No "three strikes rule" for Australian ISPs

 

DFAT says we can work it out.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has poured cold water on speculation Australia would adopt a "three strikes" rule, which would see ISPs cut off subscribers that were found to have shared copyright protected files on more than two occasions.

The "three strikes" rule was reported to be on the agenda of the ACTA Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement being forged between the United States and allies including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and nations within the European Union.

Parties to the agreement met in Mexico last week (between January 26 and 29).

According to a story in The Financial Times [registration required], the "secret talks" last week involved discussions aimed at forging an agreement that would force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in each of the countries to take greater responsibility for the activities of their subscribers.

The options allegedly up for discussion included adoption of the "three strikes" rule passed last year in France.

But a spokesman for DFAT denied any such idea was on the table at the talks in Mexico.

The Australian delegation, led by DFAT and including representatives of the Attorney General's Department, Customs and IP Australia, did not discuss the issue, the spokesman said.

"There is no recommendation that Parties agree to legislate a "three-strikes" rule, and no discussions endorsing such a recommendation took place in Mexico," the spokesman said.  

"Australia already has copyright laws to encourage ISPs and copyright owners to work together to deter copyright infringements over the internet."

DFAT expects the parties to engage in "three to four" further rounds of talks in 2010, "with further discussions in 2011 possible."


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