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The draft Copyright Notice Scheme Industry Code of Practice aims to drive down the rate of online piracy through a cooperative response involving Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Copyright Holders. ACCAN was one of the stakeholders involved in developing the scheme with the goal of driving down online piracy while at the same time providing appropriate safeguards for consumers. Our submission addresses how well the scheme achieves these safeguards and proposes solutions for the remaining shortfalls.

Copyright deserves strong protection in order to foster a vibrant market for content. However, ACCAN advises caution in pursuing a Code which may have limited benefit in protecting copyrighted material while adding significant cost for telecommunications consumers. The Code attempts to drive down the incidence of online piracy without paying adequate regard to the core drivers of infringement – a lack of affordable and easy to access content.

Several key issues are highlighted in our submission, including:

  • Funding arrangements and cost implications of the scheme
  • The cost to challenge a notice
  • Privacy concerns regarding information collected by ISPs
  • The structure, responsibilities and operation of the Copyright Information Panel
  • Lack of information regarding how consumers can access lawful content alternatives
  • Speculative invoicing
  • The quarantine period after an infringement is issued

The draft Code is scheduled to be submitted to the ACMA in April 2015 for registration. ACCAN proposes that the Code be assessed by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) so that the costs and benefits of the scheme can be understood.

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