Disconnecting internet pirates may breach human rights, says UN

  • Piracy on the rise
  • AFACT goes after iiNet
  • Intellectual property at risk

A new 22-page report by the United Nationals (UN) describes “disconnecting users from Internet access, including on the basis of intellectual property rights law” as a possible breaching of international human rights laws.

The report has led the music industry to step down on their position that music pirates should be disconnected by their Internet Service Provider (ISP). However, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) who represents a number of film studios, has maintained their position that offenders should lose their internet access.

While the idea of a “three-strikes” or “graduated response” scheme has been discussed in Australia following the high profile case which saw iiNet win against AFACT, nothing has been implemented in Australia as yet. AFACT may still appeal the case.

While other countries have already set up graduated response schemes to curb internet piracy, the Australian government may need to look to alternative ways of penalising offenders due to the UN’s report. However, AFACT are not dissuaded by the report.

"The film community do not agree that a graduated response scheme is a breach of human rights," an AFACT spokeswoman said.