Seven Network mulls scrapping content screening delays

Seven Network mulls scrapping content screening delays

Simultaneous screening time between US and Australia could help curb TV show piracy

Google Australia engineering director Alan Noble

Google Australia engineering director Alan Noble

The Seven Network will consider pushing for simultaneous broadcasting times between Australia and the United States to combat online piracy, according to director Ryan Stokes.

Speaking at the Broadband and Beyond 2010 conference in Sydney, Stokes said the media giant would consider screening US television content in Australia as and when it was screened in the US in an effort to stop pirates from illegally downloading content before it was screened domestically.

Typically, television content broadcast in the US can be delayed from screening in Australia by days, weeks, months or a year or more.

It follows last week’s defeat of a legal case by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) – of which Seven is a member – against a Perth-based Internet Service Provider (ISP) iiNet.

Prior to the ruling speculation was been rife on how the decision would impact the ISP industry and copyright legislation. While Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was reticent on whether new laws or legislation amendments will follow the decision.

Also speaking at the conference, Google Australia engineering director Alan Noble said the disruptive characterstic of the Internet was killing traditional content models.

"The internet breaks the idea of scarcity... mp3s have decimated CDs," Noble said. "The Internet is both a disruptive force good and bad, but interesting."

Computerworld yesterday revealed Exetel will stop blocking customer accounts linked to copyright infringement as a result of last week's failed lawsuit against iiNet.

After five years, the company will by the end of the month stop blocking accounts of customers accused of copyright breaches by organisations such as The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT).

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