Turnbull And Brandis Split On Who Needs To Act On Australia's Piracy Issues

Senator George Brandis, Attorney General / Quinn Rooney

Attorney-General George Brandis says Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are an “unwitting facilitator” in the war against piracy and the Liberal Senator is determined to introduce a voluntary industry code to crack down on offenders.

Brandis expects ISPs to willingly contribute funds to proposed measures outlined in a government discussion paper which was leaked last month, he told The Australian.

The scheme put forth in the options paper recommends a set of elective amendments that would see greater cooperation between content owners and ISPs, an outcome alluded to by the discussion paper’s co-conspirator Malcolm Turnbull.

However, Turnbull argues that content owners must lead the charge in combating Australia’s illegal downloads culture, highlighting considerable improvements in affordability and availability as the primary deterrents against piracy.

Brandis has proposed a similar scheme to that currently operating in the US and New Zealand, where ISPs issue warning notices to customers who pirate illegal material.

“To prevent people from stealing content is no more a form of censorship than it is to prevent people stealing products from supermarket shelves,” Brandis said.

Despite this, the Attorney-General may have a tough time implementing the new legislation, given the High Court’s findings two years ago that service provider iiNet could not be held responsible for the trade of thousands of pirated films and music files by its customers.

There’s more here.

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