Deceptive "independent research" from Hollywood front suggests Australians are easily frightened

A press release from a mysterious "independent" Australian research outfit announced that if Aussie ISPs would help the movie industry by threatening the families that Hollywood says are downloading without permission, copyright infringement would fall by a whopping 72 percent.

This is a big number. A very big number. Especially since the same poll question, when asked in France (where the motion picture lobby has succeeded in passing a "disconnect anyone we don't like from the Internet" law) showed that only four percent of downloaders changed their habits out of fear of detection.

No, it's not that Australians are easily frightened. Rather, the Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation (an "independent" firm that lists the MPAA on its board and has no visible clients apart from the entertainment industry) included responses from people who don't download in its poll -- that is, they lumped in the very small number of people (zero, possibly) who said, "I download, and this would make me stop" with the very large number of people who said, "I don't download, but, well, hypothetically, if I did, this might make me stop."

If 72 percent say they would stop sharing after a warning, then 28 percent didn’t agree with this statement. And since only 22 percent of the people said they used file-sharing software in 2011 (the only people who would be affected by a three strikes system), this means that warnings from ISPs wouldn’t even deter people who aren’t the target of this system in the first place.

Or put differently, it could very well be that none of the 22 percent file-sharers indicated that they would stop doing so when notified by their ISP.

Now that’s an entirely different conclusion isn’t it?

Anti-Piracy Lobby Misleads Aussie Press for Three-Strikes Campaign


  1. Unfortunately, many elected policy makers are not known for their finesse in understanding the nuances of research methodology.

    And in many a case like this, they aren’t even-handed policy makers with any real interest in understanding the pros and cons of the law in question.  Someone else makes the policy and they become policy apologists, looking for any “numbers” that seem to back up the laws they know they are expected to push for.

  2. Of course Australians are easily frightened; they have PTSD from living in a place where everything can eat you or poison you.

    1. Australia, has a place where an ant kills more people than spiders, snakes, wasps, and sharks combined. Afraid doesn’t quite do justice, terrified is a better word.

      1. The numbers are not the whole story. We have – to put it simply – survival strategies pretty much beat into us from birth.

        We know to shake out our shoes before putting them on if they’ve been outside, we know that you should stay right with the car if you break down, we know you shouldn’t go sticking your appendages into cracks, crevices and holes that you can’t see into properly. We know not to fuck with the wildlife, and we know to call an ambulance immediately if someone gets bitten by something, and a bunch of other things.

        We don’t die, because it’s bred into us not to be stupid. However, when my american or british friends come over, it’s like babysitting children – they don’t have the same things taught to them as basic common sense. The British will avoid certain animals if they see them, but will blunder mindlessly around in their habitats without thinking where they might be. Americans just can’t leave anything the hell alone, they just can’t help but run up to, poke, pet, or god forbid hug anything and everything they come across. I’ve still got a scar on my arm from catching a glancing blow from a cassowary that one of my friends thought would be a good idea to run up to.
        I mean, hey, it’s like a big ostrich, so it’s going to be either friendly or frightened like one, isn’t it? I mean, big birds all act alike, don’t they? Hey, let’s go hug a kangaroo next, it’s not like a 250 pound animal that uses bounding for locomotion could possibly take it into it’s head to kick me to death!

    2. We have ‘universal’ healthcare, so not only won’t I die from a snake or spider bite, I won’t die from easily preventable illness either. Which country is more dangerous again?

      As for downloading in AU, the iiNet/AFACT case tells you more about the real tenacity of ISPs here. Good ISPs tell the US copyright trolls (or their sock puppets) to go stuff themselves (in court, where it matters).

  3. I wouldn’t be trying to shape legislative policy in Australia with any argument revolving around us being ‘scared’. Aussies don’t respond real well to that sort of suggestion. That’s not how I’d play it at all.

  4. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see this used as a basis for introducing something akin to a 3-strikes law in Australia. Both major parties are at rock-bottom and have nothing to lose so why not make some new friends and develop new industry relationships, they’re going to need jobs after the next election after all.

  5. its ok, we Australians dont need to be frightened into not pirating by Hollywood goons parading as AFACT, we dont need to be. When the government has full control of the one and only communications network in the country – the NBN or National broadband network – they will be able to monitor and block what ever type of traffic they want. The christian right here already has pr0n in it sights, any thing “RC” or refused classification – euthanasia and abortion info to start – by the same government that owns the only internet in town. I am sure they will roll over and let their friends in Hollywood – think Rupert Murdoch and Fox, he owns the only national newspaper and all capital city papers here – tell them that we are all thieves and must be stopped from torrenting as its stealing from Rupert and all his mates. I feel many Australians have been blinded by the promise of 100/25Mb/s fibre broadband to stop and think about the long term consequences of having the ONLY internets controlled by the government. oh, and dont worry about the spiders or ants getting you, its the cone shells with poisonous darts or the cute little octopi with the blue rings at the beach that you have to worry about!

    1. Chin up! We’re getting an R18 rating before too long, most likely. It’s not the biggest thing in the world, but it’s a step in the right direction.

  6. The Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation is run by a Fox Entertainment veteran and touted by a Murdoch newspaper. Ignore, especially if you’re a lawmaker.

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