Last week, further proving the incoherence of the Australian government’s approach to piracy, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney General George Brandis got into a spat over who should bear the brunt of dealing with illegal downloads.

Brandis said that ISPs are pretending to be innocent bystanders, and should do more to sanction users who pirate, while Turnbull called upon copyright owners to take action, telling studios to sue “mums and dads and students” who pirate.

It seems not many in the entertainment industry agree with Turnbull’s stance, however. In a revent interview with Financial Review, Village Roadshow CEO Graham Burke laughed off Turnbull’s suggestion, saying that suing downloaders is an “ineffective” course of action.

“We don’t want to sue 16-year-olds or mums and dads,” he said. “It takes 18 months to go through the courts and all that does is make lawyers rich and clog the court system. It’s not effective.”

Burke said that downloading has been eroding Roadshow’s profits, claiming that the company lost as much as 12% from box office sales in July, but he proposed a far more practical solution to the piracy problem.

Rather than studios dragging pirates through the courts, he suggested that ISPs give serial downloaders three warnings, before slowing their internet connections down, making torrenting an impractical pain in the arse.

That’s actually a shockingly reasonable and straightforward way to deal with this. Let’s hope someone in Canberra is listening.

Photo: Stefan Postles via Getty Images