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Australian Government Considers Copying UK Copyright Law Ideas 190

Posted by Soulskill
from the copying-copyright-right dept.
msim brings word that Australian legislators are considering an anti-piracy measure that would require ISPs to terminate internet access for people who repeatedly download copyrighted material. The legislation would set up a three-strikes system similar to the one proposed in the UK recently. While British ISPs resisted suggestions that they act as internet police, the response may not be the same in Australia, where the government has already tried to censor the internet. "Under the three-strikes policy, a warning would be first issued to offenders who illegally share files using peer-to-peer technology to access music, TV shows and movies free of charge. The second strike would lead to the offender's internet access being suspended; the third would cancel the offender's internet access."
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Australian Government Considers Copying UK Copyright Law Ideas

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  • by C0R1D4N (970153) on Monday February 18, 2008 @01:21AM (#22459358)
    British Parliament sues Australia for copyright infringement.
    • The same happens in all prisons.
    • But Great Britain is allowed to let up to 5 other countries copy its law.
      • Who wrote the rules?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by elronxenu (117773)

        More, if they don't all enforce at the same time.

        It will be interesting to see what kind of checks and balances are built into this proposed law. For example, will it be necessary for a court to find that a user has downloaded something in order for penalties to apply, or will a mere accusation be sufficient?

        Who will be checking the bona-fides of the person or organisation making the complaint? Sometimes the complainant doesn't actually have the rights which they say they have.

    • I'm sure there must be some American company that has as its sole asset a sleeper patent to the concept of copyright law..
    • Australia is still under the sovereignty of the Queen, so what is the problem?

      chief of state:
      Queen of Australia ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952)
      represented by Governor General Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Michael JEFFERY (since 11 August 2003)

      head of government:
      Prime Minister Kevin RUDD (since 3 December 2007)
      Deputy Prime Minister Julia GILLARD (since 3 December 2007)

      cabinet:
      prime minister nominates, from among members of Parliament, candidates who are subsequently sworn in by the governor general to serve as gover
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by DigitAl56K (805623)

        Australia is still under the sovereignty of the Queen, so what is the problem?
        She only had a license for personal viewing, and imposing it upon Australia is a public performance.
      • I hope you have your tongue firmly planted in you cheek.

        The Queen as "head of state" is simply a rubber stamp and has been since 1901, unlike a republic the modern westminster system does not have a single person with the political power to veto laws and budgets on a personal whim. Sure, our constitution may read differently to what I have stated but then most aussies realise it's just a bit of paper that can be changed.

        What matters is could a any monarch with meglomaniac tendencies gain enough politi
        • by Gordonjcp (186804)
          my guess is that such a monarch would be laughed into oblivion both here and in the UK.

          Not so much "laughed", no. Over here in the UK we have a fine old tradition of regicide (it's not even illegal - look it up). These Muslim fundies with their beheadings are just Johnny-Come-Lately copycats.
    • download prince's latest opus, then the latest ball, uh, block buster, then some Microsoft product.

      That will get the idiots off of the internet.
  • by MacDork (560499) on Monday February 18, 2008 @01:21AM (#22459362) Journal
    Do they think the ISPs will voluntarily give up a 30% plus chunk of their revenue stream?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kierthos (225954)
      Depends on if the government lets them raise the rates to make up for "losses due to piracy", doesn't it? Well, isn't that the argument used by the MAFIAA?
      • by mrxak (727974)
        I thought it was only illegal to provide copyrighted material, not receive it?
        • by rtb61 (674572) on Monday February 18, 2008 @02:26AM (#22459796) Homepage
          The reason for that is of course, is that you as the end user have no means by which to establish whether it is a legally copy able version or not. The same would go for any other copied item. For example, say you enter a store a buy a article of clothing which has been copied and is not from the original manufacturer, should the government penalise you and confiscate your credit card, for buying it.

          No difference to all those fake rolex watches etc., should it be a criminal offence to buy one or to have it in your possession.

          Should the government make the end user liable for being the 'victim' of a fraud. Similarly those people who have been victims of phishing, a downloaded a fake copyright infringing version of their banking web site, not only does the victim have their account raided by a criminal, but the government will fine them in addition, perhaps by confiscating what remains of that bank account, as well as of course kicking them off the internet.

