Australia's Piracy Crackdown Could Start As Early As This Week

Fairfax is reporting that anti-piracy measures could be implemented as early as this week as the Federal government looks set to crack down on the issue of piracy here in Australia.

The plan, led by the current Attorney General, George Brandis takes the form of two steps.

Step one: a three strikes and you're out policy. Pirates will be given three warnings before litigation is brought against them.

Step two: the blocking of sites like The Pirate Bay.

You can read more on the story over at Gizmodo.


    Thankfully, as of last month, I no longer have any TV shows that I care about. Given how hard it has been to legally follow certain shows I'll probably just stop watching altogether, which also means no DVD purchases from me later down the track.

    Obviously my purchases are a small drop in the well, but it is a genuine problem to legally access content here in Australia.

      I feel exactly the same about TV and I'm starting to only shop for games during Steam or massive retail sales.

      Legal access is a simple matter in Australia. If you legally want to watch Game of Thrones, you need to sign up to Foxtel, owned by Murdoch, you know, the guy that bankrolled the Libs into government.........

    and if history has taught us anything, is that this is nothing but a waste on taxpayers money.

    Last edited 06/05/14 10:58 am

      Yeah and besides IMO the problem isn't the accessibility of torrents and other means of piracy, but the steep 'Australia Tax' markup. (You know the whole 'We'll mark it up because you are willing to pay that much anyway' tax that they have been looking into for years with no results.)

      Lets face it: If games, internet fees, TV series and other media were a decent price in this country (I'm not saying record breaking global low prices, just affordable) I wouldn't need an American PSN or to visit PlayAsia and the likes, let alone Pirating TV shows.

      At this stage I am seriously considering either:
      A) Reaching into my back catalogue until the new games get cheaper in 6months or so or;
      B) Start playing guitar as my main hobby, because gaming in this country is unaffordable, let alone watching TV shows legally because the prices of those never drop and Foxtel etc have all the shows spread so thin between channels you have to get quite the large bundle if you want to enjoy it more than just buying what shows you want to watch in store for what, $29 and up?

      For those who don't know we easily pay double what other countries pay from games, movies, TV shows, etc; retail or online (PSN, XBL, Steam etc.) and even if you stream TV the internet is SHIIIITE (And expensive!!)

      So all I say is: If you want to smudge out piracy, start with getting rid of the absurd Australian markup in stores because I'm sick of paying double what the US pays and sometimes more than you would pay for the same thing in a third world country (Like Africa) where the legal merchandise is a rip off (Which it is here)!

      Last edited 06/05/14 11:24 am

        Start playing guitar as my main hobby, because gaming in this country is unaffordable

        You should already be doing that! Music > Gaming.

        Unfortunately, music gear is also horribly overpriced in Australia. Generally double US prices as a rule. I don't mean to discourage you or anything but its true. At least in that cast a fair bit of the price difference is justifiable (shipping, regulations, higher wages etc.)

        Last edited 06/05/14 9:09 pm

    It's true, no one wants to pay for PayTv, because it's all bullshit. Netflix seems like a good idea, but fuck you if you're in Australia, because of the shit internet. Viscious circle.

      Also because of the pressure from murdoch to keep competition out.

        And I can assure you it's pressure on Murdoch to keep piracy out, too. Seems like a good plan to get people buying Foxtel.

      Well, plus the fact that Netflix and equivalent aren't available in Australia.

        They are if you're computer savvy enough. ;)

          But that's illegal and will result in the jackboot squad kicking your door in during the night for a fun evening of waterboarding....

          Not legitimately though. I'm not exactly motivated to fight the studios and force my money into their pockets against their will.

    I hear that HADOPI worked out pretty well, so maybe the Federal Government should have a talk with the French. /s

      They probably just assumed they surrendered to the pirates.

    VPN to somewhere else in the world and the problem goes away. There are free one click on/off ones available that are ok, and some high quality ones if you spend $5 a month.

    isnt it funny that this news pops up when today is went the new season of 24 begins in the rest of the world, yet it wont air on channel 10 until next week

    Looks like it's time for me to get on board with VPN'S.

      Same here - Lucky I got a little virtual server running just to host my stuff - time to set up VPN on there and keep going.

