Feeds

News Ltd's Australian chief demands copyright overhaul

Wants anti-piracy role for National Broadband Network

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages
Hello. HELLO. Can EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE HEAR ME?!
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
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.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.