          Of course you can not differentiate between different types of copyrighted content, so unknowingly click on a web site that contains 3 infringing photos, and they will kick you off the internet. Well if they really are going to be a bunch of fucked up phreaks, why don't they make it a criminal offence, to download infringing copyrighted content, I am totally positive that after just one month using the internet their would not be one person who has not unknowingly downloaded some infringing content, be a piece of writing, a photo, a portion of a web page design, some web page coding, or a viral video etc.

          So the maroons can try to turn the whole country into a prison and oddly enough honour it's heritage as a prison colony, with a 'Rudd'y fool as the head warden.

          • Well if they really are going to be a bunch of fucked up phreaks, why don't they make it a criminal offence, to download infringing copyrighted content,
            Actually, downloading infringing copyrighted content off the Internet has been a criminal offense in Sweden since July 1st, 2005.
          • by damienl451 (841528) on Monday February 18, 2008 @03:40AM (#22460220)

            No difference to all those fake rolex watches etc., should it be a criminal offence to buy one or to have it in your possession.

            Yes it should, if it can be established that a reasonable person would have thought that the watch was counterfeit (i.e. `replica' in the title of the auction, suspiciously low price,etc.), they should be prosecuted. This is no different from `possession of stolen goods' or `handling' in the UK: you cannot simply claim that you had absolutely no knowledge that the goods were stolen if it would have been obvious to a reasonable person that they could not be legitimate. The same rule could easily be applied to copyright infringement: nobody will ever prosecute you because someone posted an infringing picture on his website. However, if you download songs and movies from other users using P2P software, it is almost certainly copyright infringement.

            • by Sique (173459) on Monday February 18, 2008 @04:43AM (#22460566) Homepage
              I have my doubts about exactly that theory. I for instance am quite ignorant about brands. I wouldn't be able to make a difference between a pair of brand name sunglasses and a counterfeit one, because I simply don't know the brand names. So if I am on vacation, and my glasses break, I just go for new ones, and I would surely take a pair which I like, and where the price looks reasonable to me. I simply have no clue what brand name sunglasses are supposed to cost.

              I know that we (bombarded by advertisements and brand name awareness) are supposed to know all the brand names and the associated prices. I call that bullshit. I just don't care. I never have. And I never will. I am buying functionality, not brands. If a pair of sunglasses works for me I don't care about the name that is printed on them. I wouldn't pay more if I remember an ad I saw for the name.
          • by edwardpickman (965122) on Monday February 18, 2008 @04:27AM (#22460464)
            If you've got a copy of the Star Wars animated feature on your machine a month before it comes out in the theater I'd say you have a mouth full of chicken feathers and claiming you didn't know it wasn't out yet isn't going to fly. One of the biggest problems with the whole argument is there's a lot of different positions falling under the hat of P2P. People argue that there are legitimate uses but most of it seems to be sharing copyrighted material. Then there's others that are claiming fair use but that's murky too because fair use was never meant to be a dodge for getting around paying for materials. Then you have people that flat out don't want to pay for anything and why should they if they can download it for free? I don't know, maybe because the producers of all this content you want for free may decide to do something that pays instead of producing free content? The subject really needs to be divided up into several arguments. File sharing of non copyrighted materials isn't an issue so it's a non argument and can be excluded. Fair Use? Well Fair Use doesn't cover uploading a movie that has yet to hit the theater for your closest hundred thousand friends to download. So we are largely left with "I don't want to pay for anything" being the argument. Well since the people making said products don't want to work for free so you don't have to pay then either some one else has to pay for you or the products will cease to be produced and everyone will loose including those willing to pay. The debate is being clouded by the different issues but it really comes down to free verses pay. Pay is called capitalism, free means the government pays for content then you get what they want to produce and you pay for it with your tax dollars. So unless you want to watch documentaries on the life and times of Ronald Regan and George W Bush or hear their favorite music you might want to consider paying for music and movies you like. Socialism and Communism may sound like a free ride but you still wind up having to pay through taxes and you tend to get a lot of crap. Yes most films and music are crap these days but believe it or not it can get a lot worse.
            • People argue that there are legitimate uses but most of it seems to be sharing copyrighted material. Then there's others that are claiming fair use but that's murky too because fair use was never meant to be a dodge for getting around paying for materials. Then you have people that flat out don't want to pay for anything and why should they if they can download it for free?

              Umm, this might sound like a nitpick, but you forgot another not insignificant category --- legally sharing copyrighted material. Think Free software, CC licensed audio and video, etc. I download several GB every month, and I'm sure I'm not alone. People do produce things for reasons other than just money.

