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New Australian legislation would put copyright infringers under a "three strikes" policy. The third strike would result in ISP account termination.  (Source: Sony Pictures)
The Aussies look to follow a British proposal to force ISPs to terminate filesharers

In what could be described as a filesharer's worst nightmare and the RIAA's sweetest dream, Great Britain and now Australia are debating legislation that seeks to force internet service providers (ISPs) to drop customers whom are found to be downloading copyrighted material.

The International Federation for the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), a media watchdog and parent of the RIAA, championed the efforts.  It says that over one billion songs in Australia alone were downloaded illegally, yearly, costing the music industry an untold fortune in revenue.

The new Aussie and British legislation calls for a three strikes policy.  A first offense, which the government categorizes as accessing music, TV shows and movies illegally, would result in a warning letter from your ISP.  A second offense would result in a temporary suspension of your ISP account.  A third strike and you're out -- the ISP would terminate your account.

Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the Government was aware of the music industry's stance that ISPs should be legally forced to adopt a music industry sanctioned code of conduct.  It also is aware of the similar pending British legislation.  Conroy states, "We will also examine any UK legislation on this issue [including any three-strikes policy] with particular interest."

Music Industry Piracy Investigations general manager Sabiene Heindl put in over a year of lobbying to try to get the effort through.  She says 2.8 million Australians downloaded music illegally last year, and not enough is being done to stop them.  She argues, "Because P2P file sharing involves these music files sitting on individual people's computers, there is very little that MIPI can do to remove those files or stop them being shared.  That's why we have been pushing a proposal to internet service providers for a commonsense system of warning notices which, if unheeded, would ultimately result in a user having their account suspended or disconnected."

ISPs are unhappy with the move.  National Internet Industry Association chief executive Peter Corones plans on airing his constituents’ complaints to Mr. Conroy later this week.  Mr. Corones argues that current penalties are "stiff enough".  In Australia downloading music can land you injunctions, damages and costs, fines of up to $60,500 for individuals and up to $302,500 for corporations per infringement and up to five years' jail -- nothing to sneeze at.  Corones argues, "Internet service providers are not the enforcers of copyright."

The statement is a sharp juxtaposition to ISP policies in the U.S. and abroad.  In recent months, it has been revealed that Comcast and other ISPs indeed "police their connections" by throttling P2P traffic, a policy which may be illegal.

The new legislation will likely anger Australia's youth.  In a survey of Australians between the ages of 10 and 17, 63 percent felt there was no point paying for music and it should be freely available, mirroring the music industry's worst fears.  Unfortunately for these young people, the days of carefree downloading may soon be at an end.

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By kilkennycat on 2/19/2008 12:46:36 AM , Rating: 4
... and if there is any way that a 3rd-party detector can discover the size of a specific encrypted torrent download and raise a flag to it being a possible movie download, I fully expect the pirates/hackers to come up with mechanisms to mask the detection of large files while they are in transmission...

Disclaimer: I have never pirated any copyright material. Just a technology observer. There stupid governmental actions are taken by a bunch of people ( mostly lawyers )
that have zero knowledge when it comes to network technology.

For the moment in the UK and Australia, I predict:

Hackers/Pirate 2.......Governments/RIAA/MPAA 0.

By kilkennycat on 2/19/2008 12:48:48 AM , Rating: 2
Apologies, late night typo in header of my posting..

Encryption, not Encryotion......

By eye smite on 2/19/2008 6:11:29 AM , Rating: 5
There's a p2p i've used in the past that has encryption built into it. Filetopia is the name, it's out of mexico city if I remember right. They have their own torrent too. It's like the little boy at the dam, everytime they stick a finger in to stop the leak, more holes pop up. I'm also willing to wager that Australia's youth aren't going to quietly accept anything that restrains what they see as a freedom. Knowing a few Australians, they're much more outspoken when miffed than us Americans.

By MAIA on 2/19/2008 10:35:50 AM , Rating: 3
I'm a grown up already and theft is the price the industry ask for selling music.

