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Australian Govt Holding Secretive Anti-Piracy Talks

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the but-pirates-are-secretive dept.

Government 218

daria42 writes "Looks like Australia's Government prefers to keep its ongoing anti-piracy discussions behind closed doors. It held an initial meeting in September last year to try to get the content and ISP industries to thrash out an agreement on how to handle Internet piracy. Consumer representative groups were explicitly blocked from attending the meeting, and attendees are not allowed to reveal what was discussed behind closed doors. Now a second meeting has been held, and again, no information has been revealed about what's being discussed. Quelle conspiracy?"

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218 comments

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First (5, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016477)

the excuse was child pornography. Now it's piracy. The effect is to gain control over speech.

Re:First (5, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016523)

next it will be dissent.

Re:First (4, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016781)

You have the freedom to do whatever you want. Just as long as it's what we want you to do.

Re:First (1)

Apothem (1921856) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016957)

Don't forget they'll only tell you once, too.

Re:First (0)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016547)

wow, good frostypiss!

as a part of the australian entertainment industry, i say wtf?

fuck this government. they think they have a mandate just because nobody's crazy enough to vote for Abbott. and they're sort of right.

the shitty thing is that things are just so GOOD here. they can do their incremental freedom-grabs and not enough people will do anything. it's not as if we're starving...

maybe i'll get into a business that doesn't involve computers?

Re:First (4, Informative)

__Paul__ (1570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016767)

because nobody's crazy enough to vote for Abbott

Unfortunately, the polls don't show that at all. Despite the fact that a huge overwhelming majority of Australians don't like him, they are still indicating that they will vote for him.

Re:First (4, Interesting)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016803)

that's a damn shame.

but then, Australians have a history of not voting for anyone in particular, but rather voting against the incumbent.

while Labor are doing such a smashing job, Abbot can be as crazy as he wants and he'll still get the votes.

i'd do the same if i didn't know he'd be no better. between shit and worse, why would you choose worse?

Re:First (1)

johnsnails (1715452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016823)

On that note and not suggesting you are proclaiming to know the answer but do you have any idea why he doesn't connect so well with the voters? Is it a liberal (conservative) party thing or an Abbott thing? Or some other reason? I for one think he is the best thing since Howard (in 5 years :S).

Re:First (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39016941)

Being on the record as saying that what he says should not necessarily be believed, unless it was written down first is a start.

I think some of us can subconsciously see the micro-twitches that can give away the deceitful.

Throw in a habit of saying whatever he thinks the audience wants hear, opposition to everything the government proposes, no matter what it is, an underlying religious extremism and a lack of any real policy statements.

Re:First (5, Funny)

rust627 (1072296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017011)

Abbot

the man who cannot see beyond his own "No's"

Re:First (3, Interesting)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017075)

Abbot is much more in thrall of modern US conservative political tactics than John Howard was. He often repeats the Fox talking points like they were his own. And the "No" strategy is straight out of the Republican playbook.

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39016983)

That is the bit I don't understand. He doesn't seem to have done anything which would deserve so much scorn.

I remember though when he first became opposition leader. The media started hating on him instantly. Thankfully that woke me up a little bit and I started looking at alternative media sources.

Re:First (4, Funny)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017151)

the budgie smuggler incident was bad enough. he'll never live that one down

Re:First (3, Insightful)

imroy (755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017007)

He has a long history of saying stupid things and then mostly failing to wiggle his way out of the ensuing controversy. The guy's just a twit, basically. You can tell he's not very bright.

Re:First (3, Interesting)

skegg (666571) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017063)

I think you're right: there's definitely something indefinable about him.

The Libs won't win as long as Abbott's party leader. Return Turnbull to party head, or promote Julie Bishop or Hockey, and the Libs have got a chance.

As long as Abbott's leader they've got no chance. Gillard would have to kick a kitten on national television. And even then ...

Re:First (4, Insightful)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017081)

Possible reasons:
1) Not boring enough. We generally like our politicians boring.
2) Too catholic. Catholicism is weird. Any religion followed diligently enough is a bit weird, but catholic priests have the whole pedophile thing going on, and if not that, vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, of which all are weird. None of those are exactly Australian values.
3) Wears budgie smugglers.
4) Too catholic. This bears repeating because Conroy is catholic and wants to censor the internet. Abbot probably will want to do the same.

