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  • News, Telecommunications - Written by on Thursday, May 23, 2013 11:57 - 103 Comments

    Mass piracy lawsuits are back in Australia:
    Law firm targets end users’ details

    subpoena

    news A Sydney-based law firm has issued a series of letters to major Australian ISPs requesting they hand over the details of users who have allegedly used peer to peer Internet file sharing platforms to pirate content owned by the firm’s clients, in a move which appears set to reopen the debate about how such cases should be handled in Australia.

    Several sources have confirmed to Delimiter that the firm in question is Marque Lawyers, a small firm based in Sydney which counts intellectual property law as one of its specialities. However it is not yet clear who the firm’s clients are. This month the firm issued a number of Australian Internet service providers with letters requesting they reveal the identities of users belonging to IP addresses linked with peer to peer file sharing activity on platforms such as BitTorrent.

    Several of the ISPs concerned immediately responded to Marque denying access to the details of the users concerned. The firm has signalled that it is considering using the courts system to apply for what are known as ‘preliminary discovery’ orders to retrieve the information.

    The use of the discovery mechanism to source the user details of ISP customers suspected of committing online copyright infringement is a mechanism which has been popularised in the United States over the past several years. It involves copyright owners asking a court to force ISPs to release user details so that those users — rather than the ISP itself — can be prosecuted directly or otherwise targeted by the content owners.

    In a 2010 lawsuit filed by one of the more high-profile US organisations involved in this kind of practice, for example, known as the US Copyright Group, a Washington District Judge approved subpoenas relating to more than a thousand Time Warner Cable customers. An article published by Arstechnica in 2010 lays out a timeline involving such cases.

    In Australia, the potential use of this kind of legal mechanism to target alleged Internet pirates was first raised during the long-running court battle between local ISP iiNet and the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft and a cohort of film and TV studios. The judgement in April 2012 affirmed earlier judgements that iiNet had not authorised its customers to infringe copyright online and appeared to give ISPs some legal protection against being held responsible for their users’ behaviour. However, some observers believe that it left the door open for copyright holders to target alleged Australian Internet pirates more directly.

    In October 2011, for example, a group known as Movie Rights Group came to public attention in Australia as it issued a series of letters to major Australian ISPs seeking to use the legal discovery process to target some 9,000-odd Australians who the group alleged had pirated a certain film, ‘Kill the Irishman’, owned by its clients.

    It appears that its effort to seek users’ details failed and Movie Rights Group has been shut down. However, it appears that Marque Lawyers is proposing to use a similar approach to use the legal discovery mechanism to seek the details of ISP customers who have allegedly infringed the copyright of the firm’s clients. According to one source, the firm has informed ISPs that following the High Court ruling in the iiNet case, the legal discovery option is the only avenue open to ensure those who commit copyright infringement can be pursued.

    The firm is known to have issued ISPs with something of an ultimatum in some of its communications — giving ISPs only seven days to make an initial response to the issue.

    Delimiter has contacted Marque Lawyers by telephone and email this morning to request a statement or interview on the situation, and will publish any statement received from the firm or its clients in full as a right of reply to this article.

    The news comes as ongoing talks on the subject of Internet copyright infringement between the telecommunications industry and rights holders under the auspices of the Federal Attorney-General’s Department appear to have collapsed, with each side being unable to reach consensus on the appropriate way to tackle the issue in Australia.

    The most recent scheme proposed by the ISPs in November 2011 would see Australians issued with warning and educational notices after content owners provided evidence that the users had breached copyright online, with the ultimate penalty involving the ISPs potentially participating in some form of legal discovery process to hand some user details over to rights holders. However, it is believed that the scheme was quickly rejected by local representatives of rights holder organisations.

    Copyright infringement of major works continues to be an issue in Australia. Analysis by file-sharing news site TorrentFreak published in April, for example, showed that Australia continued to be the world’s most enthusiastic nation globally in terms of illegally downloading popular US TV show Game of Thrones, despite the fact that the series was made available legally, cheaply and in high quality in Australia shortly after it was broadcast in the US, through platforms such as Apple’s iTunes and the Foxtel pay TV service.

    Foxtel has subsequently confirmed reports that it will block the remaining seasons of HBO’s popular Game of Thrones series from being offered in Australia hours after the show is released in the US, due to an exclusive deal with the show’s producer HBO signed in October last year. Commentators immediately hailed the deal as a move that would further stimulate illegal downloads of the show.

    Internationally, the issue is also still hotly debated. For example, last week a report commissioned by the French Government recommended that the country should soften its controversial ‘three strikes’ law, which allocates the HADOPI agency in the country the power to cut off the Internet access of those accused of Internet copyright infringement. The report also reportedly recommended HADOPI be shut down.

    opinion/analysis
    It’s interesting to see this discovery mechanism pop up again courtesy of the letters sent by Marque Lawyers this month. To be honest, I knew that the issue would come up again at some point. The discovery process for obtaining ISP users’ details is, right now, perceived as being the only real legal option which content owners have for tackling Internet copyright infringement in Australia, and it was only a matter of time before one or more of the rights holders decided to test the process in court.

    It will be interesting to see how serious Marque and its clients are about pursuing the issue. I would guess, given the common interest in this ongoing issue, that some of the larger players in the ISP industry would be likely to be jointly currently discussing the Marque letters behind closed doors, and that the law firm and any others who go down this route will find something of a unified industry response, instead of isolated legal defences by specific ISPs. We saw this same phenomenon during the iiNet court case, with much of the ISP industry rallying behind iiNet, either publicly or giving assistance behind closed doors. I think Australia’s ISP industry has more or less had enough of being bullied by the global copyright industry at this point; a lot more steel has come into ISPs’ backbones following the conclusive victory iiNet won in its High Court defence against AFACT and its clients.