    I've got netflix here in Australia... On ADSL2 (can get 1.8Mbs max) and are able to stream at a HD quality stream fairly regularly.

    Until the government steps in and starts to regulate the higher inflation that we seem to be still getting for 'digital' content compared to the rest of the world... People are going to torrent. I understand shipping and why physical copies are more expensive... But there is no reason why in this world of 'digital' and 'streaming' that we shouldn't be on par with the states.

      TBH. No. I don't understand why shipped products are THIS much more expensive. It's double and you can import for MUCH less which shows that somethings up. Plus they've looked into what I hear people calling the 'Australia TAX' where we pay more for everything just because and it's BS!

      How do you understand that shipping means physical costs more? Everything comes from China, so the shipping argument goes out the window too.

        The point is: I could understand it being a bit more because thats fair and well and whats a little mark up here or there etc. But what we pay is ridiculous (Easily double for media and what almost 20% more for hardware?!) and I think everyone here agrees.

          Yeah, some of the facts presented in that inquiry were hilarious huh?

        I get what you are saying but it's not entirely accurate. Shipping costs are relevant because they ship much less of a product here than say to the USA just due to population reasons. So they may for e.g. be able to ship 10 containers of a product to sell in the USA but only 1 to us due to the size of the market. You get bulk discounts etc on the shipping, differences in import and customs duties and that is where shipping costs are relevany

          Even if there's an economies-of-scale difference between bulk shipping between US and Australia with 10 to 1 shipping containers, there should still be some pretty huge differences between that one shipping container to Oz vs an Australian consumer paying for individual single-unit shipping.

          As it stands right now, it's significantly cheaper to purchase overseas and ship an individual unit than it is for a centralized local company to ship in bulk. That's all kinds of fucked up.

        Shipping gives discount for ordering in bulk.

        I should not be able to order something made in China, that is shipped to the US, sold to a retailer, sold back to me and posted at consumer rates back around the world to Australia cheaper than buying retail here.

        There's literally two extra middlemen in that route taking their pieces of the pie, making a profit and it's still cheaper... How can that ever be justified?

        shipping on software (games,cds,dvds...) is irrelevant because for the most part, they are pressed right here.

    Three strikes and you're out? Good luck proving that it was the same person every time, and not just the result of lame WEP encryption on Telstra's routers.

      Given the amount of wifi leeching I saw even in early days on Telstra's popular routers, this is probably going to be a huge problem. Had your three strikes on your own connection? Do it on someone else's!

        I wonder how schools and public areas will be affected.

    This irritates the absolute crap out of me.

    The world-wide idiotic approach to eliminating piracy.

    Want to do it properly? THIS IS HOW ITS DONE:

    1. Provide a live streaming service, at a reasonable, FIXED rate of $20 - $30 NO MORE. Whilst this would be insufficient to pay for bandwidth, and content licensing, continue to read on...

    2. Stream any content on demand, with additional revenue generated from commercial breaks.

    We live in a digital present. It's all about convenience, access, price and platform. People would be happy to pay $20-$30 a month versus the $70-$100 for a bunch of foxtel packages so we can access the content we want to watch on 3 different channels.

      Yeah. This is exactly it. They need to rethink their strategy.

      Netflix and a vpn service to use it cost less than $20au a month.

    VPN's all the way!!

    I dont have a problem paying for it if it was the right price, same will EVERYONE I know, instead torrents are the way at the moment or start moving to MEGA, encryted file sharing :-)

    Here's a question, what counts as piracy? Can I get a strike for looking up the Halo soundtrack on Youtube? What about looking up [insert characters name] death scene from Game of Thrones on Youtube? Are there any loopholes that can easily be abused?

    Last edited 06/05/14 12:00 pm

      Check this vid out. Apparently we can't do anything.

      I doubt they will flag Youtube as Strike material. If it is a copyright infringing material, Youtube will remove it themselves.

      I think only Rupert Murdoch can answer that question, since he seems to be the one making up the rules.

    Worth a watch. Our system is so outdated it's not funny.

    At least wait until Game of Thrones is done for the year you bastards.

      What about people like me who download the censored version (Has everything except sex scenes) to watch with some of my more sensitive friends?

