Feeds

TorrentFreak seeking copyright report’s mysterious author

Update: Sphere Analysis report now published

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

A report that pump-primes the idea that Australia is a nation of inveterate pirates is starting to unravel, with a report on TorrentFreak questioning the bona fides of the report’s author.

The study, which alleged the usual extreme extent of Internet piracy – a billion-dollar burden on the economy destroying thousands of jobs – was picked up uncritically by Australia’s Fairfax press, given both a short news piece and a long feature article in the Sun Herald (a two-page spread in the print publication).

However, according to TorrentFreak – and confirmed by this author – the authors of the report, Sphere Analysis, is much harder to find than most consulting firms. Its business name first entered Australia’s business names database last October, but the company has neither a Website nor any easily-discoverable address.

Its nearest relative, as identified in the TorrentFreak article, appears to be Sphere Property Corporation, which without a Website is difficult to find. The Register notes that it appears to have an office in Oxford Street, Bondi Junction.

Also noted by TorrentFreak is an apparent association between the report and a brand-new lobby organization, the Australian Industry Content Group. While it is also a new voice in the debate, it already appears to have contacts in the Federal Government.

Not only does TorrentFreak say the study was cited by Attorney-General Bob McClelland in February, the Australian Industry Content Group is already represented in Canberra by a lobbyist. The dully-named Salmon Odgers Family Trust, according to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s lobbyist register, represents the AICG along with the Housing Industry Association, ambulance-chasing solicitors Slater & Gordon, Standards Australia and a few other organisations.

Could it be that with the gloss wearing off the public face of AFACT (the Australian Federation of Copyright Theft), the content industries are prepping their next stalking-horse? ®

Update: The Sphere Analysis report has now been published. It's available from the Business Software Alliance, here. Thanks to Crikey for the link. It may not be worth your effort, however, unless you like reading mash-ups of old, and sometimes deeply criticized, piracy reports.

If I had to nominate a favourite item, it would have to be the prediction that the National Broadband Network (NBN) will lead to eight million Australians becoming pirates by 2016. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.