    Of course, there are also other options open to rights holders concerned that their content is being pirated online by Australians. Commercial options. Such as making that content available online through widely accessible platforms, in a reasonable time frame, at a reasonable cost, and in a reasonable technical format. You know, the way many in the video games industry have done with Steam, Xbox Live and the PlayStation Store, the way many in the music industry have done with Apple iTunes, and the way many in the book industry have done with the Amazon Kindle store. Heck, even the film and TV industry has started to come to the party on this issue, through platforms such as iTunes, Netflix (at least in the US), and FetchTV and Quickflix locally.

    However, like many who have written on this subject, I suspect this kind of sensible response to its customers’ demands is just not in the DNA of many in the content production industry, and that as a result, this kind of legal action will come up again and again until those dinosaurs die out and the rest successfully adjust to the new digital commercial reality.

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    103 Comments

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    1. Posted 23/05/2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink |

      Did they write to the service providers or did they subpoena them?

      If it’s the former than I’d be extremely disappointed in any ISP who hands over customer information, not to mention it could be borderline in breaching the privacy act.

      • Posted 23/05/2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink |

        They wrote to them in the first instance. I don’t believe any court action has commenced yet.

        • Steven
          Posted 23/05/2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink |

          That alone shows that they are conmen – no honest lawyer would expect ISPs to breach their obligations under the Privacy Act by handing over subscriber details without a court order.

          • Craig
            Posted 23/05/2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink |

            that’s exactly what I’d expect a lawyer to do.
            Time is money, wasted time is more money

        • Posted 23/05/2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink |

          If that’s the case, your “SUBPOENA” stock image at the top of the article may not necessarily be misleading, but it sure does give the wrong impression.

          • Posted 23/05/2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink |

            It’s a bit sensationalist, but I’m comfortable with it ;)

            • Andrew
              Posted 23/05/2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink |

              I’m comfortable with that.

      • James in Brisbane
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink |

        From a procedural perspective, a court will look more kindly on a request for a subpoena where the applicant had tried to obtain the information through non-curial processes. Just consider it a part of due process: you send a friendly letter asking for the information, the recipient says no, you go to court. Happens all the time.

        In relation to your suggestion Renai that making the content available more rapidly and more ubiquitously like iTunes sounds well in theory, but in practice I’m not sure how much difference it would make as there are still people who simply object to having to pay. Despite iTunes, plenty still torrent music that they can otherwise affordably buy. I have no objections with the content owners then hitting ISP for user details, at the end of the day the system cannot work without feasible enforcement.

        • Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink |

          I don’t think anyone here has an issue with content providers enforcing their copyright, and you’re right that in if they did make it more readily available some people would still pirate. But, that is no excuse for them not following due legal process (which they have completely failed to do and was the basis of why they lost the iiNet case), and the fact that some people will still pirate is no excuse for them not to make the product more readily available.

        • nitro
          Posted 23/05/2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink |

          Human civilisation has been making music for thousands of years so I don’t know what you mean by “the system cannot work”.

    2. GoT Fan
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink |

      “Copyright infringement of major works continues to be an issue in Australia. Analysis by file-sharing news site TorrentFreak published in April, for example, showed that Australia continued to be the world’s most enthusiastic nation globally in terms of illegally downloading popular US TV show Game of Thrones, despite the fact that the series was made available legally, cheaply and in high quality in Australia shortly after it was broadcast in the US, through platforms such as Apple’s iTunes and the Foxtel pay TV service.”

      A Foxtel Subscription or one online vendor. Not really much of an option. Some of us don’t want to give Apple our money or pony up for a foxtel subscription for one show.

      When are content producers going to get it, make getting it easy and people will take the path of least resistance. Yes people will still download it illiegally (don’t have the money or would never pay anyway), but if more focus is placed on converting those that otherwise would, they may find that piracy rates will drop to the point where it’s just a blip on the radar.

      Although that’s pretty much what iiNet has been saying for some time.

      • GoT Fan 2
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink |

        “Of course, there are also other options open to rights holders concerned that their content is being pirated online by Australians. Commercial options. Such as making that content available online through widely accessible platforms…”

        I have no interest in viewing commercial content on “platforms”. I want to have it is a file sitting on my home file server, that is accessible and viewable by any person and any device in my house, computer or otherwise. This includes my HTPC, running MPC-HC, upscaled with advanced algorithms using madVR, and properly synchronised to my 24p TV using ReClock. Good luck doing that with most online “platforms”.

        • Brendan
          Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink |

          You will be waiting a very very long time.

          It took years for the Music Industry to come to terms with DRM-free per-tune downloads. Motion Picture industry is still hung-up over regions, exclusive deals and content rights lock in.

          They’re making a killing, and get to abuse their consumers. Great gig if you can get it, I guess.

        • siridar
          Posted 23/05/2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink |

          > This includes my HTPC, running MPC-HC, upscaled with advanced algorithms using madVR, and properly synchronised to my 24p TV using ReClock

          …or you could run plex/xbmc, and check the “adjust display refresh rate to match video” option…

          • ray73864
            Posted 23/05/2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink |

            Was going to mention something similar to that.

            I’ve had Plex Media Server on my PC for a long time now, recently put the Plex software onto my RasPi, and i paid the small little fee for Plex on my iPad.

            I can now use my iPad to search through the list of stuff on my PC and choose whether i want it to play on my iPad or play on my TV, it just… works.

          • jezzarino
            Posted 23/05/2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink |

            Why sacrifice video quality by switching away from MadVR to that?

      • rundllexe
        Posted 24/05/2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink |

        “Copyright infringement of major works continues to be an issue in Australia. Analysis by file-sharing news site TorrentFreak published in April, for example, showed that Australia continued to be the world’s most enthusiastic nation globally in terms of illegally downloading popular US TV show Game of Thrones, despite the fact that the series was made available legally, cheaply and in high quality in Australia shortly after it was broadcast in the US, through platforms such as Apple’s iTunes and the Foxtel pay TV service.”

        I wonder if this has any correlation with the fact that Australians are charged some of the highest prices for consumable media in the world. Hmmmm

    3. Nobby6
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink |

      “It involves copyright owners asking a court to force ISPs to release user details so that those users — rather than the ISP itself — can be prosecuted directly or otherwise targeted by the content owners.”