As for Howard, he campaigned as a small government conservative for 30 years yet government became no smaller during his time as PM, exactly the opposite. Howard did not favour individual liberty, he was a statist through and through. May as well have had a socialist for the liberties we gave up during his stint as PM.

Re:First (3, Insightful)

rust627 (1072296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017005)

because nobody's crazy enough to vote for Abbott

Unfortunately, the polls don't show that at all. Despite the fact that a huge overwhelming majority of Australians don't like him, they are still indicating that they will vote for him.

No, This is Australia

I think the last Politician to win an election was Whitlam

Now it is more a case of not so much voting for the party you want, but more voting against the one you want least .....
that is to say. (despite what they will tell us), elections aren't really won, but Lost.

Don't vote, it only encourages them.

Re:First (3, Insightful)

skegg (666571) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017087)

I agree that a large number of us vote against a candidate/party rather than for a candidate/party.

But I completely disagree with your last statement. (Against voting.)

There is no fate but what we make!

Re:First (2)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017059)

because nobody's crazy enough to vote for Abbott

Unfortunately, the polls don't show that at all. Despite the fact that a huge overwhelming majority of Australians don't like him, they are still indicating that they will vote for him.

This lead is around the 4% mark. So it's not a landslide by any sense of the word.

Also in Australia we elect our members and senators, but not the prime minister. The party who gets the most seats in parliament gets to elect their own leader. Liberal and Labor seem to be changing places of late, even in the Newscorp polls (heavily biased towards the Coalition).

If anything, we'll probably see more votes go to the greens and independents next election. Australia seems to hate both parties.

I highly doubt Abbott will become PM, he is just too batshit insane and his entire campaign is based on attacking Gillard. His supporters don't even know what policies he stands for. If by some horrible event he does get elected, God save the queen because nothing can save the Australian people (with apologies to Gough).

If the Libs wanted to win, they'd put Turnbull in charge, but the power brokers in the Libs want a spineless patsy as a leader and I dont think Turnbull would roll over for them.

Not the effect, but rather the goal (4, Interesting)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016563)

the excuse was child pornography. Now it's piracy. The effect is to gain control over speech.

I would argue that gaining control over speech is actually the very goal of all these secret talks, not just some ancillary effect.

The powers that be are justifiably scared by all these plebes being able to say whatever they want, and becoming more aware of just how short their end of the stick actually is. The Arab Spring, Occupy, Anonymous... these are but the tip of the potential iceberg, and the rich and powerful are putting some serious effort into chilling these movements right back into frozen immobility.

Knowledge is power, cliche though it may be. And the ability to control what knowledge people have access to, that's power yet again. And that's what makes the internet quite so disruptive.

Re:First (1)

barv (1382797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016589)

The motion picture and SOPA people are quite desperate. A substitute for the closed megauploads site was up within days. I suspect the move by artists to sell direct is gaining traction, which will put paid to the agent business.

Re:First (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016923)

I suspect the move by artists to sell direct is gaining traction

Not just traction, but viability. There have been numerous "experiments" and so far the vast majority of them have realized substantial profits. At least when start to consider profits not meaning 1 billion returned for 10 million invested.

Humble Bundle is a good example for software. The average price per person is low, but only compared to the ridiculous $50-$60 that some big outfits demand. Humble Bundle developers got a decent return on their investment and having experienced their labors I can say the quality was not lacking. Sure, it is not Call of Duty, but the titles were inventive, very artistic, and enjoyable.

Louis CK released his last comedy special all by himself, and according to his website had made 50% ROI and still climbing. That was at a $5 price point with no DRM at all. Funny guy, I would have paid $10-$20 if I had the ability to choose.

Netflix just released their first in-house movie. I will be watching it tomorrow night. There have always been the rumors that YouTube is going to start doing the same thing. Independent movies are featured quite often on Netflix, and I suspect that is due to Big Content not being in the way with ridiculous expectations of profits. $6.99 for a 2nd viewing of a recent movie is ridiculous. Those business models are doomed.

Big Content is damned right to be scared. The person screwing the artists has always been Big Content to a much greater degree, and quite provably too. While you cannot equate every act of piracy with a sale, Big Content has been screwing artists with Hollywood Accounting and just plain stiffing them years on actual revenue they realized, but never quite got around to actually splitting it up with the artists.

It's kind of like saying that there *could* be a pie out there to be split with the artist and draconian laws are needed to protect that, while the entire time *actual* pies exist that are not being split with the artists anyways. Which is worse?

When people figure out that new business models can work, that Big Content is not actually required anymore, and that all of those laws will do more harm than good..... game over.

