Fetch TV Is Coming After Aussie Pirates

The digital seas are becoming a perilous place for pirates. Today, the Australian IPTV provider Fetch TV announced it is joining forces with the Australian Screen Association (ASA) to combat online piracy. If you're partial to a bit of GoT plunder via illegal streaming and the like, here's what you need to know.

The ASA is a consortium of film and television organisations that counts Village Roadshow, Walt Disney, Sony Pictures, Universal, Paramount and 20th Century Fox among its members. Its stated mission is to advance the business of filmmaking, with an emphasis on promoting safe and legal consumption of TV and movie content.

The news that Fetch TV will be joining ASA as an associate member coincides with a renewed focus on so-called "pirate set top boxes". (This includes things like Kodi media players running dodgy torrent addons.) In a statement issued to media, ASA said it aims to block the proliferation of these "illicit devices" via the Federal Court. It has already filed a court action.

Needless to say, Fetch TV - which is onsold by Optus, Dodo, iiNet and others - is keen to see these blocks pass.

"Fetch TV is a strong supporter of the ASA initiatives designed to address the piracy epidemic in Australia, and welcomes the opportunity to contribute as an Associate Member," Fetch TV CEO Scott Lorson said.

"We look forward to working with the ASA and its members on targeted and effective strategies to improve the prospects of all legitimate players in the creative industries."

Targeted and effective strategies doesn't sound like much fun for pirates. It should be noted that the ASA's push against piracy has already met with considerable legal success. Some of its members were behind the blocking of The Pirate Bay and other torrent websites in Australia.

More recently, ASA associate member Village Roadshow revealed to Lifehacker that it intends to start suing individual pirates for copyright infringement.

Here's Village Roadshow's Plan For Suing Pirates

'.This week, Village Roadshow co-CEO Graham Burke announced the company will start suing Australians who infringe on its copyright. This means anyone who has streamed or downloaded a movie via an illegal pirate site is potentially in its cross hairs.

But when will litigation begin? Who will be targeted? And how much money will you need to pay? We spoke directly to Burke to get some answers..'

Read more

"If someone steals Red Dog and Mad Max Fury Road, we will sue them for the two viewings of those movies, plus some damages," Village Roadshow CEO Graham Burke said at the time.

While Lifehacker has never condoned piracy, it's now becoming an increasingly risky proposition. With Fetch TV and others mobilising against the practice, it might be time to furl your black sails and go legit. Or at the very least, cover your tracks with a VPN - if you haven't already.


Comments

    Hey Fetch, you should fix the DRM issues with your bloody Fetch TV Mighty et all before whinging about piracy!

    Fetch TV offers a service that is theoretically a good idea, however in practice is sub par (android app is deplorable, no android TV either)

    yet they announce they join the fight.
    they should probably pay more attention at their customer base, than fighting other peoples "wars"

    Also, every few months life writes an article about this or that regarding piracy.
    but they're all headlines.
    they fail to do the basic research of explaining how they're planning to do anything about piracy?

    For torrenting, it's easy, they can infiltrate the swarm and lof IPs.
    Dallas buyers club case, shows the Australian Legal system is still not a pupped of big corporations, and is against the speculative invoicing. yet, media empires could still try that.

    but how on earth are they going to stop streaming or file sharing websites?

    Its core mission is to advance the business of filmmaking, with an emphasis on promoting safe and legal consumption of TV and movie content.

    No it isn't. It's a renaming of AFACT, the organisation formed so Hollywood could subvert our own legal system and be a law unto itself.

    ASA said it aims to block the proliferation of these "illicit devices" via the Federal Court. It has already filed a court action.

    Oh get real!

    I use a Pi as a TVHeadEnd client and I have no intention of dismantling nor being told what to do with my own, home-made PVR setup any time soon.

    It should be noted that the ASA's push against piracy has already met with considerable legal success. Some of its members were behind the blocking of The Pirate Bay and other torrent websites in Australia.

    How is that a success when a DNS configuration change is all that is needed to get around the block?

      How is that a success when a DNS configuration change is all that is needed to get around the block?

      I said "considerable legal success" - forcing ISPs to block piracy sites is a legal victory in anyone's books. (Plus, piracy levels have fallen - there are plenty of Luddites out there who are too scared or inept to circumvent the blocks.)

        Given the way to circumvent the blocks instantly renders the user invisible to anyone monitoring piracy a drop in piracy is precisely what you would expect to SEE if piracy was on the rise.

        "piracy levels have fallen"

        I'm very scetpical about the evidence used to justify this statement. If everyone moved to VPNs with overseas exit nodes, it would look like piracy levels had fallen in Australia but actually hadn't, so to me this is an equally likely explanation for the data.

          actually for some reason VPNs within Australia still get past blocks to these sites. It guess if its the ISPs making the blocks than it makes sense. So unless people haven't bothered checking, they would be still using Aus address VPNs.

    Wait....Fetch TV is still a thing!?!?

    What kind of targeting can they do? Will my legitimate home kodi setup be 'targeted'? It doesn't have any streaming or torrenting set up on it at all. Just a local media player that organises my files and plays them. Files which I obviously ripped from my extensive DVD and Bluray collection.

      Files which I obviously ripped from my extensive DVD and Bluray collection.

      Unfortunately, it doesn't matter if you bought the DVD and/or Bluray. You still circumvented the copy protection which itself is an illegal act.

