As Out of Touch as Ever

So the provenly ineffectual effort of site-blocking has finally come to Australia. The ruling shows just how far out of touch both the entertainment industry* and the judicial system are with how the internet works. Via Lifehacker Australia, Foxtel writes:

A significant factor in Foxtel’s ability to attract subscribers is the exclusivity in Australia of a proportion of the programming it offers, including the Programs, the Australian premieres of which were exclusive to Foxtel's subscription television services.

Foxtel’s programs have been, and continue to be, available without charge outside Foxtel’s subscription packages, and Foxtel has thereby suffered and will suffer loss and damage, including lost subscription fees, lost opportunity to earn subscription fees, lost opportunity to earn licensing fees, and other damage from loss of control over copyright in episodes of the Programs.

The reason for the primary purpose of The Pirate Bay [et al] is to infringe or facilitate the infringement of copyright (whether or not in Australia).

I can categorically state that Foxtel is in no way losing my subscription money to a freely available source. Foxtel's online offerings are so sub-standard compared to every streaming service (and so ridiculously over-priced) that there really is no way most people who pirate the one or two shows they are interested in would be purchasing Foxtel subscriptions as an alternative.

It is just another example of the entertainment monopoly attempting to stifle innovation and force upon the public an outmoded delivery system. Cable is a dying breed, headed the way of the video store; if Foxtel's streaming services had anywhere near the availability or service level of other offerings, it might gain some additional subscribers.

Lack of availability is the key here. If Foxtel were serious about curbing piracy levels, they would provide better services. Instead, they're insisting that people conform to their desires. The customer is always wrong.

The fact that the judicial system in Australia has decided to follow through with such an ineffective policy suggests that they also do not understand the media consumption habits of the 21st century.


* Either that, or they do understand and are continuing to force users into their vision of how media should be consumed.

Matt Redmond

Musician, composer, actor, engineer, pirate.

Adelaide, Australia