Copyright owners should make their content more readily available online and an independent body should be established to manage allegations of copyright infringement, according to a paper released by Internet Service Provider, iiNet.
In the paper, iiNet Chief Executive Michael Malone, repeated his call for the film industry and copyright holders to work with the industry to make their content legitimately available.
He said iiNet released the paper following the Federal Court case, Roadshow Films Pty Ltd & Others v iiNet Limited, – which found in his favour – to encourage more public discussion about the provision of legitimate online content and propose a future model for policing copyright infringement.
“iiNet has never supported or encouraged breaches of the law, including infringement of the Copyright Act,” Malone said. “This legal case has not stopped one illegal download, and we believe there is a much better way than that previously promoted by the studios.”
The paper, ‘Encouraging Legitimate use of On-line Content’, argues that while movie studios spend millions of dollars marketing and creating a demand for their products they do not make the content easily and readily available.
“People are crying out to access the studios materials, so much so some are prepared to steal it. A more effective approach would be for the studios to make their content more readily and cheaply available online,” Malone said.
Malone said the iiNet copyright infringement model would see an independent body responsible for verifying claims of copyright infringement and determining any penalty.
“iiNet has developed a model which addresses ISP concerns but one we think remains attractive to all participants, including the sustainable strategy of an impartial referee for the resolution of disputes and the issue of penalties for offenders,” he said.
In relation to penalties, the paper argues that the notion of simply disconnecting the Internet without independent oversight is not appropriate and disproportionate to the infringement. It recommends an independent body impose penalties for infringements with a graduated scale of demerit points, fines, shaping or court action for serious repeat offenders.
Malone said that while there is considerable discussion on the issue still to be had, iiNet believes the existing approaches are unworkable and unsatisfactory to many.
He called on the wider community including the government and others in the telecommunications industry to engage in the discussion, emphasising that the inclusion of an independent body deserves serious consideration and support.