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Australia Considering P2P 'Three Strikes' Law

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the pitching-a-new-plan dept.

Government 101

caitsith01 writes "ITNews reports that Australia's ever-unpopular Minister for Communications, Senator Stephen Conroy, has foreshadowed new action by the Australian Government to crack down on illegal file sharing under the guise of promoting the digital economy. Options apparently being considered include the controversial and previously reported French three-strikes approach and an approach which sounds suspiciously like New Zealand's even more dubious guilty-upon-accusation approach to filesharing. Needless to say, although the Government is consulting with 'representatives of both copyright owners and the Internet industry in an effort to reach an industry-led consensus on an effective solution,' arguably the most significant group — ordinary Internet users — are not being consulted. Senator Conroy is the man behind the crusade to 'protect' Australians from the horrors of the Internet with a mandatory, government-run blacklist, an effort which recently earned him the title of Internet Villain of the Year for 2009."

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HA HA HA (0, Troll)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702357)

Good luck Stephen you old dog.

Government is a tool of the most wealthy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28702381)

There I said it. Those with money and power control all governments, even democratically elected ones. Sure you could vote out the bad politicians, but democracies are notorious for having apathetic voters. Tax dollars being given to billion dollar corporations and withheld from the poorest of communities. Criminalization of copyrights to protect billion dollar corporations, when all along civil courts could have served the needs of everyone easily.

Re:Government is a tool of the most wealthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28702559)

Indeed. And when our health care decision flowchart looks like this, insurance companies will save billions because everyone will be too frustrated to bother going to the doctor, and lawyers will make billions suing those insurance companies on the behalf of angry consumers:

http://gopleader.gov/UploadedFiles/House-Democrats-Health-Plan.pdf [gopleader.gov]

It's a win-win for everyone, and by everyone I mean lawyers and insurance companies. Thanks Obama! This is EXACTLY the kind of change I was looking for.

Yes...and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28703047)

Government is a tool of the most wealthy

You say that is if the observation is something new. Positions of power only come to those who seek them, and those who seek power are usually the kinds who will abuse it.

People who are naturally "just" tend to avoid jobs in politics because of the horrible compromises they have to perpetually make in order to get anything at all done. People who don't mind doing a public-facing song-and-dance while they persue their own selfish agendas by cooperating with other equally selfish people are the ones that fit in well.

The completely predictable end result is exactly what we have now....governments that do a lot of posturing about the people and the greater good while just serving the interests of the wealthy.

The greedy will always ruin things for the rest of us...and greed is far too popular for us to expect it to ever just go away.

Re:Government is a tool of the most wealthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28705553)

U R wrong. OMG get off ur hi horse. OMG.

Democracy = direct reprenentation of the peeple. Geeez. Red a book why dunnya.

Democracy = freedum.

?

Beh (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28702391)

Fucking hate that cunt.

the language is all wrong (2, Funny)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702425)

Every article I see about this always uses the scary language. "ILLEGAL FILE SHARING" This is quite frankly disturbing to me.

I can't help but think of Darth Sidious telling Knute Gunray, "I will make it legal!"

Except in our case, the evildoers who sit in our houses of legislation will make it illegal!

It currently is not.

Re:the language is all wrong (1)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702521)

It currently is. "Illegal" does not necessarily mean "criminal". A very large amount of p2p filesharing is copyright infringement, which in Australia at least is illegal.

Re:the language is all wrong (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702715)

Ya, the legal definition disagrees with you.. and I kinda think its about the only definition that counts.

If you want to overgeneralize the word don't be surprised when people look at you funny.

Re:the language is all wrong (1)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28713759)

Ya, the legal definition disagrees with you

I think you're saying that there's a 'legal' definition of the word 'illegal' which restricts it to applying to criminal acts. Have I understood that correctly? If so then can you say where you get that from and which jurisdiction you feel it applies to (from context it looks like you must be referring to Australia)? I'm not saying you're wrong, though I am a little sceptical.

Re:the language is all wrong (1)

SlashWombat (1227578) | more than 5 years ago | (#28714133)

Yes, illegal file sharing is illegal in Australia (fair suck of the savaloy guys!)... But lobbying obnoxious MP's is not. I say good luck trying to pass a three strikes law, it would probably be enough to end Stephen Conroy's career. Getting to much attention is not good for any politician. Having a "tent embassy" parked outside your electoral offices might not be as exciting as some might think!

Gentlemen! (1, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702439)

You can't download here, this is the war room!

I don't pirate software, music, or anything else. I understand a lot of people do, however. The thing I don't get in all this, he's essentially correct. Downloading music or other files illegally should be punished.

The problem is that there's no way to prove who actually downloaded the content illegally. I also don't understand the /. crowd and the belief that downloading stuff off the internet without paying for it (assuming it isn't offered freely) is just fine to do.

I seriously don't get that. Why do people think it's okay to download stuff without paying for it?

Re:Gentlemen! (4, Insightful)

catxk (1086945) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702547)

The downloading is rarely the issue. The issue is the liberties and justices sacrificed by lobbied and next-to-corrupt politicians in the name of saving the record industry. The consequences of this will not stop at pirates, it spans over the entire society, effectively undermining the freedom and security enjoyed by all of us. Is it really worth it? Some people seem to think so. I don't and I don't give a shit about filesharing.

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702613)

I understand that. I do. But again, there's this whole group-think thing going on here on slashdot. It's weird, seriously. A lot of people on here say that things are screwed up cause you've got these politicians reducing freedoms and whatnot by trying to pass these draconian laws, but at the same time, you've got a bunch of knuckleheads downloading every file they can....ILLEGALLY.

So, which came first?

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28704147)

Is it important which came first ? The whole thing is screwed. Let's fix it instead of trying to blame someone. And the proposed laws don't go in the direction of fixing it. That is all we are saying.

You know, sometimes people give the impression of doing group-think when they independently come to the same conclusion. We don't try to be right just by opposing the "Big Guys", we try to be right by actually seeking the truth. Sometimes we yay at the Powers That Be (suddenoutbreakofcommonsense expresses that) when they move in the correct direction.

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 5 years ago | (#28710853)

So, which came first?

