Last week I got an anxious message from my best friend who said that she had been sent an email from her internet provider warning her to stop illegally downloading. Now I have known this girl for years and she often gets worried over everything so I thought nothing of it. Then she sent me an article by the Sydney Morning Herald – ‘Online piracy crackdown looms’ May 5th – and I realized that this might be serious. Internet providers such as TP&G have been sending warning emails to their customers who illegally download over the past fortnight.
It is the Abbot government’s plan to have internet service providers send warnings to those who repeatedly download illegal content and block certain sites that allow illegal downloading such as Pirate Bay. Now when my overreacting friend saw this email, of course she panicked and hasn’t downloaded a thing since, which is exactly what the government wanted to achieve. This ‘crackdown’ will be used to examine how far piracy rates will drop after individuals are scared out of downloading. iiNet chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby commented in the article saying that this wont necessarily change anything as many not so anxious people like my friend will see it as a bluff. The government cant officially charge anyone or block the sites – yet.
Australia is home to one of the biggest sources of piracy in the world and it is only growing larger. This is clearly due to the fact that international TV series are not available in our country or we have to pay for cable TV only to watch it weeks after it is released.
Honestly, I am not quite sure where I stand with this. As person who sometimes illegally downloads myself, I would be quite frustrated if the sites I download from were blocked. However I understand that the creative industry in Australia is a tough business and Australian artists and filmmakers require all the help they can get from Australian viewers, listeners etc. I guess my mentality is that if I want to download a Katy Perry song for example, why should I give her even more money? I’ve already paid $160 to see her live in concert, why should I pay more when she’s already a millionaire? I guess I’m not a ‘true fan’.
To read the article by the Sydney Morning Herald go here.