      I’ve said for years, this is how it should be decided, via the courts. Of course it should also be a warning to ambulance chasers, that if ones details are sought, but not proved, the counter suite could do them just as much harm.

      But if the evidence is clear and plentiful, then the file sharer must answer for their actions.

    4. Kel
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink |

      “the series was made available legally, cheaply and in high quality in Australia shortly after it was broadcast in the US, through platforms such as Apple’s iTunes and the Foxtel pay TV service.”
      I find this a little misleading. Those platforms are still incredibly restricted, greatly limiting how the content can be viewed. Buying off iTunes won’t work on a smart TV unless one has AppleTV to enable checking the files. That might be all well and good for someone who has an AppleTV or watches shows on their computer, but it does lock one into using the products in a very user unfriendly manner. I ended up choosing to wait for the DVDs to come out (still waiting).

      Here’s hoping that there will be better content providers in the future. Quickflix works well on a SmartTV, but their catalogue doesn’t currently have new content. If only we could get Netflix here…

    5. Mike
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink |

      “But if the evidence is clear and plentiful, then the file sharer must answer for their actions.”

      Only if the evidence is guaranteed to be accurate and if found not to be so the instigating party should be subject to harsh penalties in line with damages sought., and of course the relevant I.S.P. should be financially compensated for time and effort expended.

      Mike

    6. SW_Victoria
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink |

      You need proof to obtain a court order. You need the court order to obtain the proof

      • Brendan
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink |

        As I understand it, you need to have probable cause and or provide sufficient supporting material for a court order; that doesn’t mean “fishing expedition” — which is exactly what this looks like.

        Request a ton of data, look for the hanging fish, ???, profit.

        IANAL, though.

      • Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink |

        How would having a customers personal details prove they pirated content?

        • Bruce
          Posted 23/05/2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink |

          Criminal action – beyond reasonable doubt.
          Civil action – balance of probabilities.
          There is no need for proof.

          • Steven
            Posted 23/05/2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink |

            LOL, you have that a bit wrong there Bruce… without needing proof, anyone could sue anything for anything and win.

            • Bruce
              Posted 23/05/2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink |

              From Legal Aid Queensland: The standard of proof in civil cases, ie for something to be proven to be true it must be more probable than not. This is a lesser standard than the standard of proof in criminal matters which is “beyond reasonable doubt”.

              IE your story must be at least slightly more credible than the other parties (51%?). While it may have brought a LOL to you Steven, if you take the case of a verbal contract or an accepted pattern of behaviour between parties then proof may be a very difficult thing to produce, it then comes down to the believability of the story. So yes, people can sue each other for anything without the burden of proof. Obvious examples, verbal contracts or assurances (oft seen in retail), slipping over in a supermarket, tripping on a pavement stone in the street or a burglar claiming a homeowner used unreasonable force to restrain or detain them. Why dont we all sue each other all the time – probably the costs and the timeframes, there are often more effective ways to resolve disputes.

              We currently enjoy the situation whereby the claims of the content industry are not considerd sufficient to identify and recover damages from an alleged infringer in a multi party environment. Because the content industry is not a party to the contract between the ISP and the contracted broadband user they cannot claim damages through a breach of copyright clauses in that contract. Do not confuse their attempts to find the right legal key to fit the copyright lock with a criminal definition of proof.

              • Steven
                Posted 23/05/2013 at 11:43 pm | Permalink |

                “The standard of proof in civil cases, ie for something to be proven to be true it must be more probable than not.”
                Exactly, the standard of proof not the absence of proof!

                If you believe that the courts will entertain a claim of copyright infringement without proof then you’re in for a surprise…

              • Steven
                Posted 23/05/2013 at 11:45 pm | Permalink |

                PS you are the only person here who has equated “proof” with “criminal standard of proof”…

    7. Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink |

      This sounds like they plan on continuing to argue in civil courts asking for damages and lost revenue. I personally find this approach rather offensive as you “sharing” the content is a part of downloading the content in file sharing. How can they prove lost revenue from a single downloader , even if they seeded a Tv show /Movie for months it is still possible like many of the people I know who download , also end up buying the movie/tv show on DVD.

      I have serious doubts that the local constabulary would bother laying criminal charges for a home user using bit Torrent.

      So the push for more secure Bit Torrent clients and servers will continue

    8. Dan
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink |

      I don’t have or want an iTunes account of Foxtel, so there are no other options.

      I’d happily pay to be able download a DRM free HD copy of a TV show or movie in the format of my choosing.
      First company to offer this gets my money.

      • Sierra Mike
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink |

        +1

      • GongGav
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink |

        Not wanting to be the bad guy here, but the content owners argument would be that there ARE avenues to you for obtaining the content, therefore its up to you to use those avenues. Cost isnt an excuse.

        You have the option of getting access to the show for a few bucks on iTunes, or through a Foxtel subscription, or by waiting for it to be released on disc and buying the DVD or blu ray. Thats all they need to offer, and the argument about availability isnt valid.

        Please dont get me wrong on this, I’m NOT in favor of the limited avenues available. But that doesnt mean the content holders are in the wrong either.

        As for these mass lawsuits, good luck to them. Without a court order, the ISP’s are under no obligation to provide details, and I doubt they’d have enough information to build a subpoena for the information. An IP address is just the door to the property.

        • Brendan
          Posted 23/05/2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink |

          The same content owners are happy to cannibalise existing paid evenues — GoT, Foxtel versus iTunes for example — but that’s not what Renai’s article is in reference to.

          In this instance, it’s the manner in which the legal firm is seeking information. It’s attempting to obtain data by demanding the ISP comply with the request. The usual bravado and bluster we’ve come to expect.

          Courts, once again, side-stepped in an attempt to perform a fishing expedition. I don’t really care if there’s a cost involved to get a court order. Or that to do so might actually involve some kind of evidentiary notation.

