Telstra Bigpond, iiNet, Optus, iPrimus and Internode have banded together in support of scheme designed to combat the growing problem of online copyright infringement by local internet users – both business and consumer.
The Notice Scheme aims to create a positive change in internet behaviour by prosecuting users who infringe the 1986 Copyright Act. It will see users a warning notice if they’re suspected of copyrighting content and they can receive up to three warning notices in a 12-month period. If a user continues to pirate content, they may have their details passed on to copyright holders, who may take legal action.
The proposal came about as a result of discussions between the Communications Alliance, the five major internet service providers (ISPs), the federal government and rights holders.
According to Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton, the scheme has a strong focus on educating customers.
“We believe the Notice Scheme can greatly reduce online copyright infringement in Australia, while protecting consumer rights, educating consumers about how to access legal online content and helping Rights Holders to protect their rights,” Stanton said.
According to Stanton the scheme will also ensure rights holders make content more legally accessible to consumers.
“Equally important is the need for Rights Holders to ensure that consumers have access to legal and affordable content online, to reduce the motivation to source content in ways that might be illegal,” Stanton said.
The trial for the scheme will take place over an 18-month period before being implemented. The proposal will undergo further consultation before full details and a timetable are released.
“We look forward to continuing the discussions with Rights Holders, consumer representatives, the broader ISP community and the Federal Government, then to launching an agreed scheme that is that is efficient, fair and cost-effective for all parties, particularly consumers,” Stanton added.