[LINK] Conroy vows to tackle illegal file sharin

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Wed Jul 15 10:46:03 AEST 2009

Conroy vows to tackle illegal file sharing
By Ben Grubb
Jul 15, 2009 7:07 AM

Government promises to "facilitate" a solution.

Federal communications minister Stephen Conroy has vowed to fight 
illegal file sharing head on in a report on the Digital Economy.

In a report unveiled at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney last night, 
Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the 
Digital Economy, said the Government, among other promises, will 
"facilitate development of an appropriate solution to the issue of 
unauthorised file sharing".

"The Government recognises a public policy interest in the resolution of 
this issue," the report said. "A number of submissions received during 
the consultation phase for the development of this paper argued that a 
role for Government exists in addressing the apparent popularity of 
peer-to-peer file sharing of music and movies, without the necessary 
permissions of the relevant copyright owners".

The report goes on to outline submissions made to the department by 
various stakeholders.

"One solution proposed by copyright owners is a "three strikes" or 
"graduated response" proposal under which copyright owners would work 
together with ISPs to identify the ISP's customers who are suspected of 
unauthorised file sharing and the ISP would then send a notice on behalf 
of the copyright owner to that customer advising of this allegation".

This was, however, unpopular amongst many concerned about consumer rights.

"Several submissions were received which opposed this proposal for 
reasons including the lack of judicial oversight of administering 
sanctions based on private allegations, the lack of public transparency 
about the process and concern over consumer rights," the report said.

"The Government is currently working with representatives of both 
copyright owners and the Internet industry in an effort to reach an 
industry-led consensus on an effective solution to this issue."

The Government's efforts to find a solution to illegal file sharing 
comes as a landmark court case between The Australian Federation Against 
Copyright Theft (AFACT) and Internet Service Provider (ISP) iiNet battle 
over whether ISPs are responsible for preventing illegal file sharing. 
Senator Conroy has previously noted he is watching this case "with 

Tackling unauthorised file sharing was among many areas of focus for 
Conroy's department listed in the Future Directions paper.

The paper also covers off the Government's focus on improving digital 
literacy, access to Government information online, the enhancing of user 
trust in digital technologies, the building of the National Broadband 
Network, allocation of mobile spectrum and switchover to digital television.

The paper was developed in collaboration with industry and other 
stakeholders through a three-stage consultation process that began 
September last year.

It is a broad summary of the Government's aims in terms of the digital 
economy portfolio, without revealing any new initiatives to meet these aims.

The report has been made available to download in full here. 


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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