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New Zealand ISP Attacks Entertainment Industry's Outdated Business Model

Posted by: , 16:19 AEST, Tue August 16, 2011

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The CEO of one of New Zealand's largest ISPs say that the government should stop propping up the dying business model of the entertainment industry via copyright laws, and should concentrate more on encouraging innovation to fight online piracy

New Zealand has become a battleground for the next round of fighting between the entertainment industry supported strong copyright laws, and the Internet industry's reluctance to follow suit. The government of New Zealand, under pressure from the United States, recently passed legislation that introduced a 3-strike style copyright regime, which has already come under criticism from Internet giants such as Google.

And now, the CEO one of New Zealand largest ISPs, TelstraClear, has also come out attacking the newly introduced law, saying it is nothing more than propping up a failing business model.

"TelstraClear respects copyright and supports the ability of rights owners to realise value from their intellectual property. But a business model that has to be propped up by specific legislation in this way is flawed and needs to change," TelstraClear's CEO Allan Freeth says.

Freeth also says regardless of any new legislations, it won't really stop those intent on downloading pirated content, and that people who download pirated content are often doing so because their legitimate needs are not being addressed.

Freeth cites a 2009 TelstraClear survey that showed even back then, people who download pirated content were doing so because of pricing issues, and the delay of new releases getting into the country. Many in the survey also felt that the current distribution model was outdated and not in line with how the "instant" nature of the Internet.

"These are the opinions of the ‘now’ generation, and the growing population that has never experienced the world without a TV, the internet, and the freedom this offers ... New Zealand’s distance from the source of much content has been conquered by online access, but simply making it available online while retaining old price structures and wait times doesn’t work," Freeth added.

And controversially, their survey showed consumers wanted more direct connections between the artists themselves, suggesting a diminished role for rights holders and distributors.

Freeth sums up by asking for more innovation, rather than more legislation, as a way forward to fighting online piracy, and that instead of turning "ordinary Kiwis into law-breakers", the government should focus on "breaking monopolies" to allow for more innovation, better pricing and more timely releases.

Do you agree with TelstraClear CEO Allan Freeth's opinion that, innovation, not legislation, is the best way to defeat online piracy? Post your opinion in this news article's comments section, or in this forum thread:


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