The Communications Alliance, with five of Australia’s largest Internet Service Providers (ISOs), have unveiled a new filter scheme aimed at combatting the ‘growing problem’ of online copyright infringement.


The scheme is designed educate internet users on the legality of copyright infringement usually associated with peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing or unathoirsed content downloads.


Known as the Notice Scheme, the initiative was born from discussions held during 2011 between ISPs, the Federal Government and “Rights Holders” - representatives of the movie, music, software, gaming, publishing and other sectors who hold copyright over material that can be accessed online


The Scheme would require ISPs – in response to evidence provided by Rights Holders - to forward education and warning notices to customers whose internet accounts have been detected undertaking activity that might infringe copyright laws.


The proposal was developed by Communications Alliance and ISPs including Telstra Bigpond, iiNet, Optus, iPrimus and Internode, with collaboration by AAPT, Ericsson Australia and the Internet Industry Association (IIA). 


Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said the industry proposal was a positive initiative by ISPs to address a complex and contentious set of issues that society had been struggling with for years.


“We believe the Notice Scheme can greatly reduce online copyright infringement in Australia, while protecting consumer rights, educating consumers about how to access legal online content and helping Rights Holders to protect their rights,” Mr Stanton said.


“Equally important is the need for Rights Holders to ensure that consumers have access to legal and affordable content online, to reduce the motivation to source content in ways that might be illegal.”