              Just sayin' s'all...

    • by svunt (916464) on Monday February 18, 2008 @03:44AM (#22460250) Homepage Journal
      Australia's bandwidth is sold wholesale to ISPs at a rate that makes it hard to turn a profit unless the bulk of customers don't use anything like their monthly quota. The first people tot have their access suspended will be the ones who use every last byte, which generally means the ISPs are currently losing money on those customers. The ISPs have different business models, and different demographics to their customer bases...so I imagine the quality providers with good deals and speeds will hate this sort of legislation, as their users are in the know, often nerds, and won't stand for it. But the major guys, Optus, Telstra, etc, with all the families who didn't bother shopping around in the first place and don't give two figs about copyright law, or any other tech/political issue - they'll love the opportunity to cut off all their heavy users.
  • fail (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wizardforce (1005805)
    This will fail the first time anyone encrypts their traffic. Therefore, either someone reminds them of the foolishness of their plan, they actually carry out their plan and it not surprisingly fails miserably or the worst scenario- they actually include encrypted traffic along with illegal p2p traffic regardless of whether it is actually legal or not.
    • Re:fail (Score:5, Informative)

      by TeraCo (410407) on Monday February 18, 2008 @01:43AM (#22459522) Homepage
      Encryption has nothing to do with this. This is about the RIAA monitoring the torrent servers that you're using, noting your IP address and what you're downloading and sending a note to your ISP asking them to tell you to knock it off.

      On the third warning, they'll disconnect you.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by alexhard (778254)

        Encryption has nothing to do with this. This is about the RIAA monitoring the torrent servers that you're using, noting your IP address and what you're downloading and sending a note to your ISP asking them to tell you to knock it off.

        On the third warning, they'll disconnect you.
        If that's how it's going to happen, what's to stop me (or anyone else) from faking said screenshots with RIAA IPs and making their ISP shut them down?
        • by TeraCo (410407)
          The fact that you have to submit a declaration under penalty of perjury, blah blah blah. You've probably seen the pro forma.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Xest (935314)
        Wouldn't it be possible to write a custom BitTorrent client that connects to the swarm but doesn't actually download anything?

        Couldn't you then sue the living daylights out of them for falsely accusing you?

        What if it was built into BitTorrent clients as a kind of mass protest to connect to but not download from random swarms? Would this cause any problems for those actually wishing to use the torrent properly?

        Sure they could monitor for people actually receiving data from them hence actually using the torre
      • This is about the RIAA monitoring the torrent servers that you're using, noting your IP address and what you're downloading and sending a note to your ISP asking them to tell you to knock it off.

        Just because you are connected to a tracker, doesn't mean you actually download or upload. Likely, yes, but for all they know, you are monitoring the swarm for purpose x. The only way to prove that you are actually downloading or uploading, is when you sent or receive offending bytes from them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      This will fail the first time anyone encrypts their traffic.

      The way things are going, I can see encryption being made illegal unless the government or it's delegates do not have a key to subvert this encryption, thus making it useless. So unless one can successfully obfuscate said encryption, and always be ahead of the head hunters, then I would think the oligarchs in power will have a continuing and growing advantage.

      Using tools like encryption only help mitigate the symptoms in the short term. We need to see a change in ideology overall, not just in the electorat

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by FreenetFan (1182901)
        (I don't think this is a troll - it's a valid point)

        Encryption may be a bad solution but it's possibly our only one in the forseeable future. If goverments do outlaw encrytion, or at least make it illegal to withhold your keys (as they do already in some countries), then steganography will be the next step.

        Standard encryption should be enough to stay one step ahead in the arms race for now, though.
        • Thanks for making your point. I was actually going to use "steganography" in my original arguement, but for the life of me I could not think of the term (remember it's definition or spelling; and Google was no help for me here).
          When I first got modded Troll I was planning on doing research (that is searching for references of things I already know or heard about), like the British government asking for encryption keys. And the more recent article here on Slash about how a person had her computer confiscated
  • Like a virus bad ideas have a way of spreading.
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday February 18, 2008 @01:33AM (#22459454)
    Pictures -- I'm pretty sure all the pictures we download are copyrighted. Probably at least half of it being on websites that were not the express permission of the owner.

    I'm pretty sure articles too, which some blogs insist on quoting in near entirety to get traffic.

