The Abbott Government Is Having Another Crack At Cracking Down On Internet Piracy

Like a greedy camel continually going back to a well that’s long dried, the Government is once again preparing an assault on the country’s allegedly “rampant” rates of Internet piracy. After the previous ALP Government attempted to do the same via a voluntary initiative that failed spectacularly, the current Coalition Government is threatening to get tough on Internet Service Providers and people who torrent alike.

The last time something like this was attempted, the Labor Government attempted to install a voluntary-based scheme where ISPs would opt in to filtering out or blocking services that enable users to share and download files such as Bit Torrents. That service proved a fairly glorious favour when it was realised that self-policing isn’t exactly the most efficient or effective method of curbing this kind of behaviour; particularly when businesses individual brands are potentially put at risk as a result.
So now instead of looking into the “why” of downloading and file-sharing, the Abbott Government is preparing to launch yet another assault on the “how”. Though Attorney General George Brandis’ office has stated there is no firm timeline for change, significant changes to Australia’s copyright laws was a core promise of the Abbott Government’s first term.
The offensive against online piracy is likely to take one of two forms: one being mandating that Internet service providers to issue warning notices to individuals found to have repeatedly downloaded; the other would see ISPs forced to block noted file-sharing and bit torrent delivery websites such as The Pirate Bay. Brandis’ office has warned that the Government is not afraid to legislate these changes should ISPs refuse to comply.
Whilst the Government’s obvious duty is to protect and foster the local industry, and encourage the development of young creatives in Australia, punishing the individual in an environment already bereft of choice is a dangerous, and potentially futile, endeavour, and works under the patently incorrect assumption that Internet piracy is born out of an inherent and systemic desire to steal.
As long as those with the power to do so refuse to research and implement new methods of paid media delivery, the current cycle will continue as the status quo. Indeed, those who refuse to learn from past mistakes will always be doomed to repeat them.
Photo: Sergio Dionisio via Getty Images.

via SMH.