Idiotic View in Internet Copyright Case

A seriously stupid view of the various responsibilities involved in digital copyright infringement has been put “on the record” during closing arguments in the landmark Australian federal court case been the film industry, and the Australian ISP iiNet.

The film industry has “decreed” that ISPs should “get serious” about copyright infringment or “get out of the business”. What a joke! Since when have service providers in any industry been obliged to shut down their operations when scarcely proven – (if at all) – illegal activities have been committed by their customers using their services? Umm, never springs to mind.

Do we ban cutlery companies from making knives because somebody might get stabbed using one?

Do we get Telstra to shut themselves down because someone arranged a murder over the phone using a Telstra-provided service? Does that make Telstra a party to that murder? Clearly not on both counts. The film industry is asking the same thing of ISPs.

But why is it the responsibility of iiNet (or any other ISP) to clean up the mess the film industry themselves have left behind by allowing their content to get out there anyway?

Why? Because it’s prohibitively expensive (and generally futile) for the film industry to spend the money getting it right in the first place, so they’ll demand that the ISPs bear the cost of cleaning up their mess. It’s really about maintaining their own profits by not having to spend the money doing it properly themselves.

It’s time they woke up to themselves.