CHOICE crowd funds anti-internet filter advertisement

Consumer advocacy group, CHOICE has crowd funded a television advertisement calling on the Federal Government to “work smart, not hard to beat online piracy”. The advertisement will run nationally on YouTube from Monday and WIN Television in the ACT.

The satirical advertisement features a fictitious Minister for the Internet launching his hand made Internet filter. It is part of CHOICE’s campaign against proposals that would make the internet more expensive without effectively addressing piracy.

“We believe the government has its policy settings wrong when it comes to combating online copyright infringement,” says CHOICE campaigns manager Erin Turner.

“Australians are frustrated with not being able to access and pay for timely and affordable content. It’s this frustration that is driving some consumers to seek a better deal on legitimate overseas sites like Netflix, and unfortunately driving others to illegal downloading.”

The CHOICE campaign comes in the wake of the Federal Government’s Online Copyright Infringement discussion paper that puts forward solutions that are likely to pass costs on to all internet users without dramatically reducing rates of piracy.

“Forcing Internet Service Providers to monitor and prevent copyright infringement through the use of an internet filter is not the answer,” says Ms Turner.

“Looking at international examples, we know that the policies proposed are high-cost with low results. Policies like this in France and New Zealand have cost significant amounts of money. Our fear is that a high-cost system will lead to all consumers paying more for the internet, without meaningfully addressing the problem.”

In a submission to the Government’s competition policy review that is due to report last this year, CHOICE detailed new evidence of the artificially high prices Australians pay for identical goods and services purchased from identical websites. This included paying 33% more than US consumers for the top 10 new release movies in Apple’s iTunes store.

The latest CHOICE research came on the back of a comprehensive submission to the IT pricing Inquiry in 2012, which detailed more than 200 examples of hefty mark-ups Australia pay on popular digital products.

“The solution to this problem is removing the barriers that stop Australians from purchasing legitimate content from the global market. We should be using the pressure of genuine competition to deliver more timely and affordable content to local consumers, not punishing Australians and entrenching outdated business models.”

You can support the CHOICE campaign at