        That's even worse. Not only are you illegally copying the work, you are illegally copying illegal derivative works! Surely that would be two strikes in one go.

          Not to mention broadcasting your pirate media to a public audience. Three strikes in one?

        There is a censored version available??

          Yup. Got everything except all the sex and nudity. Great for introducing people who don't necessarily like that stuff.

    I wouldn't put it past these bastards to ban VPNs.

      I doubt they will do that, as many corporations use VPNs for legitimate office use - unless you start distinguishing on that level, that's when you start turning the life of IT guys into living hell.

        They'll probably do what Google, Youtube, and Hulu do, and just ban the most popular ones.
        Do a basic search for 'unblocker' or similar, install any of the first few recommended VPNs/extensions, and try accessing youtube's US-only content - even odds that you'll still be blocked, or you'll get ads but no video and it'll skip to the next in a playlist or similar. There was a public announcement of Hulu's blocking popular VPNs last week or so, but the big sites have been doing it for ages with very little fanfare.

        What the government's puppet-masters are probably counting on is the average Australian not being savvy enough or being too cheap to pay for VPN access. Torrents? Easy. VPNs? Not AS easy. And not always as cheap.

          Yeah, I think, your last paragraph sums it up well - they are counting on the lack of IT knowledge of the average Aussie to not being able to set up a VPN connection. But everyone has an IT guy as a friend nowadays who knows that stuff. On that note, taking applications now. :D
          There, I outed myself as an IT guy...

          Last edited 06/05/14 12:33 pm

            NO you crazy man, we keep must our IT status secret, lest we be overrun with "my computers doing something funny, could you comeover and take a look?" (for free of course) conversations with every individual we meet!

          Hulu blocked vpn's last week? They did a terrible job then.

            Apparently just the more popular ones.

    Meh foxtel has upped their game when it comes the massive TV show's (which is all I really pirate), most of the shows I watch are aired in Australia a few hours after they are aired in the US.

    Let the games begin.

      How's the Government gonna stop me from borrowing a burned copy on CD? Yeah, let's go old school with our piracy!

        To the Sneakernet!

          Dayum! Haven't heard that term in years!

          Just shows how bad a policy is if it's proposal is defeated by a method from the 80s!

          Last edited 06/05/14 7:16 pm

    If they blanket ban bit-torrent protocols as "illegal downloading" (which they probably will the backwards old technophobes) then there goes using a lot of game updaters. For example, Blizzard uses Bit-Torrent protocols for patches to their online games and is 100% legal; however if they blanket ban, they start striking people for doing things legally.

    Pretty sure they tried step 1 in NZ about 3 years ago, think they sent out about 5 warning letters in that time.

    What about tv streaming sites and porn sites will they count or is it just torrents all seems very confusing to me

    Let them try. What a waste of time and money. These people still live in the dark ages and have absolutely no idea how the internet works and why so many people pirate.

    Guess I better download that free episode of Metal Evolution which they released via torrent before the gov't see's it as piracy.

      Free episode? What one was that, did they end up making the extreme metal one after all?

        Nah just the Extreme Metal one, would appear they released it just the other day over here for free. Since the only way to get it legally before was to back their kickstarter (or whatever it was) that helped them fund the episode.

          Well I'll be having that, cheers! I never knew they got enough to make it, last I heard it was only half funded.

    This will fall apart. There's too many people doing it. If they went after the uploaders, perhaps they could prosecute a manageable number, but if they try to prosecute every single downloader of pirated material, the courts would be clogged with nothing but piracy cases.

    Blocking sites like The Pirate Bay? Eh.... not really that possible. Even China, which has a TON of government power, personnel and money can't do it, and not for lack of trying either. If China can't do it, with all their resources and legal control, how the hell can the Australian government do it?

      Yep its a complete waste of resources - its just the government pandering to their so called "donors". Google has it right We believe there is significant, credible evidence emerging that online piracy is primarily an availability and pricing problem. We would encourage the Government to promote new business models and a free marketplace for legal purchasing of content source -

    You heard it lads! Poirate away! Batten down the downloads! Scrub the download history! Hoist the VPNs!

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now