EFA reiterates its call for the ISP Copyright Code to be halted.
New research released last week by Choice confirms what EFA and most informed observers (including the Communications Minister) have been saying for some time, namely that the primary drivers of online copyright infringement in Australia are lack of timely availability and price discrimination.
The Australian market has been transformed this year with the introduction and explosive growth of a number of excellent new streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) services. As ACMA reports, 'almost two million Australians have subscribed to SVOD services since early 2015'.
It is therefore no surprise that Choice's research already shows a material decline (from 23% to 17%) in the number of respondents that regularly download infringing content, as well as reporting a massive 33% of respondents who are downloading 'much less often' since subscribing to streaming services.
That's one-third of users whose reported behaviour has changed, in six months.
In six months.
EFA does not condone copyright infringement but has long understood the frustrations of Australian consumers who simply seek timely, convenient, high-quality and competitively-priced access to the same content as their friends in North America and Europe.
The majority of online copyright infringement in Australia is demonstrably driven by market failures, and the market is, finally, addressing those shortcomings.
International experience shows that copyright notice schemes are of marginal value at best in addressing online copyright infringement.
Ten weeks have now passed since the apparently urgent 'website-blocking' bill became law in Australia, yet we are still to see a single case presented.
The deadline for the ISP Copyright Code has now also passed and, as per previous attempts to find a consensus between the ISP industry and content distributors, the issue of who pays for notices to be sent to allegedly-infringing users remains unresolved.
EFA Executive Officer Jon Lawrence said today. "The current government, which is ostensibly committed to deregulation, must accept the reality that finding a consensus on the cost burden of a copyright notice scheme is simply not possible.
"It must also realise that legislating to impose such a scheme will only add another layer of unnecessary regulation on to Australia's ISP sector, which is already struggling with the government's overly-hasty and inadequately-prepared data retention legislation.
"Enough time and money has been wasted on the ISP Copyright Code. It's time for the government to get out of the way and allow the market to evolve."