News Ltd's Australian chief demands copyright overhaul
Wants anti-piracy role for National Broadband Network
The head of News Ltd's Australian outpost has urged for an overhaul of copyright laws to take on the “copyright kleptomaniacs” and “digital suckers” that are robbing the Australian economy of AUD$1.37 billion annually in pirated film and TV content.
Addressing the film industry at the Movie Convention, News Ltd CEO Kim Williams called for an immediate push to combat the “truly astounding levels of intellectual theft” currently being perpetrated against the content industry, warning that the advent of the National Broadband Network will only accelerate the current issues.
“Internet piracy has become the biggest heist since Ronnie Biggs took an interest in trains,” Williams quipped.
Williams warned that the deployment of Australia's National Broadband Network and the quadrupling of internet traffic by 2016 will make matters even worse, undermining the business case of cultural production to a greater extent than ever before.
“Whilst there is endless talk about the NBN there is yet to be any formal acknowledgement that the legislative and enforcement frameworks are disastrously outmoded and defective to sustain any relevance in confronting a modern high speed digital delivery world,” he claimed.
The former chief of pay TV outfit Foxtel said that the Australian production and distribution industry requires renovated legal underpinnings that acknowledge the primary right of copyright owners to exploit their work and some surety that theft will be prevented and punished equally.
“I am asking for a new set of copyright laws that protect our work from theft. And I’m asking for copyright laws that will also protect the singers of songs, writers of books and producers of games,” he stated.
He said that unless these core commercial underpinning are established, the outlook for the digital entertainment industry would be grim. “Without immediate and wholesale makeover we are condemning our nation to relentless criminal rip-off and plunder of original IP on an unprecedented scale which will make the current 65 percent rate of consumption being of stolen material look like a pathetically modest nun's picnic.”
Williams called for changes in the law that would make it clear who is responsible to stop piracy.
That burden could rest on ISPs.
“Internet Service Providers must take responsibility too to tackle the problem of repeat offenders who use their networks. IPAF consumer research has found 73 percent say they would stop if that notification came with a threat to slow down or halt downloading if their illegal downloading continued,” he said.
Williams targeted Australia's nascent fibre-to-the-premises NBN as having “a special duty of care” to provide a safe super-highway for our digital economy. He claimed that the publicly-created NBN should be expected to act as a model digital network, setting the ethical, legal and commercial standards for the rest of the industry to follow and called for it to be included in any code and be obligated to take reasonable steps to stop piracy. ®
Tell him to go fuck himself.
I've put up with loads of shit TV for 40+ years - all masquerading under the nom-de-plume of 'local content' to satisfy the local regulators. Big Brother. X-Factor. And many more.
And now this guy wants to copyright that crap?
Is HE smoking crack?
Some thoughts for Mr Williams
1) Give consumers access to the content they want at the time they want it - ie at the same time as our friends in the US and UK get it
2) Give consumers access to old content - ie old TV shows etc - that they still want to watch.
3) Make pricing of aforementioned content realistic
4) Make copies of aforementioned content legally transferrable to DVD so that consumers can look at it several times if they so desire.
5) Read some of the online forums about you and your practices - really, people hold you in contempt. You can change that by the way by actually listening to what people want rather than bitching and complaining that an old business model is not working.
I'll wager that if you and your media mates do this, not only will you sell lots - read here shitloads of money to you - but there will be a massive reduction in illegal downloads.
No, you will never achieve that nirvana that you dream of in which all content is paid for, but that has not existed since reel-to-reel tapes came on the market.
And as usual...
...a figure is plucked from the air - in this case, AUD$1.37 billion - which is presumably based on the totally and utterly flawed assumption that every illegal download is a lost sale.