Digital Entertainment Alliance Australia plans talks with ISPs

Australian entertainment companies and distributors have come together to form a conglomerate aimed at sitting down with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telecommunications to look at ways of combating online piracy.

As reported by The Australian, the group, called the Digital Entertainment Alliance Australia (DEAA), includes a consortium of television, cinema and general media operators and distributors.

Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association chief executive, Simon Bush, confirmed to Computerworld Australia that the group was in alliance with the Australian Content Industry Group (ACIG) and had been working together since 2010.

The group began developing terms to negotiate with ISPs after 34 entertainment companies led by AFACT lost an appeal to the Federal Court ruling that Perth-based ISP iiNet did not authorise the acts of infringement by its users.

In March, AFACT announced it had lodged a further appeal of the Federal Court's decision, moving to the High Court to try and overturn elements of the appeal ruling.

"The case galvanised the content industry to come together as a single voice and we want meaningful dialogue moving forward," Bush said. "Since the iiNet court case, we formed the DEAA and we will continue to be in discussions with ISPs and the government."

However, he said the DEAA was not involved with the case against iiNet and hoped to work with the ISP in the future.

"Meetings that we've had in the past [with ISPs] will still go ahead," Bush said.

While the group has no chairman or spokesperson as yet, a person from one of the companies involved may be appointed in the near future.

Bush also said various sectors of the film industry were working on strategies to address piracy and meet consumer demand for digital formats. One idea was to shorten the window between when a film was released in the cinema and it became available online.

"A premium service is under trial in the US where the window between the cinema release and the street [release] date has been shortened," Bush said.

"However, I don't think theatrical exhibitors and distributors would be too pleased with a movie going digital at the same time it was released at the box office."

For example, he said that if a major Hollywood studio released Ironman 3 to a cinema and other formats on the same day, the cinema owner could turn around and refuse to show the movie because they would lose business.

Bush said the flow-on effect could mean lower revenues and lead to fewer movies made in the future.

"That's not saying that we can't be innovative to attract consumers," he said. "We want to work with the exhibitors to make sure we get digital content out there in a more exciting way for the consumer."

DEAA members include:

  • BBC Worldwide

  • Foxtel
  • News Limited
  • The Independent Cinemas Association
  • The National Association of Cinema Operators
  • The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT)
  • The Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association
  • The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance
  • Hopscotch Films
  • Hoyts
  • Blockbuster
  • Video Ezy
  • Deluxe Entertainment
  • Potential Films
  • Palace Films and
  • Becker Entertainment.
  • Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

    Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

    Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

    How to supercharge Slack with ‘action’ apps
    Shop Tech Products at Amazon