David Thodey, CEO of Australian telco Telstra, has declared that piracy of content is theft, and suggested that the company can play a role in its prevention.
“Piracy of content is theft. I hold a very strong view on that. You can’t justify it because of the price of content. A whole industry exists to create great content and it’s theft,” he said at the company’s results briefing.
Thodey suggested it would need “strong collaboration” from both content rights holders and the telco industry to find a workable solution that was ubiquitous and fair.
“I think we’ve got to work through that, and if we can play a role that helps prevent theft, just like we do in any way to help law enforcement, we will, because we are an Australian company subject to the laws of Australia and I think we need to take a positive attitude.”
He admitted that he didn’t have an answer yet, but was willing to sit down and try to find an answer for the good for all Australians “and that’s what we’re going to do as we move forward.”
The federal government on July 30 released an Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper which includes a proposal to force ISPs such as Telstra to stop users downloading content unlawfully.
Thodey made his comments as Telstra reported revenue, profit and customer growth for the 2013-14 Financial Year. Total income increased 6.1 per cent to A$26.3 billion. Net profit after tax increased 14.6 per cent or A$554 million to A$4.3 billion.