Well, Disney [wikipedia.org] pushed through ridiculous copyright extensions a long time before Bittorrent hit the tubes, and by the date (1998) would have been lobbying for it before Napster came to be.

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28704131)

The downloading is rarely the issue.

Certainly not, because as soon as it becomes the issue, it becomes painfully apparent exactly what "freedoms" are being defended by 90% of anti-copyright statements.

Re:Gentlemen! (2, Insightful)

catxk (1086945) | more than 5 years ago | (#28714213)

A valid point to some extent, but still no.

This uproar among Slashdotters is not heard only when politicians trade the democratic freedoms and rights we all have come to take for granted in order to please the media lobby. It is also heard when US customs claim the right to go through all the data on your laptop when you cross the border or when voting machines are closed source. Or when the Swedish government and parliament passes a law enabling a civilian authority to scan _all_ communication passing the Swedish border (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FRA_law).

My guess is that this is due to the fact that the average Slashdotter was here when it started. Or at least, as myself, have the deepest respect for what it was that got it all started. Thus, the average Slashdotter simply understand the implications to the potential of the internet and the purity of democracy of a closed source voting system, or the lack of privacy when passing through customs, or the wider implication of sacrificing privacy and freedom on the internet - just to save music.

Re:Gentlemen! (4, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702617)

Few people say it is okay. A lot of people however say that you won't manage to prevent people from file sharing unless you control Internet and personal computers completely and that would have a huge cost to society. Therefore, if filesharing becomes such a serious problem that it prevents artists from getting a decent pay (this has still to be proved though), the remuneration of artists has to go through a different system.

It looks like people are wanting to just get free stuff, but the claim is different : they say that trying to protect a revenue stream based on the control and production of copies, in a world where making copies is basically free, is nonsensical and counter-productive.

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702681)

Why do people think it's okay to download stuff without paying for it?

You need to understand the technology behind the web before you can truly understand the logic.

HTTP is a stateless protocol. If I download a file today, it has no bearing on how the server operates nor does it restrict what I can do on my end. The only thing your server knows about our transaction is the data I sent to you and the data you sent back. For all your server knows, I could be a kid whistling phreak codes into a payphone receiver.

So if you don't know what I am doing except sending you correctly formed HTTP requests, you really don't know what it is that I'm doing with that data. Likewise, just because I ask for a specific file, it is totally up to your server to return something valid. It is this uncertainty and total reliance on arbitrary and time-scoped actions that underlies the file transferring phenomenon.

Which brings up the second point. File transfers are only streams of packets. Those packets have no meaning in and of themselves. In fact, if you tried to do anything with a single packet, you'd go crazy because it's all random garbage until you put it together. But, as we've already established before, HTTP is stateless, there is no guarantee that my client software will rearrange those packets into anything usable.

Therefore we aren't sharing files. We are sharing temporal garbage as far as either of us knows. If you want to make sharing garbage packets illegal, I think you'd find a lot of people wanting to tell you to mind your own business.

Mod parent down (1)

panoptical2 (1344319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702859)

Therefore we aren't sharing files. We are sharing temporal garbage as far as either of us knows. If you want to make sharing garbage packets illegal, I think you'd find a lot of people wanting to tell you to mind your own business.

So, if I somehow sent you the source code to Windows, you would just say that it was only a stream of "garbage packets"? I'm sorry, but data can be extremely valuable, whether it's in the form of code, movies, or music. Packets by themselves are only packets, but it's what they carry that counts.

Re:Mod parent down (2, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702907)

if I somehow sent you the source code to Windows, you would just say that it was only a stream of "garbage packets"?

You wouldn't?

Re:Mod parent down (1)

panoptical2 (1344319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702947)

Not when I can sell it to the idiots of the world for $200 a pop...

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28713135)

"We are sharing temporal garbage as far as either of us knows."

If all you want are packets full of static and garbage then download them. Unfortunately, you don't, and instead download packets containing the lastest song by the Black Eye Peas, The Dark Knight, and the current copy of Photoshop.

None of which sprang into being without someone (or a lot of someones) spending a significant amount of time, money, energy, and other resources to create them.

So in my book, the "per copy cost" is irrelevant. Spend $200 million making a movie and a million pressing DVDs, and the million spent making copies isn't even a half percent of the whole. Insignificant from that perspective.

Re:Gentlemen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28702707)

Because copyright law was conceived as a way to ensure profit-sharing due to the necessities of large publishers at the time: Only large publishers could distribute content because only they had the paper and the presses, so something was needed to make sure that the people doing the distribution would share the money they made with the people who created the content- it was only fair. That was called "copyright", and it still applies today: I promise that I will share equally with all content creators, every bit of profit I make when I distribute their content for them.

Wow, and there you have it... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28702721)

Tacit admission by the military that Obama is unqualified to be the commander-in-chief. The matter is so simple to resolve that you think Obama would just produce his long-form birth certificate and wipe out all these lawsuits with a single blow. On the other hand, maybe this is his version of welfare for trial lawyers.

Re:Gentlemen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28702733)

Well yeah, why should we get free stuff?
I mean, that air your breathing, really you should pay someone for that. I suggest that someone to be me.
With 0.01$ per person for a days worth of air, that's cheap right?
I'll even give a discount for twins!

The reason why people pirate is because they can! Now think about that, if you were able to produce energy at no cost. Would you still pay your electrical company to do it for you?

They made everything you should get for free cost something already:
water: http://www.democracyctr.org/newsletter/vol60.htm
air: http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE48S5JB20080929

If the production of food is gowing a bit too well, they destroy over production to ensure the prices stay artificially HIGH.

Free market economics goes by a principle that scarce things should cost much money and that things that are common should be very low cost/free. This would ensure the scarce products to go to those that really need it (and thus be willing to pay the cost). (or that it would be distributed evenly as everyone can only afford some of it)

With the internet and digitalization, there is NO cost in copying something. That means scarcity is completely gone, and that should lower the cost of it to zero/free. What is being tried now is to make that cost go up again by making that illegal.

But what about those poor artists??
Governments are already paying artists, they fund sports / arts / museums / libraries / ....... They build public venues the artists can use and so much more. If you want to support artists, go to a concert or find some other way to help your favorite artist. Don't try to make me pay for something that is not scarce and holds no value by making it illegal.

