also part of said “content industry”. E.g. Comcast and AOL.

    9. aNTHONY b truth
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 8:39 pm | Permalink |

      IT’S TIME WE ALL UNITE AND FIGHT THESE SCUMBAGS! THEY MAKE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM CINEMAS and ADVERTISING AROUND THE WORLD SO ITS JUST PURE GREED that they are going after poor file-sharers,many of them are unemployed and to poor to buy and overpriced DVD Blu ray disc. File-sharing is no different to recording of a TV channel so support the pirate party and tell these over paid media scumbags to go jump!

      Well done iinet keep up[ the fight thanks for making a stand where as all other ISP’s don’t have the Balls.

    10. aNTHONY b truth
      Posted 15/01/2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink |

      We will pre vail IF WE UNITE AND FIGHT and JOIN any protests and fight these media scumbags, FOR A FACT, AFACT ARE NOTHING BUT PUPPETS, THERE TO APPEASE THE GREEDY OUTDATED CAPITALIST WHIMS OF USA WELL HOLLYWOOD @ leaste and TO CHANGE THE LAWS AND either ABOLISH ALL COPYRIGHT or at leaste drop it to 1-2 years! not 100 years like those over paid media scumbags want.

    11. Paul Krueger
      Posted 16/01/2013 at 6:07 am | Permalink |

      Australia has a far bigger influence then our size would indicate. The health of our economy, and the high standard of living, are very attractive to people who are experiencing the opposite overseas.

      My uncle has just returned from Travelling through Europe, and his feeling was that “everyone” wanted to immigrate here.

    12. Stephen H
      Posted 16/01/2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink |

      Now for the other ISPs to follow suit. It isn’t like content owners cannot learn to do business properly in a digital economy, they have simply pressured other players to roll over for them (so far). And ISPs and others (YouTube being the most glaring example) have just played ball.

    13. tinman_au
      Posted 16/01/2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink |

      It’s not up to ISP’s to police whats on the internet, same as it’s not up to AusPost to police whats in the mail.

      The only way the evil “intertubes piracy” it could be policed is the same way the mail is checked by Customs for illegal/contraband items.

      In the case of the internet, the government would need to introduce a filter…we all know how that story ends…

      Big Content needs to work out a new way, almost no old system/model survives in an internet world if it tries to stick to “business as usual”. If they can provide fair access to the content (cost and access), most folks will buy it from them.

      If they keep trying to region/geolock everything, and charge inflated prices, then the status quo will remain (not that they probably mind that, they aren’t actually loosing money like they complain, they’re just rent seeking like the rest of the corporate world now days).

    14. Rob
      Posted 16/01/2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink |

      @Peter could u please state or provide a link of the studies you have read about that claim youth are more likely to download illegal content. Thanks.

    15. Poon Tang
      Posted 18/01/2013 at 2:39 am | Permalink |

      This is a great thing on Hollywood Accounting……

      http://www.ted.com/talks/rob_reid_the_8_billion_ipod.html

    16. Poon Tang
      Posted 18/01/2013 at 2:40 am | Permalink |

      This is a great thing on the maths of Hollywood Accounting.

      http://www.ted.com/talks/rob_reid_the_8_billion_ipod.html

    17. Chris
      Posted 18/01/2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink |

      Leave us the hell alone. When the IT industry is held to the same quality and pricing standards as every other industry on the planet i will give a shit.
      The fact is, that for an Australian to buy a game for the computer or xbox, we are forced to pay DOUBLE what anyone else does. PS3 game in the US? $50. Australia? Anything up to $120, at a time, when our dollar is stronger than the united states.

      To add to that, for PC software, there is no guarantee that the software you just paid for will work on your computer, software makers quite clearly display on Demo copies “Content may differ from the full game” and they are ALWAYS coded to be FAR FAR more stable than the full version. And they make promises about games that DONT work “Oh we are adding support for…” or “Its not our software, you need to update this… and this… and this…..” Why the hell should i pay for software if that is what is going to happen?

      I use bittorrent. Im PROUD of the fact that i torrent software i want first. Am i a thief? Hell no… and why is that? Because if the software WORKS and i enjoy it, i buy it! Yep, last game i bought was F1 2011, because it was worth the $60 i paid for it.
      As opposed to a bunch of my mates telling me how good Muse was and i should buy their album, getting arsey when i said id download it “Oh theyre awesome!! Just buy it tightarse!!” In the time it would have taken me to go to the store, buy the CD (Money goes to the artist regardless of whether i like the music) and gotten home… i had downloaded it, listened to it, and deleted it. Also NOT theft.

      Compare software to buying a car for a moment -
      “I like this car, can i take it for a test drive?”
      “No, this is only a demo model, it doesnt come with steering or electrics, you need the full version for that. You CAN start the engine tho”
      “I just started the engine, i can hear that its not running on all cylinders, and im having trouble pressing the strangely placed accellerator”
      “Oh yes, support for the last two cylinders will be included in a later update. To use the accellerator, you will have to upgrade your foot to Foot version 2.0″
      “Well ive owned this car for 6 months and the two cylinders dont work, when is the update coming out”
      “Oh im sorry we stopped support for this car 3 months ago and development has been switched to the next model, would you like to upgrade? It will only cost you just as much as the last car did”

      I will give a flying fat rats clacker about the content industry, as soon as the content industry is held to the same standards as everyone else.

      • Evan
        Posted 25/02/2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink |

        Could not agree more with you Chris.
        Business models and finance aside, this is exactly how I (the customer/consumer) feel about the whole piracy blame game.

        I am so tired with this rhetoric of blame and pointed fingers. At the end of the day my use of pirated content is not a cause for anti-piracy measure but an outcome. A symptom if you will, of what happens when you make something I want hard to get and more expensive then it should be.

        Until those who provide said content release whatever object they have lodged you know where and use sensible and efficient means of providing their content, I will continue to use the mechanisms already provided to me by those who simply know better.




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