    Why should other mediums get special treatment under the law?
    • by giminy (94188) on Monday February 18, 2008 @01:56AM (#22459608) Homepage Journal

      Pictures -- I'm pretty sure all the pictures we download are copyrighted. Probably at least half of it being on websites that were not the express permission of the owner.



      My guess would be that making the pictures available via some protocol like HTTP implies that, while the pictures are copyright protected, permission is granted to website users to download the image and to view it while visiting the site. Music and movies don't and won't come with the same kind of implicit permission.

      The "half of it being on websites that were not the express permission" thing is a whole 'nother can of worms. If you see people using your copyright-protected photos/text and transmitting those photos/text from their own websites, you have every right to sue (at least in the US). The trick is that you generally have to show financial harm, which can be a lot harder to do. If your photo and text are available free-of-charge, it will be especially hard for you to show financial harm. If, however, you run a members-only pay site, you would probably win. Similarly, movie companies and music companies charge for their product, so it fairly easy for them to show financial harm.

      I often received Cease and Desist letters for my own website (readingfordummies.com) from Wiley Publishing, but I don't make any money off of my website. Their claim was Trademark infringement, which is quite similar to copyright in this case. There was some fun court case in the US that set precedent there (a shopping mall trying to sue a guy that bought their name as a domain name). IIRC it went up to a US circuit court of appeals, and the defendant won by showing he used the site for noncommercial purposes. I dug up the court case in a fancy book on internet and intellectual property law, and flipped it off to Wiley's lawyers (quite a few years ago now) and have not heard from them since...
  • FTP is free! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GrpA (691294) on Monday February 18, 2008 @01:35AM (#22459466)
    According to the article, it only targets Peer to Peer technology, not FTP, HTTP or other protocols...

    Which if IIRC is where it all started.

    Of course, when Peer to Peer programs start using modified versions of well known protocols such as FTP and HTTP then identifying the difference between illegal and legal traffic is going to be impossible... Either that or Youtube is completely screwed.

    GrpA.

    • by DuncanE (35734) * on Monday February 18, 2008 @02:10AM (#22459696) Homepage
      You still have to make a listing of the files available and searchable for each node/sharer.

      Besides, if they do have a way for the files to be identified, at least to a reasonable degree of certainty, then why shouldnt we have a law like this? You can always contest it in court if you feel you have been wrongly accused.

      Im serious. If we find a way to enforce copy right again, why shouldnt we? I know we like stuff to be free, but it really shouldnt be unless the person chooses to give it away.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Im serious. If we find a way to enforce copy right again, why shouldnt we? I know we like stuff to be free, but it really shouldnt be unless the person chooses to give it away.

        While I have empathy for your ideals, I would argue that they do nonetheless go against intuition and human nature. For example, if a person buys something, then it is (intuitively at least) considered to be owned by that person, and thus this person would intuitively believe that they can do what they want with this product, including making copies of it. This has certainly been my experience with tape recorders and records.

        A mitigation of possible or theoretical financial losses could be had through some

        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          by DigitAl56K (805623)

          A mitigation of possible or theoretical financial losses could be had through something like a generalized tax on recording media like CD-ROMs and tape cassettes that we have here in Canada. This is of course not ideal for the consumer or any industry groups seeking compensation, but it is a more fair compromise than the overbearing and arbitrary punishments given to P2P violators.

          The studios (movie/recording) already have a very good deal as far as holding copyrights are concerned - they exclusively can sell or negotiate contracts for sale of the works, and they have this exclusivity for a very long time (depending on the country, 50+ years).

          I don't know why we don't change the law in the other direction - the public is free to copy works as much as they like, but not make any revenue from them, and the rights holder is free to sell the works as much as they like. The labels can st

          • Okay, it sounds like a crazy solution, and maybe it is, but the answer doesn't have to involve bending over backwards and putting taxes on the public to fill the coffers of the studios, money which we all know will barely make it to the artists themselves.

            If you've read my previous posts in previous discussions of copyright issues you would realize that my opinions are very much reflective of your own. I merely propose a compromise as a practical solution, and not so much as an ideal. Sometimes you have to deal with the plutocrats on their own level.

      • by EllisDees (268037)
        >why shouldnt we have a law like this?

