Software Piracy isn’t a good thing. No matter how you try and justify it, there’s just no real justifiable reason to illicitly download games and media. One of the most oft-used excuses, especially for PC games, is “I just want to see if it works on my system before buying it.” Steam now offers full refunds if you only play games for less than two hours.
With media, it’s a little trickier – but there’s a reason that reviews exist. Anyway, Piracy isn’t great, and Australia’s courts agree. An Australian Judge has ordered ISPs down under to take reasonable steps to make sure that they block access to sits known for enabling piracy, namechecking ones like Pirate Bay, Torrentz, TorrentHound, IsoHunt and streaming service SolarMovie.
Says Peter Tonagh, the chief executive of Foxtel, one of the complainants against the piracy-enabling sites:
“This judgment is a major step in both directly combating piracy and educating the public that accessing content through these sites is not OK, in fact it is theft.
“This judgment gives us another tool to fight the international criminals who seek to profit from the hard work of actors, writers, directors and other creators the world over.”
It’s a tricky thing. While I’m no fan of piracy, I’m also not a fan of internet freedoms being curtailed, and judgements like this are a slippery slope towards heavy-handed internet regulation – the sort of thing China’s infamous for, and the sort of thing we may be in for if the FPB has its way.
Of course, even ISP level blocking like this will end up being pointless, because people will always, always find a way.