          • GongGav
            Posted 23/05/2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink |

            Yeah I know, I was responding directing to Dan’s statement.

            As for the story proper, its going to be interesting to see what happens. In the US, this style of case is getting thrown out of just about every court in the land. Go to arstechnica.com and look for the various stories on Prenda – the arguments Judge Otis Wright used against them to basically squash them as a law firm are valid anywhere.

            These lawsuits work in a very simple way. They get the IP owners details, send them a demand letter for an amount around $2000 to $3000, or just below what challenging it in court would cost. They dont WANT court cases, so every person that fights them get off, they just want people to pay the money for the issue to go away.

            Their methods are predatory, and exceptionally scam-like in their nature and result, which goes against them at every legal level. It only takes one court to see that and the whole thing unravels.

            I hope they try to take it to court, I really do, because in the next 5 to 10 years its going to become a much bigger issue, and getting some solid case law now will only help in the future. And with that, you want the dodgy ones to be the ones to establish that case law, because if Sony and friends directing AFACT are the ones pushing it, their money might drive to a much different outcome. To our detriment.

            • 1984
              Posted 23/05/2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink |

              This isn’t the usual shake down.

              Foxtrl are going to public soon enough, that they’re going to pursue people for breach of copyright/licence of games of thrones. Accordingly this will scare hundreds of thousands of people into buying subscriptions, at $75 a month, meaning hundreds of millions of dollars per annum.

              The reason why litigation of this nature fails, even at the discovery level is the huge cost and lack of litigation insurance.

              Worse unless damages are limited to losses that you can substantiate. The baloney figures the studios push wouldn’t last a second in a court.

              This is just a subscriber drive, the only thing is that they obviously didn’t count on ISPs leaking this story. However considering that Telstra has green light the plan I’d dare say the industry is none to happy at telstra’s move to attack their subscribers. Reduced Average revenue per customer as people shift their dollars from large quota plans to expensive pay tv subscriptions.

              • GongGav
                Posted 23/05/2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink |

                Saw below that Foxtel were behind the firm.

                Interesting tactic, as its a dubious question whether they own the rights sufficient enough to sue for breach of copyright. I’d have thought those rights remained with HBO and their parent corporations.

            • 1984
              Posted 23/05/2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink |

              This isn’t the usual shake down.

              Foxtrl are going to public soon enough, that they’re going to pursue people for breach of copyright/licence of games of thrones. Accordingly this will scare hundreds of thousands of people into buying subscriptions, at $75 a month, meaning hundreds of millions of dollars per annum.

              The reason why litigation of this nature fails, even at the discovery level is the huge cost and lack of litigation insurance.

              Worse unless damages are limited to losses that you can substantiate. The baloney figures the studios push wouldn’t last a second in a court.

              This is just a subscriber drive, the only thing is that they obviously didn’t count on the ISPs leaking this story. However considering that Telstra has green light the plan I’d dare say the industry is none to happy at telstra’s move to attack their subscribers. Reduced Average revenue per customer as people shift their dollars from large quota plans to expensive pay tv subscriptions.

    9. Trev
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink |

      The real questions we should be asking are…

      is this legit?

      Is it HBO or other some other big movie conglomerate behind this and they really want to stop copyright infringement on their TV shows or blockbuster movies?

      Or is this just a shakedown? Some small, insignificant troll firm has bought or acquired the rights to some irrelevant movie or porn film so that once they get the user information, they send out letters ‘offering to settle’ for a couple of thousand dollars without ever intending to take to court? Slap some porn movie name in the title and embarrass them into paying whether they infringed or not?

      https://www.eff.org/press/releases/eff-appeals-court-stop-porn-troll-shakedown-scheme

      Before discussing the big picture and giving this firm and their backers credit, which this article seems to do, we need to know further details …

      • Sierra Mike
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink |

        I could be wrong, but i’ve heard Australian courts don’t hand out the exorbitant damages that US courts do. You download a $30 movie, you pay $30 dollars damages.

        But I could be wrong.

    10. Brendan
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink |

      Step one, leverage the courts.

      Problem is, step one isn’t step one. The process this lawyer is using, is no different to the particularly long line of such attempts. First attempt is always to not use the court system.

      ISPs will comply in general with legal requests, as they have mentioned on more than one occasion. As they should. Being commanded by a legal firm to, apparently, cough up private data records outside of any court-ordered or otherwise legally-binding framework, isn’t one.

      Frankly, in instances like this, I’d actually like to see the practice fined for an attempt to coerce a breach of the Privacy Act. I doubt that’s possible, but it might cause a bit of a re-think.

    11. Brendan
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink |

      Commercial options. Such as making that content available online through widely accessible platforms, in a reasonable time frame, at a reasonable cost, and in a reasonable technical format. You know, the way many in the video games industry have done with Steam, Xbox Live and the PlayStation Store..

      This is the thing; the content industry doesn’t like sharing profits. Refer to the teeth gnashing around iTunes store and so forth over the last few times prices were reviewed.

      There’s a huge amount of money at stake. The more it’s spread, the less they make. So, they fight.

    12. GENIII
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink |

      I like how Renai says you can download it from itunes or watch it on foxtel…. Ummm No thanks.

      Itunes is a terrible program, crashes my computer constantly when installed (i7 980 win7 x64 8gb ram) runs fine when its not on there.

      Foxtel, hahahaha no thanks. Rupert has enough money without robbing me every month.

      GENIII

      • GENIII
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink |

        Show me how to donate/pay directly to the makers of the show and ill pay a fair price for their work.

        I will not ever support Apple or Foxtel EVER!

    13. 1984
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink |

      The bigger question is who does Marque Lawyers represent? It looks like one of their major clients is Multi Channel Networks who is a organisation related to Foxtel – http://www.mcn.com.au/. MCN is a FoxTel company run by a Anthony Fitzgerald CEO. [Censored by Renai]

      I suspect this is over Game’s of Thrones and the recent moves by FoxTel i.e. stopping distribution via iStore etc. They’re obviously very upset/stung over the number of people watching for “free”.

