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Challenge 1: Department of Communications and the Arts

GREEN

The challenge – Yar har, fiddle dee-dee, stream what you want 'cause for pirates it's free!

Australia is a nation of pirates – but these pirates are online. The public has shown they are ready and willing to pirate overseas content through illegal streaming, and even broke records when the fifth season of 'Game of Thrones' was released.

Research into this area has found that the two main reasons Australians pirate content are cost and availability. Despite Netflix and other online streaming services coming to Australia, piracy continues.

Responses to piracy include legislation that permits content owners to have illegal torrent and streaming websites blocked with a court order. Content owners have even sought court approval to send bills to people who accessed content through illegal sites.

The challenge is for the graduates to come up with a policy solution that assists Australians when accessing content legally through the internet.

Constraints

  • Limit your answer to film and television accessed through legal over-the top (OTT) streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc).
  • Do not examine measures that block illegal access – instead, focus on encouraging legal access.
  • Do not impose new taxes or levies on streaming services, which already collect GST.

Expectations

  • Your answer must balance the interests of all industry stakeholders. You may add or remove regulatory burdens on new or traditional media industries to create an even playing field.
  • Please provide a consumer-focused solution that will have a minimal burden on the average Australian when they access media.

Background

The Department of Communications and the Arts (DoCA) is responsible for providing policy advice to the government on the communications sector. Several reports have been released in this area over the last six months, including:

  • DoCA's Bureau of Communications Research released a report in October 2016 on recent trends in the communications sector, which included discussion of online streaming; and
  • The Productivity Commission released a report about intellectual property in December 2016.
  • The New Zealand Government is carrying out a Digital Convergence Review that looks at the merging of telecommunications, information technology, media and entertainment sectors.
Last reviewed: 
13 May 2018