Thursday, 26 March 2009

The trouble with the Australian Government's P2P policy

© Depositphotos.com/@almagami
The recent case involving iiNet and copyright infringement through peer-to-peer networks is leading to more regulation and ISP policing. But what is the government going to do with all the kids they catch sharing music and videos?

Read the article from IT News here. The Digg 'blog it!' function doesn't seem to be working for me anymore :(

Regulation seems an obvious approach to overcoming the problems of copyright violation. But should it be the first step?

I have heard many businesses suggest that ensuring your product is of the highest quality is the easiest way to negate copyright violation. Two examples spring to mind:

bandit.fm: I applied for the Commonwealth Bank's Debit Card and received the bonus $20 per month trial of bandit.fm's music site. Legal, cheap, awesome! Better quality than anything available on P2P, and I will be purchasing more once my trial period ends!

questia.com: Buying books is an expensive yet necessary part of the life of a PhD candidate. Almost everything I needed seemed to be available on Questia, so I checked out the trial with an option to pay $30 per month at the end of the trial period. That was several months ago - I am so happy with the product I will be staying with Questia indefinitely...
The moral of the story? Businesses need to find a new business model. This requires more funding for research and development (both public and private). The government's P2P policy will only catch kids - the same kids who used to tape their favourite songs from the radio - the same poor quality!

Sure, copyright protection is essential in the knowledge economy. But increasing the cost of Internet service provision by making ISPs act as the Net Police is particularly lame. The Australian Government really needs to get with the program: (1) Help Australian businesses develop innovative business models which will improve the quality and price of New Media content; and (2) Don't impose Old Ideas on New Media!

Creative Commons License Except where indicated otherwise, Le Flâneur Politique by Michael de Percy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License. Based on a work at politicalscience.com.au. Background image ©Depositphotos.com/ @redshinestudio