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A majority of Australians believe individuals involved in the supply of pirated television should be prosecuted and punished, according to research conducted by market research company Auspoll.
Sixty per cent of respondents agreed that individuals who facilitate piracy should face prosecution. Only 11 per cent disagreed.
Fifty-three per cent believe government should ‘do more’ to prevent television piracy, with only 12 per cent in disagreement.
According to the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) – the body representing subscription television platforms, the operators of more than 50 independent TV channels, advertising sales agencies and equipment manufacturers – the results lend support to government proposals to shut down pirate websites and enlist Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the battle against piracy.
“By proposing tougher measures to crack down on piracy, the Government is reflecting the views of a majority of Australians who believe that piracy is theft,” said ASTRA CEO, Andrew Maiden.
“The majority of Australians will welcome measures that improve education about piracy and encourage ISPs to take reasonable steps to prevent it. Those who download pirate television content are not only breaking the law, they are undermining investment in local television production and jeopardising the jobs of Australians who work in the sector,” he declared.
Maiden said the subscription television sector would work constructively with ISPs to ensure new measures were widely supported and the cost of any scheme fairly shared between content owners and ISPs.
He added that the subscription television sector recognised that content owners could address the problem of piracy through supply-side measures. “Already the subscription television sector has taken major steps by making content available faster, cheaper and more conveniently. The industry will continue taking supply-side steps that make it easier for Australian television viewers to act lawfully. But the fact that someone may wish services were cheaper or offered on different terms is no better an excuse for piracy than for shoplifting,” he concluded.