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Consumer group urges against “three strikes” piracy policy

CHOICE is calling on the Australian Federal Government not to introduce so-called ‘three strikes’ anti-piracy measures, which it says will push Australia into the digital dark ages.

Attorney-General George Brandis raised the possibility of measures such as a graduated response scheme and internet piracy filter, in a speech on Friday 14 February.

Under a graduated response scheme, consumers receive escalating warnings for alleged infringement of online copyright and may face penalties including fines, reduced bandwidth and disconnection of internet services.

“Three strike schemes have proven to be ineffective and costly in other countries. They have also undermined the rights of consumers to due process,” says CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland. “If implemented in Australia, these measures would push up the price of internet access without any impact on piracy. Nobody supports internet piracy but punishing consumers is not the answer. The best way to stop piracy is to make it easier for Australians to pay for content like movies and television series at internationally competitive prices.”

CHOICE welcomes comments from the Attorney-General that the government will seek to engage with Internet Service Providers in establishing a scheme, however we stress that given the very real risks for internet users, consumers must be consulted as well. CHOICE is launching a petition urging the government not to introduce a three strike policy. Consumers can sign it by visiting http://www.choice.good.do. 

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