blog It’s no secret that a large percentage of the technology sector thinks that the current proposal by Federal Attorney-General George Brandis (pictured) to crack down on Internet piracy will have little impact, given that most such attempts in the fast have broadly failed, and the commonly held belief that commercial avenues represent the best way to handle the situation. However, some commentators feel things will go still further. Veteran telecommunications analyst Paul Budde wrote this morning on his blog that he expects the anti-piracy measures to actually increase piracy. His thoughts (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“As has been argued by many people around the world, companies – and indeed whole sectors – will need to transform themselves in the wake of the technical changes that are now underpinning the digital economy. Many organisations that have embarked on this have had to change their old business models in order to operate successfully in this new economy. Singling out certain sectors and making it unnecessary for them to change by giving their old business models special legal protection (in the case of copyrights, for instance, some of that protection is based on laws dating back to the 17th century) is not going to solve the problem. People clearly will continue to see this as unfair and as a result piracy will actually increase.
The proposed rules will not address the underlying reasons Australians resort to content piracy and, unless the government addresses those issues as well, piracy will simply increase as technology makes it easier for people to bypass the unfair practices of the content providers.”
It’s hard not to agree with Budde’s comments. Piracy has been successfully addressed in other content industries — music through iTunes and streaming music services like Spotify, gaming through Steam and the online platforms of Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, and books through Amazon, Apple and Google. It’s hard not to make an argument that Australians would certainly pay a very decent amount of money for much of the filmed content they’re currently pirating — if that content was more readily available. Just the prospect of a “Steam for TV shows and movies” is enough for most of us to think about pulling out our credit card and plonking it down on the digital table.
I’m not sure if I agree with Budde that the punitive measures being proposed by Brandis (warning and disconnecting users and blocking websites) will actually increase Internet piracy in Australia. But I am pretty sure that they won’t do much to solve the problem, especially in the long term.
Image credit: Parliamentary Broadcasting