Anti-Piracy group targets schools

online_piracySouthern Star producer and former chair of the Australian Film Commission Maureen Barron will head up a newly-formed body to fight piracy, the Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation (IPAF).

In a bid to thwart piracy of the Australian film and television industry, IPAF will take its message to schools, providing them with educational resources, run online education and conduct research in a bid to “promote creativity and IP rights and raise awareness and understanding of the importance of copyright.”

Part of its charter is “motivating a change in attitudes and behaviour to reduce public demand for illegal copies of film and television programmes”, according to a statement released by the group.

“I believe most Australians want to do the right thing,” said Barron.

“We know that once they become aware that copyright theft is wrong and the detrimental impact it has on the industry, most stop pirating.

“My experience in the film and production industries has shown me first hand the work that goes into making a film or television show. It is no mean feat and those who dedicate their talents to the field are entitled to see a return on their investment.”

IPAF members include the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), theatrical distributors, cinema owners, and DVD rental retail chains.

Source: IT News


  1. instead of spending money preventing kids from doing, why not strike the root of the cause and drop levels of piracy altogether instead of telling kids its bad. Most times having someone tell you something is bad they dont listen, as for instance since late primary school we’ve had numerous lessons throughout the years on drugs alcohol and sex saying dont do it etc etc, but yet there are still teens that ignore and do it because it benefits them.
    imo the money should go into improving the networks to reduce tv show piracy, then they just need to think of ways to cut down on movie and music piracy

  2. FOX held back the final 2 episodes of prison break in the US. They intended to release it as a “special” DVD edition, as a blatant %$#* over your customer cash grab. Unfortunately for them some non US networks did air them. At the moment they have been downloaded about 1.9-2 million times. Download stats for prison break went from about 5% of downloaders being US based to about 25%. Now FOX has lost ad revenue from these episodes and still the only people who will buy it are the people who have bought the other seasons anyway, although they do get to screw some more money out of them.
    Way to completely miss the point (and some extra dollars) and punish the people who support you.
    Media organisations continue to be completely clueless about what their consumers want, clinging desperately to outdated revenue systems. Despite the fact that we are now empowered to use and consume whatever we like however we like to. Give us the chance to pay and consume our media the way we want it and this problem will largely disappear. Continue to ignore the wants of your marketplace and your marketplace will continue to ignore your wants.

  3. I agree that copyright infringement is illegal, because it is a fact. The issue here i believe is that of morality. Due to the networks’ appalling treatment of viewers, viewers don’t feel that downloading an episode of, say, the big bang theory, which nine dropped twice after average ratings, is the wrong thing to do. I agree. Yes every downloader downloading an episode hurts the networks, but if that is what it takes to bring them in line, i fully advocate it. They don’t seem to get the message though, which is their loss.

  4. Again, David I must reiterate that this is Free to Air television. In what way are we creating a monetary loss to consumers? They get all the money they require from Australia by networks buying their shows. We don’t pay to watch FTA, do we? I don’t see how the definition of ‘steal’ applies itself here at all, when it comes to the argument of downloading TV shows being illegal.

    • The notion of creatives making a product that is bought and paid for is not specific to television or film. If at the end of the day everyone downloads for free how are creatives reimbursed and why should networks even bother buying the product? Downloading should be legal on a pay per purchase re the iTunes model, or at the very least made available after it has been aired as per iView. Sadly for the most part it isn’t. Anyone who regularly reads this blog knows I am hardly supportive of networks that have their head in the sand when it comes to living in the dark ages.

      My previous comment sought to clarify the suggestion that downloading of shows that haven’t aired here isn’t really illegal. Sorry it is. And in a further clarification we certainly pay for FTA television via taxes to ABC and SBS, while enduring ads is another subsidised system. Argue all you like about what should be, what could be and I wil take it to the bank with you. Trying to say it isn’t really stealing is like being half pregnant. It either is or it isn’t and at the moment alas it is.

  5. Glenn Petrie

    Well, if the three commercial networks didn’t put a TV show in a certain timeslot, only to screw around with it or take it off altogether, then bozos wouldn’t have to download them.

    As for movies, I would rather go out and buy a copy on DVD.

  6. “The monetary loss is huge to creative artists in music, film, television and literature.” It still has not been proven that a single download equates to the loss of a sale or if you want to be more exact not proven to equal a sale at the supposed full retail value. The NY TImes has astudy on downloading of CDs vs sales to support

    “There is also a ‘dog chasing its tale’ argument that shows do not stay on air because viewers have gone and downloaded them first. In some cases, networks have to wait until they get the air rights to actually screen them after a window period.” Not my or any other consumers problem. If the right holders want, in our case, australian Tv audiences watching their programs on advertised free to air networks they should pull their heads out of ‘you know where’ and changes the restrictions to rights so the networks can show them.

