Copyright Holders Don’t Want To Pay The Price

With online piracy a hot topic the world over – (most visible in Australia with what is known as the “iiTrial”) – it has been interesting to watch how different countries around the world are trying to deal with the issue.

One common approach seems to be the “three-strikes law” – (such as France’s HADOPI law) – where people convicted of breaching copyright online are to be disconnected from the internet – in some instances, for life.

Given the United Nations has declared internet access a “human right”, legislators seem to be backing away from permanent bans.

One country that has a “three-strikes” policy is New Zealand, where the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act was passed in 2011. After only a month in place, it is clear that the usefulness of such a policy is dubious at best:

Forty percent still do it, despite the threat?

How much is it costing the ISPs to issue the infringement notices?

“(Telecom New Zealand) said it had spent $534,416 complying with Skynet, but had been asked to send only 1238 notices.”

Simple mathematics says that is $438 an infringement notice. It costs $438 for Telecom New Zealand to do what is required of them to issue the notice.

Yet the copyright holders have to pay only $25 per infringement – AND – want that fee reduced to only $2!

It seems – as many have feared – that the copyright holders want the result, but don’t want to pay for it, placing the burden on the ISPs.

All measures of fairness would suggest that is not a fair and reasonable outcome for the ISPs. However you try and spin it. Why should the ISPs be shouldering the burden for the content industry’s problem?

As I have said in the past:

“Drop your prices to reasonable levels, and people won’t even steal your content. As soon as the price of legally purchasing your content is effectively less than what it costs people to download it – (for free or otherwise) – people won’t want to download it for free. Because it will be cheaper for them, and you’ll sell a lot more units.”

It is not pirated downloads that are killing the content industry – it is their own overpricing greed and lack of vision that’s doing it.