        Because copyright itself is quickly becoming an outdated concept, especially since the law (in the US at least) seems to have forgotten about the 'for a limited time' phrase in the constitution that allows copyright to exist at all. If they're going to ignore the law, why shouldn't we?
      • <i>I know we like stuff to be free, but it really shouldnt be unless the person chooses to give it away.</i>
        <p>
        You're making a huge value judgement here without anything to back it up.  Why SHOULD something not be free even if "the person" does not "choose to give it away"?  Are you really sure about that, in all cases?
      • Im serious. If we find a way to enforce copy right again, why shouldnt we? I know we like stuff to be free, but it really shouldnt be unless the person chooses to give it away.

        In principle I would agree with you, but we've crossed a bridge with the information revolution that changed everything. There's no going back to 'the way things used to be', what we need to do instead is adapt to the way things are now. This is going to mean major changes, especially in the entertainment industry, but it's entirely

    • According to the article, it only targets Peer to Peer technology, not FTP, HTTP or other protocols
      Awesome! Let's simply use HTTP with content-range requests instead of requests for specific blocks, and specify a standard URL query string such that a client can determine which content ranges the server has, then http post it's own content ranges.

      HyperText Torrent Transfer Protocoal (H3TP), coming to an Internet near you!
    • And how is FTP or HTTP not a peer to peer technology?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DigitAl56K (805623)
        Because peer to peer refers to distribution of the content by peers, whereas FTP and HTTP are protocols where two end points service requests. For example, if we are both downloading something from an HTTP server our computers can't connect to each other and exchange parts of the download we each have received already.
    • Welcome to a universe full of ludicrous laws written specifically for the benefit of some business profit margins.

      Rather than being happy with a law which specifically states it's illegal to violate copyright (which already exists). *some random business lobbygroup* insists we need another law specifically to address violation of copyright via the internet and specifically using Peer-to-Peer technology

      So is that because:
      • violation of copyright being already illegal is not "illegal enough"
      • violation of co
  • this would be policed. How is an ISP supposed to know weather what is being shared by P2P constitutes a copyright infringement or not?
  • by Eskarel (565631) on Monday February 18, 2008 @01:54AM (#22459582)
    From TFA, it looks like someone asked the government whether they'd consider a three strikes policy and the government being a government has said that they'll watch what happens with the Brits and consider it. Which sounds lik politicion(weasel) speak for "we don't want to tell whoever is asking no because then they might get upset, but we don't want to actually do anything either".

    Rudd wants to get broadband to more homes not less, and most governments know stuff like this would be wildly unpopular, and the ISPs have exactly the same financial reasons(increased monitoring costs, loss of revenue from cancelled subscriptions, potential repercussions from improper cancelations), so are just as likely to fight.

    Personally I doubt even the Brits who have a much more invasive approach towards their citizens than we do are going to pass something like this, it's political suicide to try and save something that probably can't be saved.

    • by CmdrGravy (645153)
      As a Brit I don't think there is any chance at all of this being implemented here, the ISPs are dead against it for a number of very good reasons that have mostly been pointed out already in this discussion. It was just one of those things the government likes to say every now and again to make it look like they're on the ball and doing something and as usual when they come out with this kind of crap nothing further is heard from them on the subject once it's very obvious flaws are highlighted.
  • Human rights? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2008 @02:02AM (#22459644)
    Considering that the internet is becoming an absolute necessity to actually live, communicate etc, cutting of access is like saying you can't walk on the roads... to me it's starting to sound like a human rights violation. It's a necessity. In 20 years, nothing works without it. Imagine losing your bank account, having no phone, no home address... it would create a vast criminal class without ability to live a proper public life.
    • Considering that the internet is becoming an absolute necessity to actually live, communicate etc, cutting of access is like saying you can't walk on the roads... to me it's starting to sound like a human rights violation. It's a necessity. In 20 years, nothing works without it. Imagine losing your bank account, having no phone, no home address... it would create a vast criminal class without ability to live a proper public life.

      Indeed it would be marginalizing a behavior into a ghetto. Today people need the Internet to look for employment. More and more companies are relying on the Internet not just to seek employees, but to communicate with employees. This would indeed be creating an underclass.

      And the communication aspect of the Internet should not be minimized; people use it like they used the phone system and the post office of the past. In the end, it is not just punishing people; it is marginalizing people.

    • by ultranova (717540)

      Considering that the internet is becoming an absolute necessity to actually live, communicate etc, cutting of access is like saying you can't walk on the roads... to me it's starting to sound like a human rights violation.

      You are a consumer, not a human, so you have no human rights. That's global capitalism and its multinational corporations for you.

