A tale of two anti-piracy systems. The Australian government has published a discussion paper for technology and media corporations as well as the public to comment on the most workable and desirable way to address online infringements. The report, with howling irony, had been leaked online days before its official publication. Billboard is speculating that Australia will look to echo the “graduated response” approach adopted by New Zealand but perhaps the biggest point is that content owners, rather than ISPs, could have to shoulder the financial costs of warning letters and any possible legal action against identified infringers. While still at the proposal/hypothetical stage in Australia, such measures have been in effect in Russia for a year now and TorrentFreak has looked back at their effectiveness (or not). It reports that so far a dozen sites, mainly torrent trackers, have been blocked under the country’s new legislation and Nikolai Nikiforov, the Russian minister of communications, has claimed there has been a 30% increase in people paying for content online in the wake of the law going into effect. Critics suggest 12 blocked sites is not a significant number and even though 99 IP addresses have been blocked, the sites in question have swift workarounds to get onto new IP addresses and be back in operation. But overall it appears some progress in being made in a “two steps forward, one step back” way and this could have echoes of what Australia should prepare itself for.

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