Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft’s executive director, Adrianne Pecotic, says that ISPs refuse to create a voluntary code to deal with copyright infringement on their networks, and that unless the govt follows the lead of countries like the UK and France where the govt forced one upon them, the country’s digital economy is at risk.
Adrianne Pecotic, the executive director of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, is asking the Australian govt to force ISPs to deal with copyright infringement on their networks, especially in light of its court loss to iiNet, where a judge ruled the ISP was not liable for customers using BitTorrent to illegally share copyrighted material on its network.
“I find the mere provision of access to the Internet is not the means of infringement,” said the judge in his ruling. “iiNet has no control over the BitTorrent system and is not responsible for the operation of the BitTorrent system,” he added.
The govt urged AFACT and ISPs to voluntarily devise a code of conduct for dealing with copyright infringement, but according to the Australian IT, AFACT complains that ISPs are “refusing to negotiate,” a charge which iiNet strongly denies.
“The internet industry and copyright holders had been in detailed discussions for a number of years, before AFACT and its Executive Director, Ms Pecotic, called off negotiations in August 2007 to commence their unsuccessful legal proceedings against iiNet in the Federal Court,” it says in a statement.”
Clearly, AFACT are not part of the solution, instead appear only to hinder the process of developing mutually beneficial business relationships. Prior to the Federal Court hearing, iiNet again sought to negotiate with AFACT on these matters, but they refused.”
AFACT may insist that iiNet is to blame, but something tells me copyright holders are at fault here. Why? Because they’ve watched from the sidelines as their counterparts in countries like South Korea, France, the UK, and New Zealand successfully guide through legislation forcing ISPs to deal with copyright infringement, often at a greater degree than any voluntary code could ever hope to reproduce.
In South Korea, France, and the UK the govt requires, or will require in the case of the UK, ISPs to disconnect users who fail to heed a third warning for copyright infringement ala “three-strikes,” and AFACT longs for a similar system to be instituted in Australia as well.
“AFACT believes that Australia should not be left behind the rest of the world and that our legal framework must address the growing issue of online copyright theft,” added Pecotic. “The current state of the law as a result of the iiNet decision is a threat to our digital economy.”
So there it is. AFACT doesn’t seem interested in creating a voluntary code with ISPs because it knows it will never come close to delivering the kind of crackdown on copyright infringement that it wants to see take place.
AFACT’s appeal of the iiNet decision kicks off today when a timetable will be set for the trial in Federal Court.