    Case in point, when Channel 10 caught up with “House” this season i didnt bother to download an episode for the few weeks that we had caught up. Once they dropped the ball and took it off air i went back to downloading.

    “Ultimately television needs to embrace online and make its revenue work for it, just as the music industry had to deal with Napster and created iTunes (which has ’some’ TV if you are lucky).” Lets hope whatever they do is better than itunes. Music file quality is way too low, and with TV’s now consistently in the Full HD (1080p) bracket and 4K on the way having low quality rips of TV shows is going to be pointless.

  7. Yes David it comes back to the networks working with the new technology, Apple made it work with iTunes but the TV side is limited to shows/eps that have aired, but this is where the problem lies.

    Case in point shows like Moonlight, 90210 and most recently Worst Week. all taken off the air and unlikely to come back. If they do it’s only sites like this that keeps us informed as they are usually stuck in the middle of the night or sometimes shuffled off to PayTV (aka Gossip Girl)

    And it’s also often the case that if it isn’t aired and the network still holds the right then it won’t go to DVD locally for a year of more (if we’re lucky) until after it aired in the original country, again long after most fans have given up on the show.

  8. Frankly I’d rather the government spent money repairing school buildings and ensuring that children have a safe place to actually attend school. So many government schools these days are in desperate need of repair. And I’d rather they provided resources to help the kids that are falling behind in maths and english and science because the school can’t afford the resources they need to keep the kids engaged and actively interested in learning.

    Anti piracy education is seriously at the bottom of my “things my child should be learning at school” list.

  9. c’mon, you’re only on the offensive here because you rely on the networks and want continual access to them and their goodies. sure i saw the wire, but felt responsibility to buy the dvd’s and encouraged others to do the same because it was brilliant. when the best we’re offered is underbelly, all saints, packed to the rafters and rove, i’ll be bypassing the local networks at every opportunity.

    i’d hardly shed a tear if i turned on my tv and found a blank screen where 9, 7 and 10 used to be.

  10. I agree with most posters here. Downloading shows or movies or songs that you cannot get here is not wrong in any way. What do they prefer, that I finance the commercial pirates or get it myself? I also don’t think there is any problem with downloading movies that have been out in cinemas in other parts of the world for months but are yet to be released here. Again I would like to pay to see them but there is no way for me to give them my money, and I refuse to wait and be treated like some lower class consumer. I have seen every single episode of scrubs for example, at the time there was no way for me to pay for it. It came on TV for a few eps and then dissapered. I have since bought every season I could on DVD, but they are still about 1 year behind.
    Most of us would like to pay for our media but quite often we cannot. Is it even illegal to download something you cant buy? I think that there has to be a monetary loss for it to be a crime, and if I can’t pay then there is no monetary loss.

    • Yes it is illegal.

      The monetary loss is huge to creative artists in music, film, television and literature. Arguing that “the show isn’t on here so it’s not a crime” might be nice in theory but it is incorrect and negates the selling power of productions for producers, networks, advertisers, and thereby ultimately actors and crew. There is also a ‘dog chasing its tale’ argument that shows do not stay on air because viewers have gone and downloaded them first. In some cases, networks have to wait until they get the air rights to actually screen them after a window period.

      Far be it for me to defend lazy networks who have not found a way to move with the times, but we should be accurate with what we are discussing. Ultimately television needs to embrace online and make its revenue work for it, just as the music industry had to deal with Napster and created iTunes (which has ‘some’ TV if you are lucky).

  11. @benno, and bindi: totally agree, for shows that are not shown on tv or available on dvd in australia, there is not legal alternative and piracy is the only option(and you cant by the dvd from overseas as it wont play cause of region codes) , but for movies that are widely available on dvd in australia its just case of people wanting a movie for free.

  12. Someone BBBA

    Well I guess the entire concept of intellectual property is so fundamentally flawed and illogical that they’ve finally figured out that targeting people whose brains have actually developed is a waste of time. So they’ve now taken a leaf out of religion’s book, and decided to indoctrinate them while their young!

    Convince the defenceless children that they can actually have ownership over an idea! So long as this stupid idea is ingrained in their minds before they develop the capacity for logical reasoning, they won’t even pick up on the disturbing, yet inevitable extension of this ridiculous hypothesis – that in order to “intellectually” own an idea or a thought, you must also own the minds of all those people who share this idea or thought.

    Nobody can own anyone else’s body, least of all their mind. Yet this is precisely the inevitable extension of what intellectual copyright means. If you can own an idea, then you also own

  13. Is this Government funded? if so what a waist of money. I cant beleive schools would let this dog and pony show in their grounds. A real serious issue eh? Hold the phone, we should cancel that environmental talk to chat about the destructive nature of piracy….

  14. I agree with most here, copying a movie (or TV show) from DVD is wrong but recording that same thing off the TV is not. Also downloading a TV show that a network refuses to air or takes months/years to bring here is not wrong but I do draw the line at Movies when those same movies are on DVD or at the cinema.

