Tuesday, 02 June 2015 00:14

Video piracy regs ‘step in right direction’, but less haste needed Featured

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Video piracy regs ‘step in right direction’, but less haste needed Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net/images

Internet Australia has repeated its call for a 12-month halt to the introduction of a government bill amending Australia’s copyright laws while the government commissions an independent study on ‘video piracy’.

The organisation was commenting today on the federal government release of the report on Section 313(3) of the Telecommunications Act 1997, which is used to prevent the continuing operation of online services, including video piracy and financial fraud, in breach of Australian law.

CEO Laurie Patton reconfirmed the oragnisation wants no less than a one-year delay so that an independent organisation can be undertaken to see if there is a “real problem needing action”, and the extent of video piracy and its purported costs to the local industry.

“In the meantime we should introduce a national public awareness campaign to encourage people to access content via legitimate means.”

Describing the Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications report into the use of Subsection 313(3) of the Telecommunications Act 1997 as a welcome “step in the right direction”, Patton said that that “while the report doesn’t recommend all that we proposed the recommendations made would, if effectively implemented, reduce many of the current problems associated with Section 313”.

"The committee has clearly listened to organisations like Internet Australia and drawn on their expertise to deliver a report that recognises the serious flaws in the current legislation.

“Internet Australia supports the committee’s conclusion that those agencies that are authorised to use Section 313 should adopt improved oversight policies and ensure that decisions are made at an appropriately high level by people with the necessary technical expertise.

“We look forward to assisting the Government in framing the ‘whole of government’ guidelines, as proposed by the committee.”

Internet Australia is currently providing technical advice and assistance to the Attorney General’s department regarding the implementation of the Data Retention Act, and Patton says the organisation is ready to assist the Communications department with the Section 313 guidelines.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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