Proposed Copyright Law Changes in Australia

Despite the fact that 99% of the time I listen to podcasts in the car, I often listen to the news on the way to work sometimes. This morning I heard that there were some proposed changes to copyright law happening this week during the parliamentary sitting. I get home tonight and I read about the response to these propositions, I find that things are not good in the blogOsphere’s response to the changes …

I was not surprised to see this headline:

“Google Explains How To Kill The Internet In Australia: Just Make Proposed Changes To Copyright Laws”

While I do not fully understand the proposed changes. Basically the idea is that every website that is indexed has to have permission from the site or content owner. This is basically a stupid idea. I can see what they are trying to protect and that is the illegal copying and distribution of owned content. Effectively it would mean that search for Aussies would be useless and we would essentially have our access to information crippled.

“If such advanced permission was required, the Internet would promptly grind to a halt,”

- Google’s senior counsel and head of public policy Andrew McLaughlin

That is just bloody great…

Also that the changes would:

“… condemn the Australian public to the pre-Internet era and will place them at a serious competitive disadvantage with those in other countries who have such access,”

That is something to look forward to… [add sarcasm here]

As usual the Australian government has no bloody idea about how the internet works and how information is disseminated through it. surprising considering that they are saying the new laws are to:

“… Australian government says the new laws are designed to keep up with the fast pace of technological change”

As usual in the governing bodies attempt to be “hip” they are potentially leaving us behind in the digital dark ages!

If these changes were to go ahead the effect it would have on Australian online business would be devastating. We all know just how important the Google ranking is to a website. Things like promoting our podcast would be very difficult. At least the servers are offshore!

As I said initially nothing surprises me as far as the governments approach to things they really do not understand. After all I reckon the average age of an Australian polly would be about 50! In addition I don’t even know of one that has a blog. Well not one that they are willing to let on about.

Maybe they should ask someone that knows what they are talking about before making rash decisions.

YouTube Closer to a Sustainable Business Model?

YouTube LogoThe Blogosphere has been flooded over the past twenty-four hours about YouTube and a deal with Warner Music Group Corp. In their quest to host music videos (they aim to host every single one in the history of music videos!) you will now see thousands of music videos from Warners available for viewing on YouTube.

The biggest deal in the whole thing is the fact that this copyrighted material from Warners that is featured on YouTube will be made available for users to mix into their own videos. Legally! (not sure if that includes downloading the tracks or what or how). This is stark contrast to previous accusations regarding copyright violations and YouTube. As even days ago Universal was ranting:

Universal Music Group CEO Doug Morris signaled the industry’s exasperation with YouTube just a few days ago when he indicated the world’s largest record label is prepared to sue the site unless it does a better job of preventing copyright violations.

[Via Yahoo News]

The deal sees both companies sharing revenue generated from advertising. Otherwise the details of the deal have not been made public.

I have been saying for quite some time that YouTube in it’s current state is not viable long term. This is mainly due to the excessive cost of the bandwidth that they chug through every day. Their bandwidth bill every month is in the millions. You can not keep up that kind of expenditure and remain on-line! Until the deal with Warner, the company has survived on $11.5 million in venture capital, which I am sure is starting to run a little low. As far as the latest deal we don’t know who is paying who or what. But are they closer to a working business model?

Sure, YouTube will be the place to go to check out the latest music video and perhaps download it. Sure, that is great for YouTube as far as traffic, and it is even greater for Warner who have pimped their latest big hit. People go out and buy the album. But that leaves YouTube as an advertiser for Warner, if they are doing that for free they are nuts. So perhaps they are getting payed for the exposure that Warner are getting. Again, all speculation as we have no idea what the deal entails.

What it does show though is that existing companies are starting to see the power of the online community and that is where the future lies. They are starting to take seriously the exposure and the need to embrace the technology. This from Warner:

“Technology is changing entertainment, and Warner Music is embracing that innovation…”

“Consumer-empowering destinations like YouTube have created a two-way dialogue that will transform entertainment and media forever.”

See they are getting smarter. Perhaps we will start to see issues regarding DRM coming to the surface around this deal as well. Be good to see the debate hot up as clearly Warner see that DRM is useless there are always hacks for DRM and for the rest it is annoying, restrictive and flawed, but that is another story.

This increased trust in on-line companies could well pave the way for others and is sure to benefit the on-line communities and start-ups that proliferate the Internet. I wish YouTube all the best in their latest deal and hope that it succeeds, if only for the benefits that will permeate to the rest of us.

My Work Is Now Protected

I have been thinking a lot about this lately, especially since I posted that great picture of the frog. I was concerned about the fact that my work had no copyright protection.

Today I fixed that problem. I have obtained and placed on the blog page the details of the Creative Commons Licence for Rooster’s Rail. The license covers the whole blog, so I feel a little better now that the content on this blog has some form of protection.

Mind you having said that I am not with my head in the sand. This does not stop people from stealing content or images from the blog. But what it does do is give me some recourse if someone does.

Additionally on this topic Lorelle on WordPress wrote an excellent blog that talks about what to do if someone does steal your content. This is a fairly large topic but it is well covered and give a step by step guide and how-to. She also has links to other copyright articles that I highly recommend. A long read but a good read.

To sum up my license: anyone can copy, distribute and display my content as long as they acknowledge the author (Me!). The work may not be used for commercial purposes, that is to make money from it. Lastly, the work may not be altered in any way from how it was originally published.

You will now see at the bottom of the side bar the following information:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- NoDerivs 2.1 Australia License. Rooster’s Rail 2006 David Gray

Creative Commons - Get your own licence here

Click on the image to get your own license and protect your content and your ideas!

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