NBN Co hires music anti-piracy chief


The National Broadband Network Company today confirmed it had hired Sabiene Heindl, one of the most high-profile executives working for the music industry’s Australian anti-piracy taskforce, Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI).

Heindl didn’t immediately return a call today requesting comment. However, this morning, a NBN Co spokesperson confirmed the company had hired Heindl, noting the executive would be starting with the company in a few months. iTNews, which broke this story, reported today that Heindl would join NBN Co as its “stakeholder manager”.

For the past five years, Sabiene Heindl has been one of the music industry’s chief local generals in its war against online music piracy. A former senior associate with law firm Allens Arthur Robinson (according to her LinkedIn profile), Heindl joined MIPI in early 2006 to be its general manager and take the organisation’s fight online.

Since that time, Heindl has been a constant thorn in the side of those would share music online, commenting on actions such as the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft’s long-running BitTorrent case against Internet service provider iiNet and commissioning research into piracy’s impact on Australia’s economy.

Heindl has also worked with law enforcement organisations such as the Australian Federal Police in arresting local manufacturers of counterfeit goods, including pirated software, CDs and DVDs.

As recently as 9 June (PDF), Heindl was still reinforcing MIPI’s view of the future of the ISP industry’s approach to copyright, pushing the organisation’s view that it wanted to work with service providers on a “graduated response scheme” that would discourage illegal file-sharing online.

“The Australian music industry and the [Australian Content Industry Group] have always made it clear that any industry-led code to deal with illegal file-sharing of content would require effective sanctions for repeat infringers that fail to heed educational notices,” Heindl said at the time. “Research around the world makes it clear that notice-upon-notice schemes are unlikely to achieve the goal of encouraging consumers to migrate to consumption that supports artists and songwriters.”

MIPI’s remit is to conduct investigative, preventative and education activities in relation to music piracy in Australia, acting on behalf of about 125 record companies through the Australian Recording Industry Association and more than 2,000 songwriters and music publishers.

It’s not clear what Heindl’s role will entail, but it is possible the position will see the executive working with existing NBN Co executives on external industry and government relations — such as the company’s head of industry engagement, Christy Boyce, or government relations and external affairs chief Mike Kaiser.

Image credit: Mike Johnson, royalty free


  1. if this $50bln dOOZie called “NBN” gets built,…. you can kiss goodbye to cheap internet and generous data allowances…. torrenting and online piracy activity will slump down under… no need to hire someone to deal with “content stakeholders”… high internet/data prices will kill piracy on its own… save our taxpayer $$$…

    • Save our taxpayer $$$…

      So that the government can do as governments are supposed to, use those funds to build new and update existing worn and/or superseded infrastructure…

      Such as the PSTN…


  2. You’re joking right? They hire a guy from one of the biggest, most embarrassing companies in the WORLD to help us build a network? Lets be clear, these so called ‘anti-piracy’ companies have not only been caught spreading misinformation deliberately in to the media, they also spend big bucks to lobby for ever more invasive measures to monitor your internet usage; have constantly failed over the past decade to do ANYTHING about the issue of piracy on the web. Not only is piracy happening on the largest scale we have ever seen, its now faster, easier and cheaper to get all the software, movies and music you like illegally. Sorry, why are we hiring this man again? And why is this a headline? Men of his ilk run failed enterprises and continue to embarrass themselves on an international scale – one only needs to read the Legal Letters section of ThePirateBay to get an idea of how these cashed up social vampires work.

  3. Just realised Sabiene is a woman. Regardless, my position remains the same: keep lawyers who have obviously sold their soul for money OUT of our NBN.

    • What we need to remember is lawyers have very flexible morals, I am sure she will be a very good hire once she assimilates back into reality rather than the distorted world view of MIPI. :)

  4. NBN was sounding promising until this. So they go to the effort of freeing Australia from the regulatory nightmare that has come since Telstra was privatised then they go hire someone who defends – and leads – arguably the ugliest monopolies in existence.

    Bravo NBNco, you’ve just torpedoed yourself and you’re making at least one of the faithful ponder who exactly this network is being built to service.

  5. But the NBN is just a front for the “internet filter” – why do you think that subject has gone quiet? The NBN is the monopoly that will give the powers that be their internet filter wishes.

  6. “[…] Heindl has been a constant thorn in the side of those would share music online, commenting on actions such as the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft’s long-running BitTorrent case against Internet service provider iiNet […]”

    Uhh… did they not see how that case went? Why would you hire someone after such an epic failure like that?
    Something fishy is going on here.

  7. Well NBN co do need a specialist in commissioning research that makes up numbers to combat the numbers that get made up by people opposing the NBN.

  8. Hi everyone,

    please be careful what you post on this thread with regard to personal insults regarding Ms Heindl. I have deleted several comments because they contained personal attacks which were not verifiable.



Comments are closed.