I don't mind funding artists, I do mind helping someone or something to create artificial scarcity.

Re:Gentlemen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28704213)

If you are in some way responsible for the air to any significant extent, I'd gladly pay for it. In fact, I've had to pay for air. Compressed and delivered through a pipe.

Re:Gentlemen! (5, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702745)

On slashdot? It's the guilty-upon-accusation bit that bothers people here more.
It's the "Every kind of P2P is people violating copyrights" idea that idiot politicians have that bothers people here on slashdot.

I don't care if 90% of the people using a certain protocol are using it to swap the latest transformers movie because I'm part of the 10% using it for legitimate purposes.
Should I be denied my right to disseminate information because of that 90%?

If 90% of the people in your apartment complex are growing their own pot and you're part of the 10% that is not should you lose your right to not have the police kick down your door without a warrant?

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

Rageon (522706) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702961)

If 90% of the people in your apartment complex are growing their own pot and you're part of the 10% that is not should you lose your right to not have the police kick down your door without a warrant?

Yes. You should. To do otherwise would allow illegal activities to go on simply by keeping at least one law-abiding person on the premises (i.e., children).

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

panoptical2 (1344319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703067)

I think he was agreeing that the police should raid the pot-growing apartments, but that they should not raid his, without a warrant.

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703083)

Firstly, I presume he meant different buildings in the same "complex", not people in the same building. I don't see how not kicking down the door of an innocent person allows illegal acts to go on elsewhere.

Secondly, he said "without a warrant" - I fail to see how the ordeal of obtaining a warrant means that crimes can't be stopped.

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

Idiot with a gun (1081749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703101)

"people willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both" -- Benjamin Franklin

Sadly, most people's response to any problem these days is "the government should do something!" This unfortunately tends to cause many problems to get worse, while racking up an enormous bill. Not to say that everything the government does is useless (highways are nice), but many things they touch do go down the drain. Good example, Social Security started with the best of intentions. These days it's the "third rail," touch it (politically) and die, and it's becoming one of the biggest money sink holes we have. Sad really.

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28704083)

ever heard the phrase "Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer"? Its part of the foundation of at least the American legal system.

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703895)

...guilty-upon-accusation...

I wonder how gung-ho politicians would be about this law if people started parking outside their houses and using their wireless to download illegal content? Because at least some of them have to have poorly configured or otherwise insecure WAPs.

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

TechMouse (1096513) | more than 5 years ago | (#28704033)

I'll take you one further...

If 90% of people think that an activity is perfectly acceptable, and those opposed consistently fail to prove that it harms them in any meaningful way, then it probably shouldn't be illegal in a democratic country.

Feel free to substitute 90% with "a majority", or even "a significant minority".

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703481)

I can give you several reasons why people think it's fine to do!
Firstly we're geeks here, denying that 80% of us download TV and movies would be stupidity, I'm sure we've all been to astalavista for a crack now and then too.

As I get older I do less of the dodgy stuff but for example, I 'steal' TV shows from the US all the time, because they don't air here at all, or at sensible times or within months of them airing in the US.
Now sure, that's a grey area to some you might say but the question then becomes, what is, or is not illegal? Me downloading those shows is most likely illegal but what if I really am going to buy the DVD? What if it's going to air on TV in 5 weeks here anyhow, sadly at 11pm though?

There's all kinds of complications here, what about someone who comes over to your house during a lan party, he boots his machine up and his torrent client slaps your connection?
Now that may or may not be feasable, I think it's possible, in a worse case scenario - BAM there goes one of your strikes, you've only got 3 of them and accidents do happen.
Open wifi is the most obvious one, accidental click the list goes on.
How do I even know the people claiming "I was the one who did it!" have the right information?

How's this, a little far fetched but possible.
I'm on ADSL right - so my ip address changes now and then.
Some dodgy investigator in the states says he sees my ip at 3:00am downloading stuff and forwards this to his contact in Australia.
this contact in Australia then contacts the ISP and says "this ip was stealing at 03:00am!"
My ISP look up the logs, my up comes up, bam a letter comes out to me and I get in trouble for 'stealing'

Problem is the guy investigating is in a different timezone, my ip could have changed, not out of the realms of possibility at least.
This is not something the government should be worrying themselves with, it's just going to cause problems

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

Cinnaman (954100) | more than 5 years ago | (#28704383)

Come on, copyright infringement is a back-door way of guarding the old physical media empire the record and movie companies were built on. It was (I assume) meant to target people mass producing counterfeit copies and unethically earning money through that. A person who technically infringes copyright (the letter of the law rather than the spirit) by uploading a copy (or parts of one) to a few people for free happens to have a pre-digital law that (technically) says that they fall into this category.

So because of this pre-existing law on the books you believe they should be punished. And when there are legal ways to listen to music or watch a film for free (borrowing a CD or DVD from a library) it gets kind of confusing whether it is morally wrong to enjoy content for free. It becomes a matter of where the media companies decide which method of consuming content is morally wrong (and people like you buy it).

You can see why people such as myself may consider it morally wrong to profit from other people's content but don't consider it morally wrong to enjoy the content for free. And it is therefore morally wrong to punish people for enjoying content for free as strangely there are ways to do this which no-one has any problem with whatsoever. It will be wrong to enjoy content for free when libraries are abolished and the only way to access content of any sort is to buy it.

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 5 years ago | (#28708367)

Yes, there should be legal remedies for copyright violation. They should be reasonable, and they should be properly targetted. I am against excessively high statutory damages, any form of punishment that does not result from a courtroom trial, and any form of penalty or excessive inconvenience for legal downloading, and these sort of things are often proposed or even enacted.

For your question, people think it's okay to download stuff without paying for it because they aren't directly hurting anybody. If you steal my car, I can't drive it. If you take an exact copy of my car, I may well not notice, and I'm not inconvenienced. In doing so, you have created a valuable object. In economic terms, if a copy of a song is worth a dollar, and you make your own, you've increased the wealth of the world by a dollar, and that's a good thing.

The reason why this is bad is that it makes it hard for people who create things to get paid for it, and that can discourage them, for various reasons. In the US, the only Constitutional basis for copyright is to encourage people to be creative.

