While the government continues to push ahead with its plans to block websites that promote content piracy, it appears that the industry's own plans for self-regulation are on hold.
CNET has reported that Village Roadshow Co-CEO Graham Burke has announced that plans to introduce a "three strikes and you're out" anti-piracy scheme have been officially cancelled.
The plan – which has been implemented and then rescinded in multiple countries around the world – would see internet users suspected of downloading copyrighted content receive three warning emails before having their internet cut off by their ISP.
The plan was originally scheduled to be implemented by September 2015, but uncertainty about who was actually footing the bill for sending out the notices saw it delayed.
And now, it seems that expense has killed the program entirely, with Burke confessing that the process cost just too much because it was still a manual process.
"It's just so labour intense, that it's somewhere in the vicinity of $16 to $20 per notice, which is prohibitive. You might as well give people a DVD," Burke told CNET.
Not a free-for-all
But don't line up your torrent queue in celebration just yet, digital pirates. Burke has promised that even though the manual "three-strikes" system has been cancelled, there are still plans to automate the system to bring costs down.
While $16 to $20 was way too pricey to implement, Burke claims that an automated system would drop the price down to a matter of cents per notice.
There's no time frame on the automated system though, only confirmation that it is coming.
"When automation occurs, instead of costing AU$16 or AU$20 a notice, which is just prohibitive, it will cost cents per notice," Burke told CNET.
- Rather than pirate, why not check out how the best Aussie streaming services compare