      So lets do some maths. The only way to get GOT on FoxTel is via ShowCase and ShowCase is only via the premium package: $75 a month.

      If a million “family’s” are downloading GOT without paying FoxTel then:

      1m subscriptions
      $75 per subscription
      = $75m per month X 12 months = $900m per annum. Over three seasons this is a potential revenue of BILLIONS!

      Sure that might have paid HBO $40-70m (who knows) for exclusive rights to screen in Australia but with their current subscriptions its clear that FoxTel would easily be recouping enough to pay HBO and make a healthy profit on GOT, especially with those who have picked up the subscription due to GOT.

      Personally I would sign up to FoxTel if it wasn’t for the fact that they take $75 in one hand and gobs of cash from advertisers with the other. Bombarding you with adverts when the point of Pay TV is to avoid the adverts that you see on Free 2 Air.

      Its clear that even if half of the piraters out there pick up a subscription with FoxTel that they’ll easily make digusting amounts of profit, even after say $100m in litigation costs.

      I say we counter attack. We need a national campaign to compel current FoxTel subscribers to dump their subscriptions. These GREEDY disgusting PIGS needs to learn that they can’t contiune to strip mine society.

      HBO need to learn to stop making these exclusive deals. If they sold the show direct they could easily make tens a million a month. Cut out the middle man and use internet distribution damnit .

      ____

      Client List: http://www.marquelawyers.com.au/what-we-do/our-clients/

      “Established in 1997, MCN is now a joint venture between Foxtel and FOX SPORTS.

      MCN represents the commercial advertising opportunities for 55 premium subscription television brands, 72 premium websites, 61 dedicated mobile sites, 40 apps, plus 3 leading IPTV services and a retail digital screen network”

      • bern
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink |

        Er, no: the point of pay TV isn’t too provide ad-free content, it’s too make money for the network owner. Ad-free was just a selling point to entice customers to sign up back in the days when free to air TV could compete on content. These days, that edge is no longer necessary, and ads bring in more revenue, ergo…

        • 1984
          Posted 23/05/2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink |

          So defiantly they don’t deserve my money. It’s double dipping.

    14. Chris
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink |

      Small law firm…….! Desperate for business?

      • Trev
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink |

        50/50 profits with rightsholder?

        Some film you’ve never heard of? Or porn?

        Business case:

        1. Obtain names from ISP.
        2. Send out 5,000 letters alleging infringement of ‘Mike and Paul’s Gary Escapades’, 60c each ($3000). Less than a days work.
        3. 10% response, $2500 per settlement = $1.25 million * 50% = $625,000. – costs = $620,000
        4. Ignore the 90%, “as if we’d get anywhere in court!”
        5. Rinse and repeat with different movie.

        No court involved except for initial subpoena if required.

        • Trev
          Posted 23/05/2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink |

          Gary=Gay

        • Posted 23/05/2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink |

          That would be illegal ..

          • SMEMatt
            Posted 23/05/2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink |

            and worked for a while in the UK until they sent one to a lord.

    15. Troden
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink |

      I have Foxtel and pay for the upgraded Entertainment Plus package but still cant watch Games of Thrones as that’s on Showtime which is an additional cost yet again. They are already getting a ton of my $ every month and want even more for Game of Thrones. no thanks.

      • Chris
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink |

        As an added benefit on top of all the money you are giving them, you also get to pay to watch commercials on Foxtel, too!

    16. Thateus
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink |

      Heh. I was amused that Marque Lawyers don’t actually believe in what they are alleged to be doing. Read their article about “why an IP address is not a user”:

      http://www.marquelawyers.com.au/assets/marque-update_5-june-2012.pdf

      Quote from Marque’s article:

      “The judge, rightly in our view, agreed with the users that just because an IP address is in
      one person’s name, it does not mean that that person was the one who illegally
      downloaded the porn.”

      • amazing
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink |

        hahaha that is so funny
        they say that an ip address is not a person yet they are sending letters out troll fashion to ipaddress fishing
        love it love it.
        i think this will be a dead issue like last time unlike sending letters of demand to people they have names already.
        finding out names is definatly a privacy issue that even the judge will look at.
        unless they have ultimate proof that this is the person all they have to do is send it to 1 or 2 wrong people who will sue the bejesus out of them for defamation! and bam systems dead.
        even tho the govenment streamlined the act their is still a duty of privacy by all that take presidence

        • Matt
          Posted 24/05/2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink |

          Unfortunately though, an IP address is an account holder and account holders agree to responsibility for activities on their accounts.

          • Trev
            Posted 24/05/2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink |

            Umm, this is Australia mate. We have a proper legal system which doesn’t allow for that crap and if it ever does, let’s hope for a revolution soon… oh wait, none of us has guns…

            So it’s good to know you’ll be happy to go to jail for 10+ years because some war-driver downloads child-porn off your wireless internet connection because either 1. Your password wasn’t difficult enough. 2. You have no idea about wi-fi and don’t know WEP can be easily worked around or 3. Some previously unknown vulnerability has been found in WPA2?

            You’ll be put on sex-registers for the rest of your life and be a convicted criminal. But it was YOUR account, so you’ll be happy to cop it on the chin. Well good on you.

            Anyway, back to the real world ..

            • Matt
              Posted 24/05/2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink |

              I’m not supporting the proposition I’m just saying it’s a reality with what occurs in Australia or internationally for copyright infringement.

              • Steven
                Posted 26/05/2013 at 11:03 pm | Permalink |

                It’s not – several courts have found to the contrary, a position which the ambulance chasers in this story actually agreed with.

                • Fabian
                  Posted 30/05/2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink |

                  Yes, the article refers to a US court not doing so. The fact is some still have in the past.

                  It’s not just these US courts in the past that have done it, if you look at our neighbour New Zealand you’ll see their regime equates proving infringement against an IP address to the proving infringement against an account holder.

