Choice lashes piracy code decision claiming it will create an ‘internet filter’

seven piracy proof photoConsumer group Choice has spoken out against the government’s decision to allow content creators and licensees to create a code to tackle piracy, saying it will increase costs to all internet users and see the creation of an internet filter.

Yesterday Attorney General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull handed responsibility of dealing with online content piracy back to the industry, giving them until the end of April to come to consensus and create a code on how to deal with copyright infringers.

This will mean internet service providers (ISPs) must agree to how much data on users they hand over to rights holders, as well as measures they would be prepared to take for repeat offenders.

Choice CEO Alan Kirkland said: “Outsourcing the piracy crackdown to industry is far from a soft option, because it carries the potential for serious sanctions against consumers including internet disconnection.

“And it’s far from an effective option, because it ignores the two biggest reasons Australians infringe online copyright – price and availability.”

One of the sanctions is likely to be blocking sites based overseas giving access to copyrighted materials, which Kirkland described as an “internet filter”.

“We know that internet filters don’t work. This approach has been called ineffective and disproportionate by courts overseas, and it risks raising internet costs for everyone,” said Kirkland.

“The Federal Government claims this is the least burdensome option. We can’t see how regulating the internet in Australia, introducing a nation-wide notice scheme and an industry-run internet filter isn’t burdensome.”

“Australian consumers want to be able to purchase content at a reasonable price, at the same time as the rest of the world. Introducing draconian policies and cutting off internet access is not the way to fix the problem.”

The group is also running an online petition calling on the government to create an “effective response to piracy”.


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