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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another Secret Anti-Piracy Meeting Took Place

The problem of unauthorized file-sharing online by means of BitTorrent has brought together the entertainment and telecommunication industries for another closed door meeting with Federal Government participating.

The goal of the first meeting, which was held by the Attorney-General’s Department five months ago, was to encourage the intermediaries, including major US Internet service providers and representatives of the movie, TV and music industries, to find a viable solution on the problem of online copyright violation.

A week ago, the Department had held another meeting on this problem, but it still hadn’t communicated the topics discussed there to the press. Most of the entities that participated at the September meeting were the representatives of the entertainment industries. There were also local Internet service providers, including Telstra, Optus, the Communications Alliance, and the Internet Industry Association. Ericsson also attended the meeting as a networking vendor.

Meanwhile, the paper trail from the second meeting on the problem pointed to efforts by the Attorney-General’s Department to conceal the discussion of the so-called “6-strikes” policy. The latter aimed at eliminating copyright violation on the Internet established between the entertainment industry and ISPs in the United States this year.

The agreement in question had the largest American broadband providers like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable forward copyright violation notifications from copyright holders to suspected online pirates. After a few such notices, Internet service providers have acceded to enforce punitive measures like temporary reductions in connection speeds or redirections to various pages.

Already introduced in a number of countries (like New Zealand and France), the so-called “three-strikes” regime has been regarded as a potential solution to the problem of digital piracy. Although thus far, the broadband industry has been reluctant to introduce a regime of this kind in Australia, a number of the country’s ISPs have already implemented another system: one ISP there is entitled to redirect subscribers to another provider once receiving a certain number of complaints.

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