Regarding breaking the law. Law is made by Man, in this case lobbied by the industry itself. I couldn't care less. Who's the poor guy anyway ? Not the industry for sure ... there goes your "justice" ...

By VashHT on 2/19/2008 12:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
I hate it when self righteous idiots act like every law ever made in existence is just and infallibly right. As the guy above me said, laws are made by men. Obviously mankind is not perfect, so over time there are bound to be imperfect (aka unjust) laws. If people accept every law as perfect and undeniably right then it can lead to absolutely terrible things.

By FITCamaro on 2/19/2008 1:56:16 PM , Rating: 2
Your point is valid. But so is his.

One can argue against almost any law but that doesn't mean it still isn't the law. The fact remains, if you break the law, you'll suffer the consequences. And regardless of your view of the law, you're still guilty. So if you're not prepared to accept those consequences, don't break the law.

The job of the government is to make and enforce laws. The job of the people is to put those in power who will make the laws.

As far as the article itself is concerned, sucks to be you Australia. Vote someone else in next time who will repeal whatever measure is passed. Luckily I don't see any legislation like this getting passed here in the states anytime soon. I'm sure it will get proposed, but I doubt it'd ever get any real backing.

By Ajax9000 on 2/19/2008 6:58:30 PM , Rating: 2
The last Federal election here was just under 3 months ago. The "business loving" ruling coalition (~republicans) were comprehensively dumped in favour of the Australian Labor Party (~democrat).

If Labor carries this forward there is stuff-all chance of the coalition repealing it -- and it is likely to be at least 5 years before the electorate will give them a chance again anyway.

By Duwelon on 2/19/2008 7:59:46 PM , Rating: 2
You don't even know how to use "self righteous" as a slanderous device properly and you're trying to educate me about laws. Like someone below you posted, people make laws. Government = people. If you don't like laws, vote in someone else who can change them. Until then, you're both a sinner and a lawbreaker no matter good about it you try to make yourself feel.

By JS on 2/19/2008 10:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps the guy's an atheist. That rids him of 50 % of your accusations right off the bat!

By Duwelon on 2/19/2008 11:01:51 PM , Rating: 2
Did you know God doesn't believe in Atheists? God really didn't make anyone that dumb...

By JS on 2/19/2008 11:33:53 PM , Rating: 4
Beware of what ye say, lest His noodly appendage smite thee for thy blasphemy.

Oh really?
By Belegost on 2/19/2008 12:45:25 AM , Rating: 5
"It says that over one billion songs in Australia alone were downloaded illegally, yearly"

"She says 2.8 million Australians downloaded music illegally last year"

That averages to 357 songs per downloader....

Anyone else think that's a wee bit high?

RE: Oh really?
By InternetGeek on 2/19/2008 12:57:31 AM , Rating: 2
She's putting it at about 1 song per day. Not much compared to other parts of the world where the Intertubes might actually be faster.

This will only make Intertubes access more expensive to cover the costs of the IT related to detecting when someone is downloading ilegally. Remember there is more than one way to get a song.

RE: Oh really?
By Nik00117 on 2/19/2008 4:47:23 AM , Rating: 2
No actually i'd say that could be about right.

I mean there are some poeple who will deal with several various bands. My friend is into at least 13-14 underground rock bands. At the same time enjoying all the more popular bands. For him 357 songs is nothing.

Last year my music collection was 20 gigs, now its 30 gigs. At 4 MB a song your talking 2,500 additonal songs to my already 5k songs. Not much of a strecth.

RE: Oh really?
By jajig on 2/19/2008 8:37:29 AM , Rating: 2
I can't imagine where you would find the time to listen to all that. To me it sounds like downloading for the sake of it.

RE: Oh really?
By SilthDraeth on 2/19/2008 9:54:42 AM , Rating: 2
I second this notion. I think people download songs just for the sake of having them. Sort of a kleptomaniac of digital content.

There is no possible way you can even memorize 7500 different songs,
You would have to leave your PC playing music on random no repeat for one hour a day for a full year without adding additional songs to it in order to hear every song.