      I personally think that statute should be struck from the book and only be made a problem if one is redistributing the content beyond personal use but that is what the law stands at the moment.

        You still circumvented the copy protection which itself is an illegal act

        Not disputing that's a no-no, but I'm not sure its ever been tested to the point of being a certainty. This is based on you owning a disc and getting a copy for ease of use.

        If you're downloading something you own a copy of, its someone else that's done the cracking, not you. Likewise, breaking DRM on products you own may not be the issue they're trying to make it out to be. There are still other rights that people have to make copies, which haven't been tested here either.

        Usually if you were ripping yourself it'd be a moot point, because its been an offline process and out of sight, but in the modern world, with plex servers, etc, there may be some fingerprints getting into the internet, which muddies things.

        For me, its essentially format shifting and personal use, which has a long history of being OK, but again, hasn't been tested in the modern more connected world. Like a lot of other things in this area, the world is moving faster than the laws.

          Not disputing that's a no-no, but I'm not sure its ever been tested to the point of being a certainty.

          Hasn't been tested but I'm sure it's covered in the statutes (I really don't wanna revisit them, I've suffered enough!).

          If you're downloading something you own a copy of, its someone else that's done the cracking, not you.

          That goes from one problem to another.

          You may not have circumvented the copy protection, but you still acquired an unauthorised copy. That's where the studios will try and get you.

          In fact, given the ease of duplication, using a torrent is technically making an unauthorised copy.

          There are still other rights that people have to make copies, which haven't been tested here either.

          This is where it gets muddy.

          A lot of this stems from the old software rule where one is allowed to make a backup copy for personal use.

          The problem is that statute is very old and really needs to be updated. It was written back in the day when UIs were mostly text.

          The problem today is a lot of software has art assets which are not covered by the backup rule.

          If permission is given in the EULA (like Microsoft used to do back in the day) one should be OK but for the most part making a backup is still a violation because you're making an unauthorised copy of the art assets.

          Even if the laws are updated though, the rights holders (not always the studio, oddly enough) will be pissed because they want content to be perishable. The rights holders don't want content to be repeatedly enjoyed offline, they want it to expire so one keeps paying over and over and over again.

          For me, its essentially format shifting and personal use, which has a long history of being OK

          That itself is still grey. Heck even time shifting out ads is apparently illegal but too costly to enforce.

          Either way, I'm getting too off topic here.

          I still agree with you though, the laws should be updated but nobody is going to because it actually requires effort instead of just riding the gravy train.

            A lot of this stems from the old software rule where one is allowed to make a backup copy for personal use.

            The problem is that statute is very old and really needs to be updated. It was written back in the day when UIs were mostly text.

            Yeah, that's the one. Telecommunications Act from memory, from some point early in the 70's. Was intended for software, but was written in a manner that applies to everything from CD's onwards. And has been applied to them a few times - format shifting from CD to MP3 is a good example. Key part of it was that you had a right to a copy OR A REASONABLE FACSIMILE.

            The reasonable facsimile part would be the important bit because it means the copy doesn't need to be exact, just functionally the same to the consumer. And whats the function of a movie disc if its not to show the feature content?

            And its never been tested, at least not with downloading. Biggest issue would be that most downloaders don't actually own the movie, but how could you tell if they just quickly went and bought a copy when lawyers got involved? $30 at JB's to create an alibi? Sounds like a bargain to me.

            Just thinking there are arguments somewhat unique to Australia because of those little loopholes, and that its not necessarily a slam dunk to the content owners.

            Just because the statute say unauthorised copies or circumvent copy right protections doesn't mean much unless you provide a case where the courts have interpreted exactly what that means in a legal sense. I think you will find that a Court would more likely fall towards to home user who is just copying for convenience, especially considering that the purpose of the copyright legislation, when taken as a whole, is not to prohibit personal copies, the purpose is to prohibit unauthorised copying AND distribution. The court does not have to enforce the statute to the letter of the law UNLESS it has an unambiguous meaning, without having read the provision it is apparent just from this discussion that the meaning is clearly ambiguous and open to many possible interpretations.

            Apart from the legislation, you may also contract with the distributor, during purchase, to not copy the material. Whether a contact has been established and whether it is enforceable are questions that can only be answered by examining the facts of the individual case. But I would imagine it is highly unlikely that one, even if a contract existed a court would enforce such a term; and two, that a company would actually commence proceedings for such a breach. Considering they have suffered no loss they would be entitled to nominal (exactly zero) damages.

    Fetch is owned by Astro, a malaysian paytv provider bigger than foxtel could wish to be.

    If they want to combat piracy they should setup properly in australia and drive down foxtels prices.

    fetch has so few channels, even doubling their offerings would make me consider using the service

    "For me, its essentially format shifting and personal use, which has a long history of being OK"

    I'm not sure how you reach that conclusion, given format shifting is illegal and was explicitly made more so in the recent review and update to copyright laws. Time Shifting has been legalised for personal use (finally, 25 years after VCRs have been invented it only recently became legal to record TV with them!)

    Bit disappointed in the usability of my Fetch actually.

    TiVo had the best UI - put the user first. Fetch is all about selling you extras.

    Setting up to record a new series that starts in a few days, piece of cake on TiVo, pain in the ass on fetch.

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