          • Posted 24/05/2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink |

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/24/unsecured-wifi-child-pornography-innocent_n_852996.html

      • 1984
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink |

        Good find

      • Chris
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink |

        The article invites people who have questions to give the legal firm a call. I might just call them and ask them how they can justify participating in this current ISP Trolling action when they’ve previously acknowledged that an IP address does not identify the individual responsible for infringing IP?

        Everyone should call them since they graciously included their phone numbers in the sidebar of the article.

      • Brian
        Posted 24/05/2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink |

        IANAL, but I don’t think you get to sue the wrong person just because you can’t figure out who the right person is. Surely, the onus is on the plaintiff to demonstrate that the person they are suing is the person who did the downloading.

    17. Michael
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink |

      One of the issues regarding the ‘Game of Thrones’ TV show is that many people will want to buy the DVD / Bluray box-set the moment it is released. They don’t want to be charged twice (hence why cinema is dying: pay $20 to watch it with annoying children along with your overpriced popcorn, and then have to buy it when it comes out on DVD).

      TV and movie studios love this arrangement it has with its consumers, and won’t be amending it anytime soon.

      I look forward to the day when a TV studio says, “Hey, if you pay us $20 you can download and watch all of these episodes. Once the season is over, you can order the box-set from us for a further $10″.

      One can dream.

    18. Aaricus
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 3:45 pm | Permalink |

      Maybe if the big studios can make content available FOR US TO BUY as a simultaneous release date with the US then most Australians wouldn’t find the need to download it illegally.

      To this day there is content that you simply cannot buy digitally in Australia but that IS available digitally in the US.

      There is also content not available here digitally OR OTHERWISE, simply cannot be purchased in Australia period. The only option again is to illegally download it.

      Why is there a US iTunes store and a separate more expensive Australian iTunes store.

      Fix all these issues and you will fix most of the consumer complaints.

      • Trevor
        Posted 26/05/2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink |

        The flaw with your argument is that no one has any need to illegally download material. They want it, they steal it and make up all sorts of BS excuses blaming the content originator or content provider for forcing them to steal stuff. Ever had expensive stuff stolen from your home? I bet you didn’t blame the manufacturers for not making it cheaper and more readily available to burglars. I bet you blamed the person who stole it and you couldn’t give a toss what excuses they might come up with.

        • Posted 26/05/2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink |

          Do we really need to go back and explain why piracy is not the same as theft?

        • Leon Wright
          Posted 26/05/2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink |

          @Trevor – and the the flaw with your argument is equating copyright infringement with theft. The two things aren’t interchangeable. When someone steals something from your house, you are deprived from that item.

          However when downloading something you are making a digital copy, the original is not lost and the duplicate is exactly the same as the original. Nobody was deprived of their property, so the two cannot be equated (as much as big media would make out to believe).

          People who really don’t want to pay will always find a way not to pay. And since they lose nothing by not dealing with them, instead of focusing on that minority, they should be focusing on making it easier for people to do the right thing. If you make something easy to do and for a reasonable price, people will do the right thing.

          At the moment it’s quite difficult to the right thing (limited choices, tied to expesnive subscriptions, DRM etc) and the “pirates” provide a much more convient service.

          Copyright was originally invented to protect the middle men, not the artists. To this day it is still abused by the middle men. Who in a digital society are mostly irrevelent. So instead of moving with the times they lobbying for law changes (SOPA, CISPA etc) and attempt to ruin the lives of their potential customer base (massive law suits, with life ending damages).

    19. Stephen
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink |

      Why does this seem terribly similar to Prenda Law’s modus operandi in the US?

      You might want to tie that in for a nice counter-point Renai.

      If you’re not already familiar with the Prenda set-up I’d advise you to read up on it – a law firm gaming the copyright laws in what are being regarded by a US Federal Judge to be fraudulent ways.

      • GongGav
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink |

        Mentioned them above. Great roundup of the stories on arstechnica.com which really shows how deep in trouble they’ve managed to end up.

        Courts are throwing everything at them at the moment, and solely because one judge knew how to use Google Maps…

        And the best part is that at the end of the day, the arguments used against Prenda should work with just about any mass piracy lawsuit – the intent isnt to get to court, and hence the intent isnt to enforce the law. The intent is to make money rather than protect rights, clearly shown through the “go away” fee people are charged.

        And its that which has pissed off the seppo courts.

        • Stephen
          Posted 23/05/2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink |

          I find the Popehat coverage better than Ars (Ars has some frankly weird biases of it’s own, it’s turned into a hangout for rabid libertarian-Apple-fanbois, some curious editorial policy in play). They also have a much better and more nuanced understanding of the judgements, being lawyer themselves.

          It’s the gaming of the courts rather than the people they extorted and their complete lack of following process that really pissed of the judge, that and their incredible arrogance. It’s the equal corner cutting when it comes to process that will see similar results here, real judges are very particular about this.

        • nonny-moose
          Posted 23/05/2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink |

          for a look at prenda from the lawyerly perspective, ive been following http://www.popehat.com as well as ars tech – ars are great from some perspectives but having a little extra from another viewpoint never hurt….. the actions of prenda law are basically summed up as ‘clusterf**k’; or alternately an object lesson in ‘when you are in a hole, stop digging’. so far they havent been inclined to, which is leading to some pretty spectacular outcomes…..

          if anyone wants to try this shit on in Oz i truly hope for a Judge of the calibre of Otis Wright. it certainly couldn’t hurt.

        • GongGav
          Posted 23/05/2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink |

          Yeah thanks for the referal to popehat guys. I generally mention Ars out of habit, as its one of the main sites I go to daily for a tech roundup. I find in general they dont just report the same crap you see on every other tech site, and have a decent range of editorials and other stuff for diversion.

          Popehat are great as well, just never seem to get around to visiting them like I should.

