Making online content more affordable and accessible could hold the key to curbing piracy online.
According to a new report released by the Communications Alliance and undertaken by JWS Research, rather than introducing stronger legislation, respondents stated that if content distributors offered cheaper and fairer pricing, people would not download illegally.
The research was conducted in October involving 1500 respondents.
Most respondents agreed that illegal downloading of content was a national problem, but fear they would face higher internet bills if ISPs were made responsible for identifying, monitoring and punishing illegal downloaders.
About 60 per cent of respondents indicated that if content was made available at the same time as everywhere else, this would also help reduce illegal downloads.
"This research comes as the Government considers responses to its discussion paper on online copyright policy options. It paints a picture not of a nation of rampant pirates, but rather a majority of people who agree that action taken should include steps to reduce the market distortions that contribute to piracy", Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said.
"ISPs do not condone or authorise online copyright infringement, nor accept that concerns over pricing are a justification for improper behaviour. ISPs are committed to finding equitable and practical approaches to combat it — preferably in cooperation with rights holders.
"In our submissions to Government on these issues we have stressed the need for a multi-faceted approach to online copyright infringement — a scenario in which all stakeholders have a constructive role to play. For our part this has included moving toward a cooperative 'follow-the-money' strategy designed to restrict the advertising revenues flowing to websites that promote or facilitate online copyright infringement."
When asked in the latest research about alternative ( non-regulatory) approaches to combat online copyright infringement 79 per cent of respondents felt there needed to be continuous improvement in the availability and cost of online content to Australian consumers; 62 per cent supported the creation of an educational program, with ISPs sending up to three notices to alleged infringers; and 60 per cent agreed that rights holders should reimburse the reasonable costs of ISPs that assist them in fighting piracy.
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