The current law suit against iinet (for which you can read all
Australian ISPs and the Federal Government) resumes today for the
second half of 'evidence' and submissions. As this event tends only to
be reported and discussed in the 'industry media' Australians tend to
only get a heavily and childishly biased reporting of this simple and
clear cut situation. Other countries around the world have long moved
on from "whether it's right or wrong to steal other people's property
via the internet" (it obviously is unless you're ethically and morally bankrupt) to what is to be done about it by governments. The
latest update on the French and UK government's position is summed up
in today's WSJ here:
There is no doubt whatsoever that all EU countries will proceed to introduce similar laws (as Ireland has already) to prevent the wholesale looting of entertainment companies 'warehouses' by predominantly 14 year old males from families that have non fit for use parents and who attend schools where teaching conventional morality or the rationale of societal imperatives is an alien concept - or their ethics retarded older equivalents. Presumably the 'live by' motto above the lintel of these children's residences is:
I Can Steal And Not Suffer The Consequences - Therefore I Do
Amid the vacuity and just sheer total 'take your breath away' lying stupidity of the defence being offered by iinet is the loss of any understanding that condoning the stealing of other people's property, of whatever type, leads to the destruction of any form of civilised society. iinet's "not my problem mate" defence is as cynical and just plain wrong as any defence could be. Ignoring the fact that theft destroys society and therefore seriously harms every inhabitant of that society is ridiculous. Trying to pretend theft is not taking place or trying to pretend it is someone else's problem is so stupid that it beggars the imagination. To also try and pretend that you are unaware that your facilities (which you totally control) are not being used for theft makes you a lying poltroon.
So - should anyone wish to defend the theft of other entities property - why would the governments of three sensibly governed countries take a completely opposing view? There can be no reason other than a country's government is responsible for the maintenance, among many other things, of the protection of its citizen's property and the putting in place of the protections that ensure that happens. Australia isn't too far behind better governed countries around the world and there is NO doubt that similar laws will be eventually promulgated here and the effective policing of the protection of copyright material will become a reality.
Despite the lying statements by iinet's defence (put up as obfuscation in conjunction with the IIA - and we all know who that means) that the detecting and preventing the downloading of illegally obtained material is 'onerous to the point of impracticality' the moment such a law is passed it will be seen that it is neither onerous nor impractical....it is trivial and totally practical. So when this court case finishes and any subsequent appeal is heard and ruled on the fact will be that iinet will lose and the Federal Government of the day will enact legislation that formalises the court ruling very quickly by toughening one or two clauses in the Australian Telecommunications Act - but I can't remember the exact references nor can I bother to look them up for the purpose of this blog.
The only thing that is in any way remarkable about the current law suit is that it has to happen at all. It is a commentary on business ethics in Australia today (clearly individual Australian's ethics are a totally lost cause) that any company with even a passing regard for doing the right thing would be needed to be taken to court to be made to understand that stealing other people's property is wrong and that they have an obligation to the society in which they carry out their commercial activities to play a part , where they are able, to maintain that society's moral and ethical obligations.
Is it really a case of the ISPs who are members of the IIA condoning illegal downloads so they can profit by charging for the traffic carried in those activities?
Is iinet really spending more than a million dollars of its shareholder's money trying to defend theft as a way of doing business?
Does anyone really believe that a 14 year old that learns that stealing someone else's property has no 'punishment' doesn't transfer that view into other criminal activities?
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