According to the data available from Whirlpool, 57.7% of Australians share files using P2P.
The Australian government originally owned the majority of Telstra’s shares and has been selling off chunks since 1997.
Telstra claims they have 5,507,000 subscribers of Australia`s 7,228,000 internet users.
Therefore it follows that Telstra is the Carriage Service Provider (CSP) that enables the highest level of P2P file sharing.
According to a government assessment of the ownership of Telstra:
In considering the issue as to whether and when Telstra moved from a public sector unit to a private sector unit the ABS notes the following: the T3 sale has effectively reduced the Australian Government’s shareholding in Telstra to 17% – this is not sufficient to give it control in terms of determining general corporate policy through the appointment of the majority of directors; the installment nature of the T3 sale means that while investors will have beneficial ownership of the shares in terms of rights to dividend and instructing the trustee how to vote at meetings of shareholders, the shares will be held in trust until payment of the final installment in May 2008; from a statistical perspective the ABS has concluded that the trust is a private sector unit, reflecting the trustees’ obligation to act in the beneficiaries’ interests; for statistical purposes the trustee, Telstra Sale Company Ltd, is a Commonwealth owned company and should be classified for ABS statistical purposes as a public financial corporation; until the Australian Government transfers the balance of its Telstra shares to the Future Fund it retains some element of control through its legislative powers.
In other words, the government owns 17% of a corporation that last year posted revenues of $2,441,287,000 where a substantial amount of that sum must be directly attributable to payments from persons acting in a manner contrary to the Copyright Act under the auspices of the government`s own enacted Safe Harbour Provisions.
But who`s going to notice a lousy (US$) 2 and a half billion?
Well, here`s the conundrum. If a court of law actually found Telstra guilty of breaking the law by being on the wrong side of the Safe-Harbour Provisions of the Act, and demanded that its self-incubated start-up had to comply with industry take-down notices, in accordance with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, it would have to forfeit all the loot from the Future Fund and bank it into the Victims of Crime Fund!
So nothing really achieved because basically, both funds are used mainly for paying public servant salaries.
Damn. For a moment, I though I was onto something there …
Actually, I wonder if I can start a government? Seems like a good wicket.
You pass legislation making something illegal; satisfy the lobbyists and the WIPO treaty co-signatories; then ignore what’s happening in your back yard by selling off big chunks of the law-breaking asset to the public and hope no-one will notice you’re making money from breaking the law you created in the first place!
Pity the poor ISP that’s stuck with fighting for his very existence right now in a law suit brought by AFACTS.
IInet has been chosen as the lucky representative of the Australian ISP Industry that AFACTS has identified as the initial ‘Target of Precedent Creating Law’ to enforce compliance with the provisions of the Safe Harbour amendments of the Copyright Act..
Why IInet? Well, AFACTS can`t sue Telstra, can it? That would be like suing the government and it’d be bad form to sue the government.
But there is a solution. The government could admit P2P is now practised by the ‘moral majority’ and therefore remove all compliance obligations from the safe harbour provisions of the act.
It could also inform the copyright industries they’re on their own in this battle.
After all, the government is never wrong. It’s the Government, voted for by the moral majority – of whom 57% are file sharers.
Tom Koltai – p2pnet
[Koltai is an economist in Sydney Australia. He's been online for 26 years, has run several ISPs and, "lobbied governments in four countries to prevent Internet restrictive usage legislation from being enacted". He says he's a strong believer in P2P, "as being a technological requirement to fully exploit the convergence of telephony with computers and remove the last barriers to human communication and interaction".]