It is also a justification that is inapplicable to modern copyright law, which goes far beyond any practical need for recompense. Nobody's going to create something for the expected earnings twenty-eight years from publication, and so the old copyright law was perfectly adequate for encouraging creativity. Moreover, the main copyright supporters confuse intellectual property (which exists conditionally) with physical property (which the Constitution respects). (I here define intellectual property as rights granted according to whatever part of the Constitution that is, which includes patent and copyright.)

Therefore, the RIAA and cohorts have disregarded the Constitutional basis for copyright, and attempted to blur the difference between physical and intellectual property, been dishonest in their claims, and lobbied for laws that are arguably unconstitutional. After that, they should not be surprised if people think it's okay to retaliate.

Re:Gentlemen! (2, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#28708995)

I seriously don't get that. Why do people think it's okay to download stuff without paying for it?

The thing is, that's only a tiny part of the real issue, and only acts to camouflage the real threat.

The real threat is that the government will lose its initial sense of trepidation over filtering content it doesn't like and start applying it wherever it finds an advantage to do so. It only takes a little bit of time for a bureaucrat to become comfortable with previously unpalatable acts.

Laws like the Three Strikes rules can be used to enforce an autocracy. If you can keep any particular group of people from communicating, you've nullified their impact on society. It starts with good reasons, good intentions, then progresses from there to "is it convenient".

Pretty soon you're seeing calls for increased monitoring to enforce compliance, then you have statistical modelling on top of that, then profiling, then ... pretty soon you can't talk to your friends or share photos without a license. And how is this different from all previous evil governments throughout history, all of whom started with good intentions?

Is that what we want?

Re:Gentlemen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28709189)

Why do people think it's okay to download stuff without paying for it?

I can sit and watch TV without paying for it (the tv broadcast I mean- of course I paid for the TV itself). What's the difference?

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

snookums (48954) | more than 5 years ago | (#28710377)

Downloading music or other files illegally should be punished.

Well, the law as currently written means that the creation of such unauthorised copies is something for which the copyright holder can claim compensation and damages. Certain types of commercial infringement are also criminal acts, but that's not the issue under discussion here. The core issue is whether the Government has a mandate to create statutory penalties for non-criminal acts. There is also an issue of matching the severity of punishment to the gravity of the misdeed.

Let's take the tort of defamation and draw some parallels. Defamation is illegal, and should be punished, but if I accuse you of defaming me, should there be a statutory on-the-spot fine levied against you on the strength of my allegation? If you are accused three times, should you lose the right to speak in public, or be published? I don't think such laws would find much support.

Re:Gentlemen! (1)

Sidzilla (710875) | more than 5 years ago | (#28715981)

Look at it this way- the recording and movie industries in America have tried for years to get court verdicts in their favor and have had one notable success (J Thomas, which is still under appeal if I'm not mistaken) out of the tens of thousands of cases they have pursued. Proving what was downloaded and by whom is nearly impossible, especially using the illegal means they use to collect the data in the first place.Having failed at litigation and unable to provide admissible evidence for criminal investigations the industry is now trying to notify ISPs using illegally obtained evidence that won't stand up in court, that you are file sharing and have them disconnect you from the internet. That doesn't seem right to me.

Risk-free Infringement (1)

KenMcM (1293074) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702441)

Hmm.... So now I won't be criminally prosecuted or even sued for infringing copyright, I'll just be disconnected from my ISP? What's stopping me from signing up with a new one? Hell, maybe I'll sign up with a different provider just for committing copyright infringement. And there's no risk at all. Good one Conroy, that makes as much sense as trying to filter the internet.

Re:Risk-free Infringement (1)

fredklein (532096) | more than 5 years ago | (#28709619)

What's stopping me from signing up with a new one?

Exactly how many ISPs are available where you live? Many people only have two- the phone company (DSL) and the cable company.

Re:Risk-free Infringement (1)

KenMcM (1293074) | more than 5 years ago | (#28710041)

Optus (cable/DSL) Telstra (cable/DSL) TPG (DSL) Internode (DSL) iiNet (DSL) iPrimus (DSL) Swiftel/People Telecom (DSL) Eftel (DSL) Dodo (DSL) Unwired (3G) These are just the major ones I can think of that provide broadband.

Re:Risk-free Infringement (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 5 years ago | (#28711321)

Exactly how many ISPs are available where you live? Many people only have two- the phone company (DSL) and the cable company.

Telstra, Optus, iinet, Westnet, TPG, Iprimus, Internode and Amnet for DSL. Three, Vodafone, Telstra and Optus for mobile (HSPA).
This is in Perth, get to the eastern states and the increases, Australia has a well regulated telecoms industry. Phone companies aren't permitted to monopolise area's and if they have an infrastructure monopoly then the government sets a wholesale price for access to that infrastructure (the price is set so that it is profitable after a certain percentage is sold).

There is little stopping me from terminating my iinet service and going with Internode or Amnet.

Re:Risk-free Infringement (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 5 years ago | (#28711251)

Hmm.... So now I won't be criminally prosecuted or even sued for infringing copyright, I'll just be disconnected from my ISP? What's stopping me from signing up with a new one? Hell, maybe I'll sign up with a different provider just for committing copyright infringement. And there's no risk at all. Good one Conroy, that makes as much sense as trying to filter the internet.

And it will never happen for the same reason as internet filtering. This requires too much co-operation from ISP's and ISP's dont want to co-operate.

Telstra and Optus's bread and butter may be the clueless masses that pay A$50 a month for a 1 GB cap but other ISP's like iinet, internode, amcom and others depend on large volume users. This will also increase the amount of work the ISP's need to do. ISP's work on razor thin margins, this is mostly due to the high cost of traffic through the limited number of undersea cables out of Australia.

I do wish that they would hurry up and sack Conory, but then again Australia has never had a competent Telecommunications minister but I'd be willing to settle for one who is a little less dangerous. Maybe Rudd can re-roll Peter Garrett, if he could do SFA for telecommunications like he's currently doing for Environment it would be a great improvement.

hmmm, conroy (2, Funny)

smash (1351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702453)

mate, i hear iraq are looking for a new information minister?

