Australia Held Secret Piracy MeetingsThe Australian government, which has been trying to introduce some kind of censorship for a while now, is reported to currently be engaged in secret meetings with Internet service providers and the entertainment industry in attempt to see if the country can bring in something before anyone notices.
It seems that the Australians have some weird trend in their government, which believes that there are votes with the Christian Right by censoring the web. Despite the fact that every survey in Australia seems to prove it is only a waste of time, a number of governments have been shelving and re-activating the plans.
The main problem is that any online filter is quite easy to get around, so the Internet service providers refuse to control them. Today the suspicions are that the desire for filtering within the Australian government, coupled with the desire of the entertainment industry to lock up users suspected of file-sharing, have somehow formed an unholy alliance.
Local media reported that the Federal Government of Australia has held a number of closed door meetings between the content and telecommunications industries. The idea of the meetings is to invent a way of locking up file-sharers without the need to find evidence. This will, in the meantime, create a precedent where broadband providers have to police their subscribers.
However, the industry observers point out that it won’t be fair at all. The entertainment industry has been trying to sue the Internet service providers into introducing voluntary agreements where the industry could provide a list of their subscribers and the broadband providers would simply cut them off. Fortunately, thus far the courts have sided with the Internet service providers.
The secret meeting is, of course, stacked with the copyright owners, like the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), the Motion Picture Association (MPA), Foxtel, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), the Australian Home Entertainment Distributor's Association, the Australian Performing Right Association, Music Industry Piracy Investigations, the Interactive Gaming and Entertainment Association, and the Australian Publishers Association.
Of the Australian Internet service providers Optus, Telstra, the Internet Industry Association, and the Communications Alliance, as well as networking vendor Ericsson have been invited to the meetings.