          • Stephen
            Posted 23/05/2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink |

            Ars do have quite good science coverage, their IT stuff is patchy. They love Apple and MS and hate Google and Samsung.
            Their vilification of the CSIRO as patent-trolls was beyond belief, completely against the evidence and edifying as to their editors political views.
            They were purchased by Conde Nast last year and reporting on the whole has deteriorated, many of the better long-terms have left.
            New media seems highly susceptible to the same failings as the old…

    20. Soth
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink |

      What about the people who have purchased something on iTunes but then downloaded it from torrents?
      I’m guilty of that for sure, if there’s even guilt for doing that.

      • Simon Reidy
        Posted 23/05/2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink |

        I don’t think that defense would hold up in court. Ethically speaking it should, but it wouldn’t. SWIM torrents shows and buys them on Blu-Ray as soon as available, but I’m sure that defense wouldn’t hold up either :(

        • Soth
          Posted 23/05/2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink |

          Yeah thought that would be the case.
          Long gone are the days of purchasing something and actually owning it :P

    21. Tony Gratis
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink |

      Good to see every other crime in this world has been solved.

      typical

    22. Kevin Davies
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink |

      It will be fun watching them try….. and get swatted like a fly.

    23. FB pages
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink |

      Ok let’s let them do it then a Facebook campaign targeting their other clients I bet they would back down if they started to lose clients or pressure on clients.
      Seens only fair they apply pressure on people works botheays

    24. Chris
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 8:57 pm | Permalink |

      I know someone who bought a season pass to Game Of Thrones Season 3 off iTunes, but still downloads each episode via a torrent because it’s available a day before it is on iTunes, and so they can watch it on their TV instead of being restricted to watching it on their computer.

    25. Pete
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink |

      Renai,

      You noted that Australian’s were the heaviest downloaders of GoT, as you say, “Despite the fact that the series was made available legally, cheaply and in high quality in Australia shortly after it was broadcast in the US, through platforms such as Apple’s iTunes and the Foxtel pay TV service.”

      You then criticize the decision to of Foxtel to lock out iTunes (presumably by paying a higher licensing fee to HBO?) saying it would only increase piracy. But if making it quickly available, cheaply and in a high definiton format still wasn’t enough still wasn’t enough to outstrip the piracy – why would HBO maintain that deal when they could get more money out of Foxtel to lock out iTunes and the obviously small number of GoT payers? Despite protestations from tech journos and ISPs that this is the solution to piracy – these stats show it does SFA. Despite meeting all your requirements – people still weren’t prepared to pay for GoT.

      You talk about how music has all these business models. You do know that the pioneers in online delivery, Radiohead and NIN now say they screwed up and cannabalised their own industry:
      http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/4/4054634/musics-pay-what-you-want-pioneers-sour-on-giving-away-songs

      Finally, you go on to talk about waiting for the dinosaurs to die out – but the music labels are still there. And you can’t make quality TV shows and movies on a pithy camera with no staff, post production and advertising and expect results. These ‘dinosaurs’ are here to stay whether you like it or not. Additionally, there’s plenty of speculation about artists continuing to provide their music when the pay out rate is around $5/10000 streams. http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2012/12/does-spotify-have-a-future/

      Lets face it, the digital commercial reality most people want is unlimited everything for next to nothing. And even if that ever eventuates, people will still justify to themselves why they shouldn’t have to pay anything at all. Only, as the reasons run out, the excuses just get more ridiculous.

    26. The12thMan
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink |

      Interesting name for a company engaged by the content industry to undertake actions against pirates.

    27. Graeme
      Posted 23/05/2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink |

      Cable television is a huge joke here. We have a choice of Rupert and Optus, which uses mainly Rupert’s cable programming. What a choice. Theatre chains are a law unto themselves; two cases in point the film Snitch which hit the screens a week or so back is already out on DVD just about everywhere elese in the world. My favourite was the film Priest which Birch, Carroll and Coyle put in their theatres three and a half months after the rest of the world got to see it. And they wonder why Australians are naughty downloaders. We have what is arguably the worst television programming in the western world. So while we put up with crap television and theatre chains who treat us like serfs then the naughty downloading will continue.

    28. Matt
      Posted 24/05/2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink |

      Correct me if I’m wrong but I see this as one or a combination of three things:
      a) Rights holders have never ceased sending letters of infringement and request for details to ISPs. Here we have a journalist just spinning it and keeping it relevant.

      b) The rights holders have recommenced sending these letters because they want to keep attention being brought back on to the issue, and scare some people in the process.

      c) The rights holders are sending these, and this will lead them to seeking discovery orders and pursuing individual infringers. Since this seems to have been abandoned around the world for sometime you would be surprised.

      With the iiNet decision last year, no ISP will put any weight on letters like this and the lawyers know this.

      • Matt
        Posted 24/05/2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink |

        After reading some of the comments I think its probably closer to number 2- a recommencement of this sort of action but by a different type of rights holder or content provider then usual- Foxtel.

        A comment above has a pretty good theory of connecting this law firm to them. Interesting stuff.

      • Steven
        Posted 26/05/2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink |

        d) None of the above. The dodgy rights holders sending automated detection emails to ISPs is not the same as Australian lawyers sending letters to Australian ISPs, and given that ISPs will refuse their demands their next course of action will be to find an ignorant jurist who will grant the discovery orders. Once the lawyers have customer details, they will send out letters of demand to try and extort money from account holders under threat of legal action (even though the lawyers know it will never be followed through).

    29. Daniel
      Posted 24/05/2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink |

      This is because of the election.

      IF Coalition come in again, no doubt they will listen to private enterprise about our laws.

      That is what they about – reduce red tape.

    30. Dirk James
      Posted 25/05/2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink |

      I find this very interesting that this new is not also on any of the other major new services online. E.G. news.com.au, theage.com.au, theaustralian.com.au, etc…

      I wonder how far this legal firm are actually going to get with the likes of BigPond/Telstra, & Optus…

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 25/05/2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink |

        Dirk
        Telstra is a 50% Shareholder in Foxtel. In their interest as is maintaining a Pay or Subscription TV Monopoly. As brought up above, the rewards are very substantial

    31. Dirk James
      Posted 25/05/2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink |

      I deal (Unfortunately for me!) with Telstra (Enterprise & Government) every day. The total disjointed beast isn’t capable of aligning itself as a whole with Foxtel and fighting this.. They can hardly provision a SIM card let alone band together two departments when the need arises to get even the most minute thing done.

