ISPs and movie studios have until April to agree on a new piracy code for Australia, or else

The Australian Government has announced that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and US movie studios has five months to reach an agreement on a new industry code to combat piracy in Australia, or the Government will impose its own binding arrangements.

However, this is not the first time the Government has told ISPs and movie studios to negotiate and come to agreement on a scheme to combat piracy. Similar negotiations broke down in 2012, but the Government remains confident that this time the negotiations will be successful.

The Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, who will be overseeing the negotiations between ISPs and movie studios, has proposed a notice-based system where suspected pirates will be sent a letter when they illicitly download content. After about three or four letters, the personal details of the suspected pirate can then be obtained by the movie studio and used in court.

Turnbull has said previously that movie studios and other copyright holders must be prepared to sue individual members of the public, including teenagers, students, and poor people, to stop people from pirating and that they can't expect everyone else to do the work for them. However, Turnbull thinks most people will stop "downloading content that they haven't paid for" after just one notice, and he thinks that the notices will play a "very important educational role".

The Government also announced as part of this plan to combat piracy, it will use current laws to force ISPs to block access to websites which distribute pirated content. This might include websites like the Pirate Bay, which is still currently offline after a earlier police raid.

Image: Brian Turner / Flickr

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