Pirate Party of Australia (5, Informative)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702471)

Lets hope The Pirate Party of Australia [ppau.info] comes to the rescue here.

Re:Pirate Party of Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28703231)

You mean the organisation that doesn't currently have official status as a political party or even the ability to conduct online fund raising? I wouldn't hold my breath. The Pirate Party of Australia may one day be a political force in Australia but I doubt it'll have any effect until well after the 2010 elections.

Re:Pirate Party of Australia (1)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703873)

Ahhh yes, but you can personally thank Mr. Stephen "Dickwad" Conroy for providing the necessary incentives for getting the Pirate Party of Australia up and running ASAP.

Welcome Vizzini! (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#28704251)

Well, come on, since Australians come from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, this law makes perfect sense!

They really should punish illegal filesharers (1, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702505)

Despite the Sturm und Drang about copyright and filesharing here on Slashdot, most people really don't care one way or the other. Those that do care are so polarized on the issue that there isn't a middle ground to be had.

This is sad, because it didn't used to be this way. Early on, it was always clear that filesharers were breaking the copyright law and that something had to be done about it. What happened was a massive campaign to change the laws to crack down on illegal filesharers. Legal filesharing got caught in the rising tide, but we on the legal side of filesharing always said that it would be better for copyright holders to target the illegal filesharers directly rather than try to paint filesharing with a broad brush.

Then something happened. We got our wish. And suddenly a lot of the people who were calling for the heads of illegal filesharers were also putting their own heads on the chopping block. Now instead of outcry over copyright holders suing everybody, the illegal filesharers are finding other ways to justify their illegal actions.

I find it sickening that a group as creative and smart as the Slashdot community could be so blind to the value of copyright. I share all my code under the GPL because that is what I feel works best for me, but I wholly understand the desire to keep things strictly copyrighted on the part of others. The idea that these people are somehow in the wrong for trying to exercise control over their own works is a bad mind virus, and I'm afraid that the tenor of stories like this are indicative of a fatal infection.

Re:They really should punish illegal filesharers (5, Insightful)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702795)

They shot first.

How long is copyright today? 70 years? 90? 150?

Companies are stealing our culture. Perpetual extension of copyright is theft from society.

Compared to the artists of the days when copyright was 20-something years, today's artists don't contribute more to society, yet they demand many times the protection. They want to get this for free -- they've never offered any form of payment, no return on investment for society.

When my grandmother was a child, she heard a song. If I were to listen to her sing me that song, she'd be breaking the letter of the law. Compared to a few brittany spears songs, the theft of every copyrighted work for 50 years is a much greater crime.

Re:They really should punish illegal filesharers (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702863)

They shot first.

So did Greedo. But that doesn't mean that Star Wars is worse off for it.

The payment is that anyone who creates can take advantage of those protections. So the only ones who are at a disadvantage are those who don't create. It is the freeloaders who are crying the loudest.

Re:They really should punish illegal filesharers (4, Insightful)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703113)

That's not payment. Society at large doesn't gain anything from being able to have 150 year copyrights. It's only freeloaders who want to sell dead people's works as their own who are crying that copyright needs to be longer.

The "Happy Birthday" song first appeared in print in 1912. In other words, before nearly every defining moment of the 20th century. Despite that, it is a copyrighted song -- The Time-Warner Corporation owns the rights and charges $10,000 per performance in royalties.

So you're a filthy disgusting criminal. YOU. I know you sang the song publicly and didn't pay Time-Warner their due. Why are you such a filthy disgusting criminal? Why don't the long long long dead writers of "Happy Birthday" deserve compensation for their work?

Re:They really should punish illegal filesharers (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28704913)

Wrong. The song has been around since the late 1800's when school teachers changed the words of a then-popular tune to celebrate birthdays. The copyright owner is ASCAP, which only charges $1 for singing the song publicly. Don't over-inflate the issue.

And for the rest of Slashdot, copyrights end 70 years past the death of the author, or 90 years past the date of creation if it is a paid-for work (I'm not sure if corporate code counts as this, but I would think so).

I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.

Re:They really should punish illegal filesharers (2, Informative)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28705643)

Care of Wikipedia:

The melody of "Happy Birthday to You" comes from the song "Good Morning to All", which was written and composed by American sisters Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill in 1893.[3] They were both kindergarten school teachers in Louisville, Kentucky, developing various teaching methods at what is now the Little Loomhouse.[4][5] The sisters created "Good Morning to All" as a song that would be easy to sing by young children[6]. The combination of melody and lyrics in "Happy Birthday to You" first appeared in print in 1912, and probably existed even earlier.[7] None of these early appearances included credits or copyright notices. The Summy Company registered for copyright in 1935, crediting authors Preston Ware Orem and Mrs. R.R. Forman. In 1990, Warner Chappell purchased the company owning the copyright for US$15 million, with the value of "Happy Birthday" estimated at US$5 million.[8] Based on the 1935 copyright registration, Warner claims that U.S. copyright won't expire until 2030, and that unauthorized public performances of the song are technically illegal unless royalties are paid to it.

Further,

"The documentary film The Corporation claims that Warner/Chappell charges up to US$10,000 for the song to appear in a film.

The Walt Disney Company paid the copyright holder US$5,000 to use the song in the birthday scene of the defunct Epcot attraction Horizons."

So I'm not wrong, get stuffed.

Re:They really should punish illegal filesharers (1)

Idiot with a gun (1081749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703239)

Hate to break it to you. Most people won't create great culture. If everyone could paint like a renaissance master, then that would by definition be average. What makes actual works of art (paintings, photos, movies, books, music, plays, etc.) culture, is the fact that they're shared. Sometimes the creator needs some money back, which is fine. You buy books, and music, and you pay to see movies and plays. But once the artist has received their due (usually in less than 10 years, if I recall correctly), it is time for the art to move into public domain, to inspire and assist the next generation of creators.

To make a rough analogy, copyright today is similar to great pieces of art being locked up in private collections, rather than being on display in museums. Admittedly, you pay to enter a museum (usually), but this is merely to subsidize the protection of the art and the maintenance of the facility and staff. Digital mediums have very low upkeep cost (virtually non-existent on a per file basis), and therefore should be free (beer, speech) once the creators have received their due.

