Piracy alarm raised

CULTURE CHANGE: Anomaly Software owner Dev Mukherjee believes a fundamental shift in the online landscape may reduce piracy rates in Australia. Picture: Alex McConachieMOVIE and television piracy has become rampant in Australia due to a perceived lack of consequences, according to a Wagga software developer.
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Some 4700 Australians are set for a wake-up call over their downloading habits after aFederal Court judge this week ordered ISPs to release the contact details of people who downloaded the filmDallas Buyers Clubto the movie’s producers, in what has been described as a landmark ruling.

Anomaly Software owner Dev Mukherjeebelieves piracy has become rampant and almost normalised due to a perception there is no consequence under Australian law.

“Policing something like this is close to impossible, henceforth the perception that it’s a crime of no consequence,” he said.

CitingGame of Thrones, crowned the most pirated show worldwide in 2014, as one example of content otherwise inaccessible to many Australians except through piracy, Mr Mukherjee said the ease and convenience of torrentingTV shows and movies was the primary attraction for people who resorted to illegal downloading.

“What used to be previous monopolies like Foxtel essentially blocking the delivery of content …doesn’t help consumers in any way,” he said.

“It’s close to saying you can only go to a certain cinema to watch a movie.”

But the television and movie market is set for a radical shake-up in the online sphere which may reduce the incidence of online piracy, with the arrival of streaming video-on-demand services such as Stan and Netflix and higher-speed internet.

The National Broadband Network is set to arrive in Wagga and other parts of the region by this time next year.

Mr Mukherjee believes those two changes will make a big difference –both in curbing piracy as well as people moving to online subscription streaming services and away from traditional forms of consuming content.

“I hope (people pirating) see paying for content as a good thing, because in a way when you pay for a service it allows for companies like Netflix to push that little bit further and make the service better,” he said.

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