Subscribe to CIO Magazine »

Comms Alliance calls for online music pricing parity trial

CEO John Stanton also says content providers should remove geo-blocking of legal content on overseas websites

Content piracy will continue in Australia unless measures such as music pricing parity trials with the US and the removal of geo-blocking content goes ahead, according to the Communications Alliance.

Chief executive, John Stanton, told an inquiry hearing on Monday of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communication that the Alliance and its members including the major internet service providers (ISPs) had been in discussions with content rights holders about the trial of a notice-based scheme to deter online infringement.

“If we can agree on the trial of a notice based scheme, we could also include a trial of some new [online] pricing and distribution strategies,” he said.

“For example, if IT purchase prices for online music were harmonised with US prices during the duration of the trial, we could get an indication of how much more effective this would be in combatting piracy in that category compared to categories where the [Australian] price differentials had been left in place."

Stanton tabled a report for the Committee called The Sky is Rising which was published in the US and examined how content providers are battling piracy there.

A case study in the report featured Valve Software, who produce games such as the Half Life series, and how the company reduced game piracy.

“Valve Software kept reducing the price of the [Half Life] games but they found their total revenue actually increased by 35 per cent,” he said.

Stanton was then asked by the Committee about the issue of geo blocking where Australians are prevented from access to content on legitimate overseas websites.

“Our position is we would like to see that [geo-blocking] dismantled as it is a classic generator of online piracy,” he said.

Stanton used the example of popular US TV show Game of Thrones as an example of why geo-blocking should be removed.

According to Stanton, after a Game of Thrones episode is screened in the US it is only available to consumers there.

“There is an estimated 10-day delay with the episode going on iTunes Australia. Frustrated with waiting, consumers take the easy option of Bit Torrent sites,” he said.

“It [piracy] annoys the content owners but they need to close the geo-blocking window. I think you will find that if Australian consumers have access to content at the same time as the US, most consumers will be willing to pay a reasonable price for content,” he said.

He added that the Alliance and its members did not condone online piracy in any shape or form.

“Earlier this year, the High Court of Australia in its unanimous decision in the Roadshow and others versus iiNet case provided a vital clarification on copyright infringement when it found iiNet could not be deemed to have authorised the actions of its customers to use file sharing via the Internet connection,” he said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow CIO Australia on Twitter and Like us on Facebook… Twitter: @CIO_Australia, Facebook: CIO Australia, or take part in the CIO conversation on LinkedIn: CIO Australia

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

More about: Facebook, iiNet, Valve Software
References show all
Comments are now closed.
Related Whitepapers
Latest Stories
Community Comments
Latest Blog Posts
  • CISO 2013 Security Insights: A new standard for security leaders
    Insights from the 2013 IBM Chief Information Security Officer Assessment which uncovered a set of leading business, technology and measurement practices that help to address the questions CISO's and security leaders have in managing diverse business concerns, creating mobile security policies and in fully integrating business, risk and security metrics.
    Learn more »
  • Swiss Nuclear Power Plant Improves Business Continuity
    Learn how Kernkraftwerk Leibstadt (KKL), a Swiss nuclear power plant, achieved 95% virtualization with 50% fewer servers in just two months by implementing a Vblock System. The solution ensures that KKL can reliably deliver the continuous electricity supply safely and cost effectively.
    Learn more »
  • PCI DSS v3.0 - Compliance Guide
    Due to a lack of consumer confidence and a subsequent drop in sales, all entities that handle credit cardholder information are being challenged to adopt more effective data protection measures. This paper provides information on available tools to help validate compliance with the latest version of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
    Learn more »
All whitepapers
rhs_login_lockGet exclusive access to Invitation only events CIO, reports & analysis.
Salary Calculator

Supplied by

View the full Peoplebank ICT Salary & Employment Index

Recent comments