This, of course is not to say that illegal file sharing isn't a problem. It is. Creators do need to receive some sort of compensation, or they'll quit creating, or starve. The issue is that the system is becoming more and more slanted towards not the creators, but those who are more interested in controlling the copyrights even long after the creators have died (like the companies behind the RIAA).

Re:They really should punish illegal filesharers (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28713189)

"Digital mediums have very low upkeep cost (virtually non-existent on a per file basis)..."

Perhaps on a "per file basis", but in aggregate all of those little "upkeep costs" add up. Quickly.

Servers. Software. Maintenance. Hard drives. Switches. Routers. Power. Bandwidth. Lots and lots and lots of bandwidth.

Re:They really should punish illegal filesharers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28724297)

And peer to peer technology is a great way to cover those costs by distributing them across many users, users who pay for their internet connections.

Re:They really should punish illegal filesharers (2, Informative)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703493)

They shot first.

So did Greedo.

LIES

Re:They really should punish illegal filesharers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28702831)

The idea that these people are somehow in the wrong for trying to exercise control over their own works is a bad mind virus

Oh dear. The problem is that the only way for them to exercise control over their copyrighted content on the Internet are intrusive restriction management software, centralized traffic snooping and censorship, and laws that criminalize reverse engineering.

Three strikes laws are also inherently broken because:
- If they require no conviction, the validity of punishments they impose is questionable at best
- If they do require a conviction, they will literally flood courts - then the trials will either be extremely fast, poorly researched and therefore not fair, or they'll make the courts grind to a halt
- Some of them are pushing government-issued spyware that monitors your computers; that is actually very 1984

Re:They really should punish illegal filesharers (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703117)

Despite the Sturm und Drang about copyright and filesharing here on Slashdot, most people really don't care one way or the other.

You're right that most people don't care about the laws or the ethics, but that doesn't mean that most people don't do it. I don't know what the current stats on the number of people who have ever downloaded are (anyone?) but just consider how commonplace copying tapes and CDs, as well as recording off the radio, were. They never cared about the legality or the ethics - they just went ahead and did it.

I find it sickening that a group as creative and smart as the Slashdot community could be so blind to the value of copyright.

You can't polarise the issue into "all copyright is bad and everything should be public domain" versus "copyright law as it is is fine, and even anyone who copies their legally bought CD to their mp3 player is breaking the law and should be punished". Most people's views are more complex than that.

Re:They really should punish illegal filesharers (1)

JCZwart (1585673) | more than 5 years ago | (#28704359)

The idea that these people are somehow in the wrong for trying to exercise control over their own works is a bad mind virus, and I'm afraid that the tenor of stories like this are indicative of a fatal infection.

When I was young and we copied our friends' games on floppies (bad, bad me), we knew that this was illegal. However, we also knew that we'd never experience punishment, mostly due to the small scale at which our file copying took place. Bad mindset? Sure thing. I've grown up and buy my games now. Same thing for music.

Most people will agree that going after people illegally sharing their music for example isn't a bad thing. What IS bad is the draconian solutions being proposed. The fine rate in the US is way out of line. In France, you had the 3 strikes law (struck down for the moment). You have all kinds of guilty until proven otherwise nonsense. THAT is bad.

What's downright unacceptable is the way in which governments are apparently influenced by the large corporations. That's not called democracy but plutocracy. I personally find that indicative of a far more fatal infection.

Re:They really should punish illegal filesharers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28705117)

Early on, it was always clear that filesharers were breaking the copyright law and that something had to be done about it.

-- Bollocks
Had a computer long ? Old enough to remember computer clubs where tapes were traded that contained apps and games ? How about your music. Ever have a collection of 200 tapes, records or cd's - the file formats changed "Early on" people thought it was ok to share this data or aquire a music track , especially if they already owned it in another format or two.
The music industry screwed itself, people started buying music on-line, but the big labels share of the pie wasn't big enough, they refused to license the distribution to already established vendors. They wanted to sell the whole pie at an inflated profit. http://www.notascoolasitseems.com/review/innovation-what-when-and-who#music [notascoolasitseems.com] Now they push for the extension of copyright, the reduction of fair use, and the exportation of US centric laws to stupid or greedy polititions in order recoup profits.

Re:They really should punish illegal filesharers (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#28709935)

Despite the Sturm und Drang about copyright and filesharing here on Slashdot, most people really don't care one way or the other

[Citation needed]

Just an idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28702519)

Wouldn't encryption between Web-servers, and forced encryption on all other forms of email, and torrent clients go far in stopping this sort of thing.

Wouldn't this mean that they need to get a warrant, in order to figure out who the file-sharers are?

Or the other idea is randomizing on a list of proxy servers. Either for the webernets, and or torrent clients.

Re:Just an idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28703085)

Those are all temporary solutions. Governments and corporations want ever more control of the Internet. And such control is perfectly possible because of its hierarchical structure. "The Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it" is a myth in a reality where the ISPs are being controlled by governments and content providers.

If we want an uncensored global communications platform, we need a global wireless mesh network. One in which you don't need to sign up anywhere, just be in the neighborhood of other mesh nodes.

entitlement (1)

sn00pers (1005173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702523)

So long as people keep trying to justify stealing by using excuses like "consult the people", there won't be much left to steal soon. We wonder why the economy is as bad as it is yet still feel entitled to just take everything without paying for it and then get upset at the people we're stealing from. Imagine if our employers started taking the same approach to employees.

Re:entitlement (3, Interesting)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702789)

I feel exactly the same way.

Illegal file sharing is wrong and there should be consequences for it. It is however not theft. Theft involves taking something away from another. With filesharing, ownership and possession remain with the originator.

What is theft is the extension of copyright, erosion of fair use and bypassing of the courts that media companies are bribing governments around the world to achieve. And its not theft from an individual, it is theft from the public domain, it is theft from us all.

These 3 strikes laws are intended to circumvent the courts and allow media companies to extort real people into paying them with no burden of proof or legal recourse.

Butbutbut (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702535)

I thought everything was going to change with John Howard out and Rudd in. Kinda like Obama (PBUH)........so what happened?

Re:Butbutbut (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 5 years ago | (#28711339)

I thought everything was going to change with John Howard out and Rudd in. Kinda like Obama (PBUH)........so what happened?

