A guide to finding safe and licensed digital content across a range of services and platforms has been developed by a group of Australian creative rights holders and creative content industry associations. The funding members are: Australian Screen Association; APRAAMCOS; ARIA; Copyright Agency Ltd; Foxtel; News Corp Australia and Village Roadshow.
The funding members appointed Music Rights Australia to manage the development of the Digital Content Guide site.
“Working with an independent project manager, designer and web developer we have created a site which is easy to navigate on both PC and mobile. The Digital Content Guide gives consumers help to find licensed digital services which are availed in Australia across the film, music, TV, books and games industries and sporting codes,” says the group.
“We have made every attempt to make the site as complete as possible. However new services come online all the time. What we can say is that every service listed here offers licensed content. If you think we are missing a service, you can let us know here,” it suggests.
As to whether service not listed on the site is illegal, the site advises: “We are working hard to list all the licensed services available to Australian users under the categories we have set up. If you cannot find a service here it could mean that we have not yet listed it, or it may mean that the service is not a licensed service. If you are unsure and would like to check with us, you can contact us.”
Explaining ‘unlicensed’ services, the site says: “Creative content is protected by copyright. Unlicensed services infringe the owner’s copyright when they use the copyright material without the permission of the copyright owner. If these services offer the content to the public without permission that is an infringement of the owner’s copyright.”
Clarifying the legality of filesharing, it notes that “Filesharing is the act of uploading and sharing content online. Filesharing sites collate content and enable this to happen. Filesharing sites are not illegal but when the site is used to copy and share content that has been obtained without the permission of the copyright owner, then that is an infringement of copyright.
Many sites have been established for the express purpose of offering unlicensed content and these sites are referred to as illegal sites. They make their money from advertising revenues and do not support the legitimate market. They do not offer licensed content.”
As for the consequences of using an illegal site, it advises: “Using the content from these illegal sites does infringe the copyright owner’s rights. They get nothing for their work. We know they can look legitimate and telling the difference can be confusing. By using the services listed in this guide you can ensure that the content you access is always licensed.”
The site has been launched against the backdrop of the federal government’s release of the Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper, which seeks public submissions on draft proposals designed to address online piracy.