    If studios were serious about reducing copyright theft then they would work with TV stations to get their shows aired sooner, or moved to another network who wants to air it, until that happens people are not going to trust that they will be able to follow their favorite shows and not have them removed, never to be seen again until they come to DVD and in some cases that takes years and we have lost interest in them by then.

  15. My advice to them is to just start with penalties for movie downloads that are available in cinemas. That’s sheer piracy since it avoids the 10+ dollar cost ( I really don’t see the point personally)

    TV programs?

    A) Kids download it simply because they cannot watch it any way else!
    B) Even if networks do take it off and muck around with them, the US is still a few months ahead with the majority of shows, and kids won’t want to wait until February, like most other people.
    C) I’m sorry, but since when did we have to pay for free to air television? Are they worried about us not watching the ads? Do they realise that the same thing could be done by taping and fast forwarding the ads?

    It is illogical to declare us pirates for downloading television shows that we cannot access any other way. Illogical.

  16. many years ago in the video era graham kennedy wrote in a magazine “its not video piracy as long as you don’t record the copyright warning notice at the beginning of the tape” lol

  17. I only encourage piracy of television shows where the dvd is not available yet. For instance, there are a few shows which (i hope) are released on DVD in the next month or two. Firstly, it is easier to buy the dvd. Secondly, it supports the studios who make the episodes. I agree with bindi in that i cannot condone pirating music and movies, given that they are legally available to purchase and music and movie studios don’t jerk consumers around (relative to our FTA networks). The networks complain that viewers aren’t watching them anymore, yet continue with their same practices which drove them away. It continues to amaze me.

  18. Sillygostly

    And yet, us legitimate consumers are rewarded with 5 minutes of anti-piracy ads and unskippable copyright warnings in every language conceivable for buying the DVD.

  19. i can understand sometimes why people want to pirate tv shows- because the networks treat viewers horribly, they air a show, get you hooked, then rip it off air never to be seen again, that can be very frustrating and the dvd can take years to arrive in australia, often because they are waiting for the network to finally get around to airing the rest of it. but i don’t understand why people do it to movies, the cinemas and rental stores don’t treat people like dirt, they release movies as soon as they can and they make them available to everyone forever, they don’t put it on shelf for two weeks then throw the dvds in a fire just to spite customers. people cannot claim they are being “forced” to download movies with any credibility, the only reason they do it is coz they are cheap.

  20. “I believe most Australians want to do the right thing,” said Barron.

    Yes they do, however with network tv being so bad here, while people want to do the right theing, they don’t want shows to appear on network schedules to then disappear for good a few weeks later. They don’t want to miss the end of shows when they tape them because a network is running 10-20minutes late. They don’t want to wait many more months than they have to for a show they like to air in australia. They don’t want the movie length season finals split into two episodes. They want to watch shows which simply never make it to australian shores, on tv,cable or won’t on dvd for a few years.

    The big issue here is Networks just don’t meet what the public demands and that is programming in a timely fashion on the global scale. The shows and the audiences to be treated with some respect. There is an alternative, may not be legal, but it meets the demand of what people want.

  21. Excellent points Neon Kitten I couldn’t have articulated it better myself. That ad with the poster of Kenny burning up always cracks me up in the cinema because it is neither relevant nor accurate what they are portraying.
    Still the thing about this article is that of course readers of this blog are going to be cynical about it. I noticed Hulu has announced a deal with the UK for broadcast can Australia be much far behind?

  22. It won’t work. The only way to combat piracy is to make better quality product for a price people are willing to pay.

    For instance I wouldn’t bother buying pirated DVDs because I know I can buy the real version cheaply enough.

  23. Maybe if TV stations did not show a couple of episodes then take it off the air or change the day/time of the next episode then there would not be as much piracy.

    They only have themselves to blame.

  24. If the TV and film producers and distributors are serious about copyright, they will also demand that local TV networks show programs soon after they have aired in the US, regardless of how they rate here, and that cinemas must screen movies on the same day as the US (or the day before).

  25. Neon Kitten

    Using the education system to indoctrinate kids into the mindset of buying stuff, in other words. Shameless.

    Few points:

    1. Australian TV is hardly ever “pirated”. Given its quality level, no surprise. Shows that people flock to are watched when they air, because, news flash, they air when nobody has had any other opportunity to see them.

    2. It’s not “piracy” to download a TV show. It’s not “theft” either. These are propagandistic buzz-words tossed around by people with vested interests in complete disregard of the realities of what’s happening.

    3. The good old line about “the work that goes into making a film or television show” is, itself, “pirated” from overseas propaganda campaigns.

    IPAF (gesundheit!): kids don’t give a toss about the concept of “intellectual property”. And if you tell them not to do it and to respect their elders, they’ll do it more just to spite you.

    IPAF. I Predict A Fail.

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