RE: Oh really?
By FITCamaro on 2/19/2008 1:46:21 PM , Rating: 2
Definitely agree. I have like maybe 500 songs on my computer.

However video, I have lots of. But I don't really download it. Netflix FTW. ;)

About the only thing I'm downloading recently is the new Terminator show because I'm sending the episodes to a friend who's deployed overseas. To give him a taste of home. If letting our troops enjoy a bit of what they've left behind is a crime, call me guilty.

RE: Oh really?
By NEOCortex on 2/19/2008 3:15:53 PM , Rating: 2
I also don't "adopt" new music into my music collect at a high rate either, maybe an album or two a month. I find it difficult to process music at a faster rate, seeing as how some albums/songs/bands take time to get use to before I fully appreciate them.

That being said, I have over 4000 songs in my collection, and I'm very familiar with a good 90% of them. And I'm always looking, to some degree, for more good music.

Can't say I would be a big fan of a law such as this, as I'm pretty dependent on torrents to get episodes of tv shows, such as LOST and Prison Break. I'd really prefer to dl and watch them all at once after my semester is over instead of being forced to watch each week at a certain time.

RE: Oh really?
By mindless1 on 2/19/2008 8:02:23 AM , Rating: 2
Of course it's high, they use figures that support their position, then further fudge claiming it's all going to be loss to the industry.

One thing is clear, youth don't feel like (nor have the income to support!) paying for the music they claim as loss.

RE: Oh really?
By SavagePotato on 2/19/2008 8:56:12 AM , Rating: 2
With bittorrent I wouldn't be surprised.

After all most of whats out there are full albums at the least and more often than not entire artist discographies.

For an artist with a larger history you could blow 327 songs on one band.

RE: Oh really?
By random git on 2/19/2008 3:42:18 PM , Rating: 3
As the number of songs downloaded by a relatively small amount of people it's high but plausible. On the other hand claiming that each and every one of those downloads was lost revenue is laughable.

In a survey .....
By numbnuts on 2/19/2008 3:57:05 AM , Rating: 3
In a survey of Australians between the ages of 10 and 17, 63 percent felt there was no point paying for music and it should be freely available, mirroring the music industry's worst fears.

Funny, at that age there is very little you would say is worth paying for. Especially since your parents are paying for your broadband/ISP and you can download illegally then watch your parents get chased by the RIAA.

In a survey of the global popuation 99.9% felt that the RIAA are a bunch of morons that the world would not miss for a second (okay you caught me, there was no such survey)

RE: In a survey .....
By Zensen on 2/19/2008 5:57:03 AM , Rating: 2
I can understand piracy and this can stifle businesses but surely this is not as important as other issues like housing expenses and health care. sheesh! This is another waste of time that wont help the majority of Australians. I dislike moving into a house thats pair gained! legislate that to be illegal :)

So will companies be prepared to lower the price of admission to cinemas and the price of a cd and dvd? figured as much...

and seriously who the hell cares about the opinions of 10 to 17 year old bracket when it comes to purchasing these things. They are well looked after by their parents for the most part. a better view is from a 18-30. people with purchasing power and I'm sure that result would look a helluva lot different.

RE: In a survey .....
By Proteusza on 2/19/2008 7:28:18 AM , Rating: 5
I bought WAY more cds when I was 10-17 than I do now.

I can afford more now, but I dont see it as good value. I already have my collection of CDs and Mp3s, and to be frank, the record companies' attitude is offputting enough for me to not want to give them money.

10-17 year olds not feeling its worth is a BIG deal. in a few years they will have the money to buy whatever they want, instead of depending on the parents, and I dont think their purchase rate will go up.

Does it really matter ?
By Greywolfau on 2/19/2008 12:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
Further legislation is not the answer to stop piracy in Australia. Better access to digital services, i.e. Xbox Live Video Marketplace for one, is a much better way to incite people to do the right thing. Right now, if you miss a show on FTA, who has the majority of first access rights to new shows, the only recourse you have is to download the episode through P2P, or wait till Foxtel (the only cable company in Australia ) starts showing the show, which can take a year plus.