No its the same story, Obama got in for the same reason as Rudd, because the alternative was a fascist with a retard as an understudy.

I agree with the three strikes system (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28702663)

I am forced to somehow like the idea of a three strikes system. We really should ban ISPs when they interfere with P2P traffic for three times.

Minister of Medieval Communications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28702683)

Our Minister intends to put Australa firmly back into the medieval dark ages, and if he have one once of grey matter, would see
this will permanently kill off the need for any National Broadband Network. This is not debating if this would even be lawful - because of some implied international breach privacy treatys and common carrier laws. Undoubtably such proposed laws water down the role of the judiciary, water down the law of evidence, allow heresay and illegally acquired 'evidence' in breach of any number of privacy rights. They used to burn witches on the strengh of an accusation - and lo and behold - now back in fashion.

Our previous Prime Minister was kicked out for not listening and riding roughshod. You take away peoples mobile phone/toythings, or hint that they are being monitored, and you will find there will be a very strong backlash at the next election. Bring on the Pirate Party , or someone who has not lost their faculty of jurisprudence.

Oh noes! (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28702835)

Only MC Double Def DP can save us now from those downloading with Hitler!

Re:Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28703065)

simple, labor only acts in the interests of workers. 99% of times those interests ally with big business. If you want ethics and a party that stands for the people not the companies. You need to vote for the GREENS. Rudd/Howard are different sides of the same coin. One stands for workers the other for the owners. Both stand for corporate interests. Remember Bob Brown was the only guy to tell the US Government to get fucked on Iraq and get fucked over David Hicks' illegal detainment. As much as I may dislike Bob Brown. He's the only guy in parliament who I respect to vote with their conscience without obsessing all the time on if it'll hurt/help companies.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Gandalf_Greyhame (44144) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703957)

Sorry, you are bringing up David Hicks? A man who was fighting AGAINST Australia? A treasonous piece of gutter filth? As far as I'm concerned he should still be detained, and that is only because we do not have capital punishment, otherwise I'd be pushing for the death penalty. The man is GUILTY of TREASON, you cannot deny that fact.

As for the Greens, they come across as being just a little bit too socialist (or perhaps "social idealist") for my liking. A lot of their policies have very little to do with the real world, and a lot to do with a fantasy world of their own devising. Bob Brown's "get fucked over Iraq" as you so eloquently put it, was nothing more than political grandstanding.

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#28710087)

Only MC Double Def DP can save us now from those downloading with Hitler!

"Hah!" (pulls "Godwin Safe" card from hand, lays on table with a flourish) "Let the discussion continue!"

What are they going to do with the offenders? (1)

ethicalBob (1023525) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703089)

... send them to a far-away island populated entirely w/ aboriginals and convicts???

hmmm.. or maybe ship them back to the UK?

Re:What are they going to do with the offenders? (1)

Gandalf_Greyhame (44144) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703971)

hmmm.. or maybe ship them back to the UK?

NOOOO!!! Then we won't be any good at sport anymore

Puff of logic... (1)

dg5 (442714) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703153)

People, people, be reasonable! There is a simple and effective solution. Everyone should start downloading illegal content. Then after 3 strikes we'll all be out, and then the internet will disappear in the puff of logic :-D

Cartel (3, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703393)

How about governments tackle the more important crime of the film and music industries running a cartel? It is things like region encoding which allows the media companies to run protected cartels in the various ways they've carved up the plant and where people can buy DVD's etc. from - this screws over consumers. Or is that the media companies give very generous amounts of campaign money to the politicians in different countries, and the politicians actually don't care and turn a blind eye about consumers?

Re:Cartel (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28703577)

The Australian government did that already. Region encoding was deemed 'anti-competitive', against consumer interests, and therefore illegal.
If you buy a DVD player in Australia you will find that it will play any DVD regardless of its region code =)

Sometimes, just sometimes... governments get it right, too.

Re:Cartel (1)

Gandalf_Greyhame (44144) | more than 5 years ago | (#28704157)

The Australian government did that already. Region encoding was deemed 'anti-competitive', against consumer interests, and therefore illegal.
If you buy a DVD player in Australia you will find that it will play any DVD regardless of its region code =)

Sometimes, just sometimes... governments get it right, too.

Really? Are you sure? Because I live in Australia... I visit electronics stores, and I see a LOT (read that as 98.394%) of DVD players which have the "Region 4" logo on them. LG, Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, Sanyo, Sharp, you name it. Having said that, most of the time it is a pretty simple thing to region unlock them, but they are still shipped, and sold, as region 4. Most of the DVD players that you see around that are sold region unlocked are the no brand generic DVD players.

From Wikipedia (yes, I know it isn't the final say in any argument):

"The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned that DVD players that enforce region coding may violate their Trade Practices Act"

From what I gather, from visiting the ACCC website, DVD players can still be sold in Australia locked to Region 4, however it is not illegal for them to be modified to play all regions. There is a case that is mentioned in regards to this dated in 2002 regarding Playstation 2, mod chips and region locked games.

Re:Cartel (1)

Lifthrasir (646067) | more than 5 years ago | (#28708903)

I bought a Toshiba DVD player about 3 weeks ago that was locked to region 4. However it also came with a firmware DVD and instruction leaflet that after reflashing made it region free.

Re:Cartel (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 5 years ago | (#28711367)

How about governments tackle the more important crime of the film and music industries running a cartel?

Great idea but there is nothing the Australian government can do when the biscuit industry can tell them to take a hike when they implement crappy laws. Bad laws like this and the internet filter that require the ISP to enforce them will simply not be enforced because no ISP actually wants to.

Democracy gone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28703421)

Typical goverment approach.
Govt is judged by the amount of rules & policies they implement.
Funny, they loose sight of why they are there. Most and I mean most people dont want what Conroy is promoting.
Say farewell to democracy.

I hope they do it... (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 5 years ago | (#28703697)

... because then the amount of money I spend on DVD's will drop to almost nothing.

I don't watch broadcast TV and so the only way I find out about good shows is by P2Ping them. Oh well other companies want my money if the TV/movie industry doesn't.