      It's a necessity. In 20 years, nothing works without it. Imagine losing your bank account, having no phone, no home address... it would create a vast crim

  • Nothing but FUD. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kaos07 (1113443) on Monday February 18, 2008 @02:10AM (#22459694)

    The basis for the article, and in fact the only actual quote from a government minister, is as follows:

    "We will also examine any UK legislation on this issue [including any three-strikes policy] with particular interest," he [Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy] said. Nowhere does it mention that the Australian government is "Considering copying" UK's laws.

    Because it's obviously 'sexy' at the moment to write about technology and internet related issues (Going by the number of articles to do with p2p, Facebook, YouTube etc.) these two journalists have decided to write an article with pretty much no grounding in fact - but it does have a sensationalist title (The alliteration is nice too, I'll admit) and therefore people will read it and submit it to Slashdot.

    Oh and then we'll link to an article about the Australian government's attempts to stop kids looking at porn (Because that's highly relevant?). I live in Australia, and according to that article I apparently need to verify my age before visiting 'Adult sites' but a quick check shows I don't. As for this quote; "While British ISPs resisted suggestions that they act as internet police, the response may not be the same in Australia". I'm sure you guys have heard of those DMCA take down letters issued by various copyright holders to ISP's and in turn to customers? Well the biggest ISP in Australia, Telstra, which has around 50% of the market doesn't even bother forwarding those to the customer who has apparently breached copyright. It seems that Australian ISP's have a lot more respect for their customers then ISP's in Britain and America.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Davemania (580154)
      The article also states the lobbying by the RIAA, money + politics, I wouldn't call it fud so quickly. Also Telstra doesn't care about their customers, they care about profits. Due to the nature of packages offered by most ISP in Australia, these illegal downloads do generate more profits for the ISP. That is the reason, not the rights of the customers.
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      "We will also examine any UK legislation on this issue [including any three-strikes policy] with particular interest," he [Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy] said. Nowhere does it mention that the Australian government is "Considering copying" UK's laws.

      Who do you think writes laws?

      More often than not, when it comes to complex issues (like copyright), some think tank writes up model legislation and passes it around to legislators. Then, some other think tank reads the model legislation and says "Oh noes! This is bad because it disagrees with our ideas on how things should be done." It doesn't really matter if the model legislation is written by a pro, con, or industry neutral group, things pretty much go the same way.

      Of course, the easiest route is just t

    • by mrbluze (1034940)

      It's unlikely to be brought about because, I suspect:

      1. the Government is making more money (taxes) from ISP's than it is from record companies.
      2. The piraters are often children of influential adults
      3. A teenager getting busted for downloading teeny-bopper music will drag the whole family down

      That and other reasons is why I think forcing such draconian antipiracy laws is political suicide


    • DMCA doesn't work here so it would be pretty pointless and probably confusing to forward them to their customers.
  • "War on piracy?" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nguy (1207026) on Monday February 18, 2008 @02:16AM (#22459736)
    I think we need a war on this stupid "war on" meme. For music companies or journalists to suggest that the downloading of music justifies the same response as Hitler's invasion of Poland is disgusting.
  • I'd only agree to this if it meant immunity to any kind of legal action. otherwise, fuck off.
  • There is no reliable way to tell in advance if content is illegal. I might be sending a (legally purchased and owned) MP3 to my mother-in-law.

    This whole thing is BS.
  • by DigitAl56K (805623) on Monday February 18, 2008 @02:47AM (#22459910)
    Do you ever look forward twenty or thirty years and wonder what the world of technology will deliver to us? What it's potential is and what will actually be realized?

    In the last 20 years we've gone from home computer systems with half a meg of ram or less to a worldwide network of high powered PC's in every home, evolving human interaction from e-mail, IRC, web pages, instant messages, internet radio, internet video, 3D virtual worlds, online stores, the participation of a global audience in projects ran by NASA, live news coverage from hundreds of vendors - it's impressive. And we have more to look forward to: 3D TV, space elevators, nanotechnology, advanced AI, accessible quantum computing, artificial limbs that interface with our nervous system, maybe even space travel to other worlds.