RE: Does it really matter ?
By StevoLincolnite on 2/19/2008 1:59:55 AM , Rating: 2
Well for one, I don't see Dodo Internet enforcing such rules, they are to lazy to pick up the phones and stop charging accounts once you have left them, only to have them ring up at insane hours of the night trying to sell you a mobile phone.

What about PIPE and other such technology's? Does it apply to those infrastructures?

RE: Does it really matter ?
By jajig on 2/19/2008 3:57:01 AM , Rating: 2
Dodo's $180 per gigabyte overdata usage might make them not want to comply too.

RE: Does it really matter ?
By StevoLincolnite on 2/19/2008 6:36:30 AM , Rating: 2
And the sad part is, is that they used to be the only Broadband company in Australia with Unlimited Downloads... I tried connecting with them a few years ago with the 1.5mb plan and unlimited downloads without getting shaped, It took them 4 months to get me connected, and when I was connected, it took them another month to send me the information to get everything set-up.

And people have bad things to say about Telstra? :P

Who pays for this?
By InternetGeek on 2/19/2008 12:49:42 AM , Rating: 2
I think RIAA/MPAA should be financing ISPs to enforce copyright laws because they are the party interested in enforcing these laws. On the end RIAA/MPAA would be passing these costs to the consumer, but it would keep things clear on whose responsibility is it to enforce what.

People signing a contract for the Intertubes would know part of the cost is being covered by copyright holders.

Or here's something even more simple: ISPs could just report the amount of music/video someone got and bill the people based on this.

RE: Who pays for this?
By Polynikes on 2/19/2008 1:34:36 AM , Rating: 2
How about we just keep the RIAA/MPAA and ISPs financially separated?

RE: Who pays for this?
By mindless1 on 2/19/2008 8:05:14 AM , Rating: 3
How about the RIAA get into the ISP business, offering plans that cost less but specifically restrict content? Let them succeed or fail by being competitive in the market they wish to control.

Love the pic!
By MasterBotter on 2/19/2008 1:24:44 AM , Rating: 2
Score 1 for DT for the photo!

RE: Love the pic!
By Proteusza on 2/19/2008 5:23:03 AM , Rating: 5
I was hoping for a Doctor Evil, "I want 100 billion Dollars!"

but the terminator is a nice touch.

Its nice to see that the governments of the world think that the whims of a corporation are more important than the privacy and needs of its citizens. Now citizens are guilty until proven innocent - what if I download something legal, like a patch of a demo, from Bittorrent? How about if I want to patch World of Warcraft, which uses torrent type technology? Is that illegal too? Or do the RIAA/MPAA want the ISPs to have access to my computer so they can check whether I have copyrighted materials? Do they want all of my passwords too, just in case I sent an email to a friend discussing piracy?

Where does it stop? The corporations grossly overstate their losses due to piracy - remember that, when under oath in a court of law in the case of Jammie Thomas, a spokesman for the record companies said they honestly do not know how much they have lost due to piracy. of course they dont. But in the news reports, we hear they have lost 100 billion dollars, or another similar Doctor Evil style figure. In reality, they are losing money to piracy because of their outdated business practices and their refusal to do whats right for the consumer. They cling to DRM, including rootkits and other nasty kit, in the belief that everything must be controlled for it to be profitable. I hope they get what they deserve - bankruptcy, ruin, and ridicule.

I see the future ...
By KHysiek on 2/19/2008 2:14:58 AM , Rating: 2
There is a moment when all this tactics will blow RIAA/MPAA right in the face. When people will start to boycott any legal music or there will be new law introduced when you will be able to "legalize" such downloads for some generic fee. Either way it will be huge financial hit for these parasites. 3/4 of their music is no worth hearing, some of those raises more rage than pleasure - why tere are no fines for these suckers for making me hear that shlt?

RE: I see the future ...
By stmok on 2/19/2008 5:44:20 AM , Rating: 2
As an Australian, I've already stopped with music, movies and TV shows. I've decided to seek out classical works, literature, looked at other cultures, meet the people that create such works, etc. (Its actually far better than the crap that's been generated out today).

