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.


3 Responses to “Proposed Copyright Law Changes in Australia”

  1. Matt Foxtrot Says:

    Is it really that big of a deal? I mean, if that’s the case, all we need to do is create a new meta tag that will serve as an opt-in to be indexed. Problem solved, yes?

  2. Matt Says:

    The Federal Government, unfortunately, seems to lack any comprehension of modern technology – as demonstrated in their horrible decisions relating to Pay TV (“Nah, the public don’t want extra free channels, don’t be silly!”) and Telstra.

  3. provokeit Says:

    the whole stoopid thing about this is that the government (morons) is putting together legislation that makes us tighter in the eyes of the US so that we can continue along the lines of the free trade agreement that we signed up to.

    however, the problem lies here – the US have one tenth of the restrictions that we have now placed upon ourselves in this new copyright law. so we’re not following what they have for a start – why would we enter into such a one sided agreement for ourselves.

    and essentially, simple things such as the amount of times you can backup a song are under threat.

    for example, when we were kids, we may have taped a record on a cassette so that we could listen to it in our room, rather than having to play the record on the family stereo. one copy. [ok your brother or sister may have also copied it as well but it was still in the family].

    nowadays, we record our cds on to a hard drive for safe storage, move a copy of that to our laptop for when we we’re travelling or take a copy to work and then also move a copy on to our ipod. so when we buy a cd, we effectively, and legitimately, copy it up to four times for our own use.

    when we download tunes from itunes or something similar, that we have purchased from, we not only move a copy to our ipod, but for insurance purposes, we move to another device, such as an external hard drive or dvd.

    under the new laws, this is illegal.

    furthermore, the treatment of ‘offenders’ under this copyright infringement is not in line with the treatment for other offences. under then new laws there will be an on the spot fine (that can be issued by state law enforcement officers) that could cost you up to $100k or more for an offence (say one cd worth of songs).

    this so way out of context.

    expect then, that if there is a revenue share of the fines that are being issued the local constabulary, there is a real threat that if you have white ear phones, you will be stopped and asked to validate where you got your content from…

    the time of year and day that the 71 components of the submission were being discussed also smacks of idiocy and contempt on the issue from our government – this was all being delivered on the morning of the melbourne cup. how f*&ked up is that. the pollies would be most interested in the ponies than the crucial legislation of their country.

    so I say to the kiddies, go out and just steal your cds from hmv and sanity – and steal multiple copies; it’s cheaper in the long run than getting caught using p2p and making your own legitimate copies of something that you have purchased under our new laws.

    am I going to get done for sedition now???

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