Telstra Boss David Thodey Says The Industry Must Combat Piracy Before The Government Intervenes

Telstra chief executive David Thodey. Photo: Getty Images

Telstra chief executive David Thodey says telecommunication companies need to “step up and put a code together” to deal with internet piracy.

Internet service providers (ISPs) and copyright owners have four months to create a code of conduct or face new rules imposed by the Federal Government.

Speaking at an event held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, Thodey said the industry should devise a set of self-imposed guidelines to fight online piracy.

“That’s both sides – Foxtel and the telecommunication companies,” the SMH reported.

He said a “workable solution” needs to be identified and implemented, with a focus around who will enforce the rules and reconcile the costs.

“The question is who should be responsible for policing the illegal downloading of information,” adding “the big issue is around who pays and I think we have to find some complementary way to do that.”

In a letter to industry leaders released on Wednesday, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney-General George Brandis said the code must include a process which notifies consumers of a copyright breach and informs them how to obtain legal content.

If internet service providers and copyright owners cannot agree on their own code of conduct, the government will impose its own regulations. The government may also block websites containing pirated material if rights holders obtain a court order.

While Thodey does not want to see sites blocked, he says it was “a reality” and “the government has a right to do that”.

NOW READ: Australia’s Piracy Problem Explained In Six Slides

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