      It will be interesting to see where this goes though.. As the major news services haven’t given this the light of day yet I don’t see anything real happening. (But I could just be looking at this in a very narrow minded window.)

    32. Peter K
      Posted 26/05/2013 at 12:14 am | Permalink |

      A corporation must follow the profit. By law it is obligated to its shareholders to pursue the money and provide them with the largest possible return.

      Even if the CEO of a corporation didn’t want to follow immoral paths to create wealth he or she has no choice. Shareholders can take the corporation to court if they choose people over profit.

      For that reason I believe this fight will go on forever, as the Industry must strive for the highest possible profit. By law it can do nothing else. This has been that way forever and I can’t see them changing rules of the stockmarket.

      This battle will be very, very long for everyone.

      • Abel Adamski
        Posted 26/05/2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink |

        +100
        The very issue the NBN faces with Murdoch and Foxtel and Sky. Where is the line drawn?, is bringing governments down and crippling the future economy to maximise profits also legitimate??

        • Early Grayce
          Posted 27/05/2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink |

          For some reason when you talked about those sorts of business practices Gina Rinehart came to mind.

    33. Goddy
      Posted 26/05/2013 at 4:44 am | Permalink |

      Good luck to them. This will never get legs in the courts.

    34. shadow
      Posted 27/05/2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink |

      I never know Game of Thrones was available on iTunes and i would never call Foxtel cheap (far from it)

    35. Early Grayce
      Posted 27/05/2013 at 5:41 pm | Permalink |

      I would happily pay for the shows I watch and would never say never to buying through Apple or Foxtel but I want to watch all of my shows on my Lounge TV and the only convenient way to do so is to either have a DVD that I can play on, or stream it to my 360. Foxtel has made it very difficult to add a Cable TV tuner to a Media Centre PC but if that was easy I would be more likely to subscribe to Foxtel and timeshift the shows I want to buy, I already have a FTA TV tuner on my PC and do this with Dr Who on ABC through Media Centre.
      I do not want to pay a large amount of money for 30 TV channels I will never watch and my family only watches about 1 show a day other than my child who watches a few more shows on ABC so can’t find a good reason to get Foxtel. I stream movies through the X-Box streaming service when the ones I want are available and even tried Quickflicks which was a waste of time since they seem to be rolling over a few hundred shows with only a few available at any time changed fortnightly, even their PC streaming service has more items.
      I will continue to download shows I want to watch and buy them when they make it to DVD to help contribute to the finances of the producers but only because there is no way to conveniently buy new TV shows to watch in my lounge. With the prevalence of 360s and PS3s in the lounge rooms of Australia I am very surprised that there are not good options for purchasing media on either of those platforms. I am pretty sure that more people in Australia own a console rather than an Apple TV box but I may be wrong.

    36. Pudd
      Posted 23/06/2013 at 1:32 am | Permalink |

      With Australian copyright laws, as I understand them, the holder of the copyright can only sue for loss of revenue caused by the alleged breach of copyright. Meaning if I only download a movie/show for personal use, the owner of the copyright can only lawfully sue me to recover their loss in earnings (say 2 – 10 dollars), ie. what it would have cost me to buy the show through itunes or whatever. As long as I don’t make money off it, display it publically, claim the work to be my own, or make the product available for others, then it would be impossible to sue me for more than than that $5 per show.
      I recently found some of my photo’s that I had taken and used for my business website, cut and pasted into somebody else’s website in a similar industry. I was advised that firstly I would need to take out a copyright on the said images, before I could make an issue of the theft of my images. But, as those images were only displayed on somebodies website, it would be impossible to define how much revenue I had lost through these pictures being published elsewhere (realistically $0), and indeterminable if these images had lead to an increased profit being received by the “illegal” user.
      Nothing left for me to do but post bad reviews of the company in question, in all of the online advertising sites that I could find them listed in. (Faceless defamation, ya gotta love the net.)
      Yeah, Australian laws may need to be updated to suit the digital age, but until then I’ll be downloading Game of Thrones every week, an hour after it was shown in the US.

      • Posted 23/06/2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink |

        Meaning if I only download a movie/show for personal use, the owner of the copyright can only lawfully sue me to recover their loss in earnings (say 2 – 10 dollars), ie. what it would have cost me to buy the show through itunes or whatever.

        Nup, the associated penalties for downloading a movie can be found at the beginning of a legit copy of the movie, the bit where it says “if you copy, publicly show, you will be penalised nada nada “. It’s a lot more than a few $’s.

        I recently found some of my photo’s that I had taken and used for my business website, cut and pasted into somebody else’s website in a similar industry. I was advised that firstly I would need to take out a copyright on the said images, before I could make an issue of the theft of my images.

        You don’t need to take out copyright, copyright ownership is automatically assigned as you took the pictures. If a business is using them for advertising then it wouldn’t fall under fair use, direct revenue gained wouldn’t matter, you would still have a case for copyright infringement.

        About 15 years ago an ex-manager of mine’s brother had a website called sweeeet.com (or something like that), which was a SouthPark fan page. He did these 3D rendered images of all the characters, which looked cool, and were created as non-profit under the fair use. These images were then used as stickers on the front of Juiced (I think it was Juiced anyway) magazine. He contacted them to no avail, so he sued them, and he won.

        Nothing left for me to do but post bad reviews of the company in question, in all of the online advertising sites that I could find them listed in. (Faceless defamation, ya gotta love the net.)

        You’re harassing and slandering a business? And you don’t consider that illegal?

        Yeah, Australian laws may need to be updated to suit the digital age, but until then I’ll be downloading Game of Thrones every week, an hour after it was shown in the US.

        No, you need to learn a bit more about Australian law, or at the very least get a better solicitor.




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