The telecommunications industry has sought formal regulatory approval to launch a “Follow-the-Money” strategy that will act to reduce the economic incentive to promote or facilitate online copyright infringement in Australia.

Communications Alliance has lodged an application with the ACCC for an authorisation that would enable telecommunications service providers to collectively agree not to advertise their products and services on web-sites that promote or facilitate online copyright infringement.

A trial of the follow-the-money strategy being pursued in the UK generated an immediate reduction of 12% in the advertising revenue flowing to infringing websites.

However, there is a concern that a united stance by ISPs would contravene the prohibitions on cartel conduct and/or exclusionary provisions in Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010(Cth). If the authorisation is granted by the ACCC it would enable ISPs and others to join the strategy without fear of breaking these competition laws.

The media release can be found here.