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Users should PAY for their piracy says Turnbull

No, ISPs should pay, says Brandis

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Australia's government is applying its customary confusion to the copyright debate, with the two ministers most associated with the issue giving divergent messages on how best to solve the country's supposedly-chronic piracy.

Late last week, communications minister Malcolm Turnbull – one of the two signatories to the leaked-then-released copyright discussion paper – told Sky News copyright owners should bring the American sue-the-user model to Australia.

Rights owners, it seems, are pussycats avoiding the fight: they don't like the idea “because it doesn't look good”, Turnbull said.

Turnbull told the TV program that rights owners have to “be prepared to actually roll their sleeves up and take on individuals. They've gotta be prepared to sue people, sue mums and dads and students who steal their content. They can't expect everybody else to do that for them.”

Attorney-general senator George Brandis thinks there's at least someone else that should be working for the rights-holders: ISPs. He has told The Australian that the government won't be letting ISPs act like “innocent bystanders”.

In an interview with the paper's Darren Davidson (behind the paywall), Brandis says ISPs are unwitting facilitators of infringement – which apparently means something other than “innocent bystander” – and that the government wants the ISPs to foot at least part of the bill for some kind of copyright enforcement regime.

With no scheme yet in place, he said “We expect the ISPs to make a contribution to the cost of administrating [that's a word?? - ed] the scheme … the government is determined to step into the policy gap left by the iiNet case, and if need be, we will legislate”.

Absent of legislation, Brandis has reiterated his desire for ISPs to send warning notices to downloaders, and to have a stab at blocking file-share sites. ®

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