This Govt (Labor) wants to push mandatory content filtering for all ISPs. Their excuse is porno. ie: "Think of your children!"

What's wrong with the approach is that to opt out, you need to contact your ISP, so you're put on a whitelist. (Such a list can be used by authorities).

The previous Govt (Liberal) provided content filtering software for free to all Aussie families, letting them choose whether they want filtering or not. They knew it would be realistically unworkable to enforce mandatory content filtering at the ISP level.

Now, this Govt (Labor) brings up this "3-strikes you're out" nonsense? Realistically, its not gonna work. Which Aussie ISP is gonna suspend the very people that are their source of income? (Aussie ISPs have it tough as it is, why make it worse?)

On a side note: the Australian version of the RIAA is the ARIA.
...Notice how its the same 4 letters? :)

What I find problematic about this Govt, is that they have little knowledge about technology and the consequences of implementing such measures. I find this unfortunate.

RE: I see the future ...
By SavagePotato on 2/19/2008 8:58:31 AM , Rating: 2
The ARIA, thats aweseome, all you have to do is put N on the end of it and they become the music nazis.

The customer is always right
By IGoodwin on 2/19/2008 2:09:40 PM , Rating: 3
There is no surprise that extensive digital access by almost anyone has altered the comercial market place.

It is also true that organizations and goverments can only accept change slowly.

The lack of change from the music/movie industry and the demands by customers for content, when they want it, is causing the current 'oportunities' for third parties to fill the gap.

The organizations are going through a knee jurk reaction to try and establish 'control'. While they leave the needs of the customer unmet, new 'oportunities' will continue to be found.

The only successful solution will be when the level of service matches the customers demands. Some of those demands appear to be the ability to access any music at any time. For movies and tv, the ability to watch a film, or episode, on demand. All these needs can be met; however, the industry has to accept change and start responding to customer demand.

Nothing new, but it appears to be beyond some organizations. Pirates can only exist if there is need to be fulfilled.

RE: The customer is always right
By JustTom on 2/20/2008 2:15:06 AM , Rating: 3
Nothing new, but it appears to be beyond some organizations. Pirates can only exist if there is need to be fulfilled.

The need to be fulfilled is getting something for free. And while I am all for the entertainment industry joining the 21st century and updating their content delivery system there is nothing that the industry can do to eradicate pirates, either by being more responsive to the market or by pushing for draconian legal measures. There will always be a large number of people that want things for free.

56k or 10 Dollar DSL?
By Tedtalker1 on 2/19/2008 2:39:06 AM , Rating: 2
I will make a prediction.If this strategy is implemented,I think those millions of file sharing subscribers are going to leave their super high speed connections for a much cheaper downgrade.Of course the ISPs are pissing their pants right about now.LOL How many people ordered faster pipes when Napster was hot? em cough umh

RE: 56k or 10 Dollar DSL?
By xsilver on 2/19/2008 2:49:30 AM , Rating: 2
Well I think that it being passed down as a law and ENFORCED as a law will eventuate to be two different things.

Its a bit like jaywalking, while you may have heard that a friends friend has been fined once for doing it; its not going to stop you.
Especially if there are too many people downloading, the enforcers are going to be swamped! Is one guy supposed to sort through 500 guys downloads a day? (thats 500 gigs/day if they are on a 30 gig plan per month)

In the end...
By Sandok on 2/19/2008 3:26:55 AM , Rating: 1
If this passes, in less than a year, noone will have the internet anymore :(

RE: In the end...
By EuroGamer on 2/19/2008 11:09:42 AM , Rating: 2
In a way, I agree... Honestly, does anyone own a 100% legit PC these days?

ISPs in the UK aren;t interested
By Aloonatic on 2/19/2008 6:29:45 AM , Rating: 3
Most UK based ISPs aren't interested in doing this.

I must admit I don't know much about network traffic shaping, payloads and such but how can they differentiate between legitimate p2p shares?

Does the BBC iPlayer use p2p for example?

In my experience (in the UK) ISPs are left to their own devices as to how they manage their users. I was with British Telecom for a while and torrents just didn't work well in the evenings/peek time, where as "normal" internet browsing was slower, but not to any great extent.

