A recent example of this was when two Foxtel subscribers Brett Hevers and Darren Sharpe in February 2017:
“racked up close to 300,000 viewers within a matter of minutes, streaming the blockbuster pay-per-view Mundine v Green boxing match on Facebook Live”.
At $59.95 per subscription to that service, that is a lot of lost revenue for Foxtel.
Foxtel’s battle with digital piracy does not end there. A big issue for them is the illegal downloading and sharing of Game of Thrones. According to Adam Harvey from the ABC’s 7:30 Report in 2014:
“Foxtel says about 500,000 Australians watch each episode via a paid subscription, while another half a million download it illegally, mostly by sharing episodes with other users through a process known as torrenting.”
At that time it was the most downloaded show in history.
The Dallas Buyers Club and Village Roadshow legal cases are two recent examples of how digital piracy of entertainment products can be a legal minefield. The Dallas Buys Club case focussed on chasing customers associated with 4,726 IP addresses that downloaded and shared the film Dallas Buys Club (Borella and Pearce, 2016). The Village Roadshow case amounted to the Australian Government to block website associated with file sharing. Media and entertainment lawyers Borella and Pearce (2016) discussed the complexities involved in these cases such as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) protecting their customers’ privacy, the Australian Government protecting copyright, distributors protecting their income streams etc. After the examining numerous court cases and introduction of the Australian Government’s Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015, they advised where to from here:
“The combination of increased avenues for Australian consumers to access television and film content legally, together with the implementation of new deterrent legislation, and possibly more cases like Dallas Buyers Club tackling this issue, will hopefully go some way to reducing the number of instances of online piracy in Australia.”
So, it appears to be a balance between affordable and easy access for consumers and protecting incomes, interests and rights of content creators and distributors. Arguably, digital piracy of entertainment (e.g. mp3s, videos) is a response by some ‘pirates’ to business models not meeting their needs. As a budding leisure entrepreneur, it is the “combination of increased avenues for Australian consumers to access television and film content legally” that gets the thinking going as to how can affordable content be made and delivered to customer to deter piracy but also make a living?