Re:I hope they do it... (1)

JCZwart (1585673) | more than 5 years ago | (#28704497)

However, it's not the restrictions they propose that matter. You might not care about them, and neither do I. What I do care about however is the trend of taking idiotic measures to prevent... Well, what actually? Bad stuff from happening? I know cars cause bad stuff to happen to people wandering at the wrong time in the wrong place, and yet cars aren't prohibited, nor is there some kind of 3-strikes-law in place. Yet, on the internet we have the file sharing thing, oh and we also have child porn. So let's cut people off internet and ban a load of websites from our country, and then some things will stop.

However, the trend will be set, and corporations will find their way to the ones writing laws. And of course someone will think of a way in which more money can be made. One might be curious as to what to expect, but it won't be pretty, I'm sure.

Is filesharing effectively hurting the Artists cut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28704321)

I have yet to see a mainstream actor producer or artist being terribly hurt by filesharing. The fact that the richest people in society contained the before metioned groups should speak for its self as well.
I personally have yet to hear about or see anyone downloading a movie before it hits DVD and showing it to a personal audiance, rather than going to see the movie itself. Good movies are still packed in the theaters and people still buy DVDs. As seen through the last years record breaking money makers
On top of this i will use the old arguement that, as far as the music buisness is concerned, many people including myself download music without paying to learn about the music. For me its like downloading a demo of a game, if i like it i'll buy it. An often times i will then buy the CD or go to a concert to support the group.
It is nowhere close to the point that govenments should be forcing people to submit to strict laws. They are just hurting for money in these difficult times.

How many convictions in OZ? (1)

Rexel99 (613029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28709071)

The question is, how many times have people been lawfully charged and convicted of illegal file sharing in Australia? I am not actually aware of any, sure the big movie companies and such send you emails accusing people of it all the time but lawfully charged and prosecuted? If it's down to what the big companies think then very few people will have an internet connection by the end of the decade, and there's the problem, nobody is going to police it at a government level, they will all just process the reams of logs and traffic that some private eye contractor on behalf of 'corny entertainment' shoves in there face and the normally responsible person get persecuted, and not properly prosecuted.

Are they really considering it? (2, Informative)

snookums (48954) | more than 5 years ago | (#28710527)

I RTFA, and it says that some copyright owners have suggested a three strikes law, but that this is unpopular. The government is interested in an "appropriate solution" to the issue of copyright infringement via the Internet. The language in the quoted passages is quite neutral and correct -- speaking of unauthorised copies, rather than theft.

There are many ways this issue could be resolved. It could be through complete copyright reform, however that is unlikely. It could be through criminalization and tough statutory penalties, which would be very unpopular. It could be by declaring the Internet and P2P as a type of broadcast system, with mandatory licensing of copyright and statutory royalties (like radio).

This is not an excuse to panic and engage in public Conroy-bashing. Join an appropriate lobby group, engage in public discussion of solutions fair to all parties, do something constructive. If you let a politician believe that he is hated beyond redemption, or a political party believe that they've already lost the next election, then they have absolutely no incentive to do what you want between now and when they leave office.

Re:Are they really considering it? (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28713243)

"It could be through complete copyright reform..."

Doesn't matter. Even if they backed off copyright to, say, 14 years, people would just find some other rationalization for stealing.

The real problems is that can get valuable stuff FOR FREE, and NOT get caught or punished. Fixing things will require either that: a) it's no longer free; or b) doing so leads to a probable chance of getting caught and punished.

Just like shoplifting in a store.

Re:Are they really considering it? (1)

snookums (48954) | more than 5 years ago | (#28725463)

"It could be through complete copyright reform..."

Doesn't matter. Even if they backed off copyright to, say, 14 years, people would just find some other rationalization for stealing.

By "complete copyright reform" I wasn't talking about reducing the term. I was thinking about something more radical, like finding another way to promote the creation of creative works without legislating an artificial scarcity.

The real problems is that can get valuable stuff FOR FREE, and NOT get caught or punished.

Every day I get a whole bunch of oxygen for free, and that's extremely valuable in the sense that I'd be dead without it. The reason I can do this is because the supply is, for practical purposes, unlimited. Copies of digital media are also unlimited for practical purposes. The reason copyright infringement is illegal is not because people are getting something valuable for free, it's because someone (the creator) is not getting their due. The unauthorised copier is breaching an implicit contract with the artist that reads something like "I will create this work now for no money if everyone who hears or sees it promises to give me some money when the do."

Fixing things will require either that: a) it's no longer free; or b) doing so leads to a probable chance of getting caught and punished.

Or (c) it's free and legal and artists are compensated in another way. Intellectual Property is a philosophical construct. There's no reason why it cannot be reconstructed differently.

Just like shoplifting in a store.

Apart from the fact that this is real theft, where the store owner is deprived of a real object with a definite value, the issue with 3-strikes copyright violation laws is that a convicted shoplifter is not banned from all stores forever. Of course, I'm equally against 3-strikes laws that would call for mandatory incarceration of 3-time shoplifters. It is, as I said, a question of the severity of the punishment fitting the gravity of the misdeed.

As far as the blacklist/filtering is concerned... (1)

druidimmolation (1559025) | more than 5 years ago | (#28710711)

I doubt even Conroy himself believes it will be implemented. It's a policy under review - he's been told to investigate it and will do his job - but his jocular attitude to the whole thing tells me that he doesn't really see it going live.

Has anyone seen him in interviews, on tv, or his quotes? It seems like it is all a big joke to him. And truthfully, it is. I truly believe that the only reason that the government is ostensibly supporting this is to satisfy a conservative senator (Steve Fielding) who is one of the few independents holding the balance of power in the senate. Once the balance of power changes (hopefully via that senator losing his seat!) the blacklist/filtering will be dead and buried.

New Zealand law postponed (1)

harryjohnston (1118069) | more than 5 years ago | (#28711055)

For the record, the New Zealand law referenced in this article (or rather, the specific clause that allowed guilt by accusation) has been postponed pending a review.

Solution.... maybe (1)

haqatak (957736) | more than 5 years ago | (#28714055)

I guess the way to game this system is to accuse the accuser, I mean, if enough people spend time accusing the accuser of pirating software. They will be forced to spend time defending themselves instead of attacking 8 years olds and puppies.
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