Opinion: Listen to internet users before setting rules on piracy

by HelenYoung, school of communication arts, University of Western SydneyOne in three adults in Australia has participated in movie piracy, according to a recent report by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft. But if we are a nation of digital thieves then we are not alone: an international report released this year said that stolen copyright material accounts for between one-fifth and one-quarter of all internet traffic worldwide.Even if these figures are taken with a grain of salt it is obvious that vast numbers of people are exchanging files – movies, music, TV and a growing number of electronic books – in ways that breach existing copyright and intellectual property regulations. Recent advertising campaigns by the Australian film industry compare movie piracy with stealing a car or a handbag. You wouldn’t, they say, steal either, so why would you steal a movie?

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