Copyright holders stoic over PM's copyright shift

The Australian Screen Association (ASA) is keeping quiet over newly sworn Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to move responsibility for online piracy regulation back within the communications portfolio.

The ASA, better known by its previous name for the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, is the industry group behind a failed court bid to hold ISPs responsible for online piracy.

Industry groups representing ISPs and carriers see the decision to take responsibility copyright away from Attorney-General George Brandis as positive but the ASA today declined to comment on it.

The decision brings the current standoff between content owners and carriers over the development of an industry code to tackle online piracy under the remit of newly minted Communications Minister Senator Mitch Fifield

Arguably, it will also bring the issue closer to Prime Minister’s Office given Mr Turnbull’s had a close working relationship with Senator Fifield during his tenure in the role.

Content owners and carriers have long been at odds over who should bear the cost of online piracy and their most recent efforts to develop an industry code have stalled on the same issue.

In this case, the disputed costs are those required for a three strikes-style notice scheme aimed at consumers believed to be infringing copyright online.

Mr Brandis is widely perceived to be sympathetic to the copyright holders’ view that carriers should bare the major burden of the cost while Mr Turnbull has been reported to find their arguments lack persuasion.

The deadline for content owners and carriers to deliver the code has long expired.


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