    Sometimes I catch myself wondering about all the things I can't even imagine today that will come along after my death and I'll never experience. Then I think about modern day issues such as this ludicrous copyright legislation, in my home nation (UK) no less, and I wonder if in ten years time if the Internet will even be recognizable as a free, neutral foundation for furthering mankind, or will it simply be transformed into a Government regulated and observed, pay per use, pricing-tiered no-man's land destroyed by industries seeking to motivate individuals to purchase their products or works as a product of fear mongering and contorted calculations of "damages" that haven't even been shown to have occurred?

    Copyright is necessary such that those who spend their lives creating works valued our societies can continue to do so. It is a balance between the needs and desires of our societies and the needs and desires of our artists, authors, and musicians. It is not a tool to be wielded by industry associations to sue individuals who can't afford to buy a dozen CDs, let alone defend themselves in court, into bankruptcy for the purposes of a public scare campaign, nor a tool to twist the laws of a society against itself solely in the interests of those agencies - those agencies who themselves are not the artists, authors, and musicians who create the works they claim to protect, and who they have recently announced they seek to pay less.

    Please stop this madness. The world will suffer greatly at the hands of a small group of greedy executives and their shareholders if this nonsense continues much further down its current path.
    • by pbjones (315127)
      part of the problem, you only need to look 1 or 2 years ahead to see significant changes, not 20-30.
    • by TeknoHog (164938)

      Nice post. I've often considered the Internet as the natural extension of human intellectual history, where major advances were often linked to information dispersal. The library of Alexandria and the printing press, for examples. There's also a tendency for cultures to want to spread their kind of information to others. It's like the intellectual version of the male sex drive to spread his genetic data. It's weird that modern people have traded the maximal spread of their information to others, for profit

    • by Zarhan (415465)
      Sometimes I catch myself wondering about all the things I can't even imagine today that will come along after my death and I'll never experience. Then I think about modern day issues such as this ludicrous copyright legislation, in my home nation (UK) no less, and I wonder if in ten years time if the Internet will even be recognizable as a free

      Cat is out of the bag with this one - the old quote about censorship as damage and routing around it applies. Even great firewall of China leaks. (And
  • So who decides when an infringement occurs? If privacy laws prevent ISPs from snooping on traffic (or do they?), and the main source of copyright complaints comes in the form of mass mail from industry associations, who's to verify and decide what is a "strike" and what isn't? What is the appeals process? What is cutting someone off meant to realistically achieve? And finally, what's the weather like in Sweden? I think I'd like to move there.

  • From the article:

    It was expected 2.5 million households would take up the free porn-blocking filters within 12 months but only 144,088 filter products have been downloaded or ordered on CD-ROM since August last year. The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has estimated about 29,000 of these accessed filter products were still being used - less than 2 per cent of the set target.

    Of the 144,088 people who wanted the free software last year, less than a quarter are still using it

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Monday February 18, 2008 @03:19AM (#22460096)
    Encryption can fail if the government makes it illegal or establishes a way of forcing the populace to give the passwords during an investigation. Such investigation could start simply by monitoring your bandwidth usage and comparing it to that of someone who only sends mails and browses for porn from time to time.

    However, there should be ways of making the such a monitoring useless. For example, a worm could be done that connects to torrent sites and download movies to random folders in your computer. The worm could accept suggestions about how to search in such a way as to make it impossible to discern if the movie it downloaded was the "infected" user's choice or simply a random popular choice.

    With a portion of the population not willing to patch or kill the worm, the propagation would be brutally fast (taking into account which part of the internet population would be voluntary victims).

    You'd have to hunt down the unwillingly downloaded Harry Potter latest movie or britanity spear latest... whatever she does now. However, bandwidth speed is growing fast and multimedia size is more or less constant.
  • If not, then someone should post one to the British legislation, else those Auzies will never figure out how to copy it.
  • http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/15/tiscali_bpi_agreement/ [theregister.co.uk] is the latest story I've read about progress here in the UK.
    More to the point and as I believe has probably been metioned, exactly legitimate use do they think I have for the 20 Meg connection they've sold me. (especially as they make it very clear that this is a domestic, rather than business service - usually when it's broken).
  • The previous government's Net Filtering software rollout was not a failure. It's simply an indication that most people don't want it. To interpret the small number of installs as a failure and then go about "fixing the problem" by introducing mandatory filtering is monumentally stupid.

    If not enough people use public transport, is it correct to ban the private car? Or better to fix the public transport system instead?

  • If you have anything constructive and insightful to say a good person to contact would be Senator Stephen Conroy http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/senators/homepages/senators.asp?id=3L6 [aph.gov.au]

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