Since moving to SKY I receive a much more consistent service.

I have also noticed that, when scanning for a wireless network, the routers that I find in my are have gone from being almost exclusively BT to being mostly SKY from what I can see from the device names.

I disagree with this
By rudy on 2/20/2008 12:28:25 AM , Rating: 3
If someone is doing something illegal such as selling drugs over the phone, it is immoral to disconnect their phone service to stop them IMO. I however have no problem with prosecuting them for the crime. The internet is a needed communication medium in this day and age and possibly shutting a family off for the actions of one of their kids is not acceptable and just plain a poor solution to the problem. If someone is illegally sharing files then collect the evidence and prosecute them for the crime they have committed.

Wont work
By Saywhatnow on 2/19/2008 2:59:05 AM , Rating: 2
No matter how many minds they put to work designing a system to stop it, There is always going to be many many more trying to break it..

By Roland702 on 2/19/2008 6:56:53 AM , Rating: 2
Post title is self explanatory really... Add that into the equation with torrent encryption and boom there is a hard thing for your isp to decipher. They can of course though, however, guess where the bandwidth usage is going.

Silly to play hang man with customers though.

Ridiculous Claims
By Sulphademus on 2/19/2008 8:59:29 AM , Rating: 2
It says that over one billion songs in Australia alone were downloaded illegally, yearly, costing the music industry an untold fortune in revenue.

They seem to miss the point when claiming "lost revenue."
People will take for free what they often won't pay for. There's (my guess) 10 million purchases in that 1 billion songs. How many times have you ever eaten candy from halloween that you never would have bought or taken a free sample of some food that you have no intention of ever purchasing?

They just love making much bigger claims than would ever really happen.

PS. They've gone to plaid.

Don't tread on my access
By joshuaheard on 2/19/2008 12:17:59 PM , Rating: 2
In the U.S. I don't think they would be able to access the content of your internet connection without a warrant.

The trouble is not with the black market in music. The trouble is the market not responding to users' demands. How do you compete with free music downloads? $.99 high quality downloads in an efficient UI is a start. But ditch the DRM. Also, people want to be a part of the culture of the band. How about more interactive web content with the artists (read: subscriptions).

They artists may just have to start earning money the old fashioned way: performing.

What's really going to be funny...
By Motoman on 2/19/2008 1:41:35 PM , Rating: 2 that if these measures get put in place, CD sales will only plummet even further, as the consumer base will only become more enraged about their treatment by the industry, and will respond by buying even fewer CDs. The recording industry will pay the price for their behaviour at the checkout line...the more they irritate their customers, the less they will sell them.

It wont happen
By Sooticus on 2/19/2008 7:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
If they did pass this law, and then actually enforce it, it would only drive people to use encryption to obscure their activities.

The down side of this is that the government would no longer be capable of investigating "other" activities as easily, since all the people currently using encryption would be lost in the masses of home users who want to download the latest episode of whatever because there is nothing of watchable quality on Australiian commercial television.

Whats next, require subscription to listen to the Radio? If content control is what they want then perhapse they should revise the fact that the Australian Capital Terretory is one of the only places you can legally by XXX rated porno in Australia.

This is too lame OMG
By scosiae on 3/3/2008 6:56:22 AM , Rating: 2
OMG why on Earth are they targeting the ISPs?

NOTE: I do not download anything at all

If they are so worried as to stop illegal downloads why not target the source .


Besides, this "3 strikes system" is so prone to accidents. If i say looked at someone's myspace theyd say the song the guy posts on his myspace is "illegal downloading".

About a year ago i read that rock bands didnt really care too much about piracy as they do it themselves and it increases popularity. It's the record companies which make all the money out of the cd. They cost like 30 bucks and the composer gets like 3 bucks a cd. Where did the other 27 bucks go? right into the pockets of the record companies themselves.

This seems like a stupid proposal which is prone to failures and accidents. Not to mention the innocent who will accidentally get caught up in this battle fro record company profits.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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