Any wonder these negotiations have to be held in secret?

Re:First (1)

firefrei (2569069) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016627)

The effect is to gain control over speech.

Or perhaps... it's to work out how to handle Internet piracy.

Without additional information, there's no reason to think of it any different.

Re:First (5, Insightful)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016685)

Government do not need or try to hide honorable intentions.

Re:First (2)

firefrei (2569069) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017111)

Agreed, and we both know the anti-piracy laws they'll try to pass are probably going to be unfair, pro-corp and anti-consumer. I'm just saying it's probably less to do with restricting free speech in this particularly case, and probably just what it looks like.

Re:First (4, Insightful)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017117)

Or perhaps... it's to work out how to handle Internet piracy.
Without additional information, there's no reason to think of it any different.

Nonsense. The federal government is supposed to represent the people, not special interest groups. The fact that they are working to prevent the people gaining any additional information is the only additional information we have at this stage.

So, do you think they are excluding the public from taking part in this discussion because (1) they have something really nice planned for us and want it to be a surprise, (2) they want to pass something they know is unlikely to survive public scrutiny as it is not in our interests or (3) some other reason, which you should specify if you choose this option?

I think reason (2) is the most likely.

Re:First (2)

firefrei (2569069) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017145)

(3) some other reason, which you should specify if you choose this option?

(3) You say that the federal government is supposed to represent the people. To be honest, I think our Government has genuinely forgotten about this ideal, not because of a conscious decision to go against it, but because almost all other Governments in the western world serve special interest groups and they've forgotten what it was like to not do so.

In other words, keeping the meetings is closed probably because they don't see any need to waste time and effort dealing with the plebs. It's more efficient to keep the parties closed.

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39017121)

Is America just the distraction to let a new fascist state refined from Hitler rise in Australia after all the multinational corporations flock their from the falling Americas?

like they care about the consumer. (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016485)

They never have and never will care about the Consumer til the day they are looking at bankruptcy.

Re:like they care about the consumer. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39016517)

Get them there sooner. Stop buying their shit. Don't download it, don't stream it, don't swap it, don't buy it. btw - downloading isn't pirating... semantics? not really.

Tell them that until they stop treating 99.9999% of their customers like they were criminals, that we will not buy their shit, period.

I stopped going to movies, stopped buying/renting movies, stopping buying music altogether. I disconnected the cable/satellite service. And now my leisure time is spent in books and online.

Re:like they care about the consumer. (5, Interesting)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016585)

speaking from the other side...

buy independent stuff. buy their DVDs and their downloads.

they (I, We) really don't give a shit about anti-piracy campaigns. we put the AFACT trailers on our discs because AFACT would like us to (or we pay a fee to them if we want them to help us when our stuff gets pirated, when and if we decide that has affected us). it's that or pay their goddamn protection money.

download if you want. if you like it, buy the disc when it comes out (yeah, thanks to the OFLC/COB/whatever classfication body, we're a month behind demonoid, but that can't be helped). just courtesy, you know?

of course, if you have more important things to spend money on, go do that. i have a baby, there's no way in hell i'm going to JB hifi to blow my pay on DVDs and blu-rays. but then i don't have time to watch them anyway. funny that.

it's a luxury item industry, and as purse-strings tighten, the luxuries go first. it's not like most of us aren't aware of that.

Re:like they care about the consumer. (4, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016721)

Stop buying their shit. Don't download it, don't stream it, don't swap it, don't buy it. I stopped going to movies, stopped buying/renting movies, stopping buying music altogether. I disconnected the cable/satellite service.

These are seen only as a reduction in sales. No reason is attached to a non-sale. They will blame the loss of sales on piracy. By not buying, you are merely reinforcing their assumption that you are pirating their product, whether you are or aren't. You can't win their game, you can't quit their game. The only way is to change the game. And IMO, encouraging piracy is actually the best strategy, even if you, yourself, have no real desire to. Help make it mainstream, help make it easy to do, encourage another generation of kids (and their grandparents) who just see downloading as "using the internet".

btw - downloading isn't pirating...

No, uploading is piracy. ^_^`

Good luck with all that, you idiots ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39016491)

I used to want to travel to Australia.

Now I don't, because of all the nanny state / police state crap I read
about in Australia, ranging from the stuff discussed in this artificle to
speed cameras everywhere, etc.

Every Aussie I've met has been a very cool person. My question to all
of you Aussies out there is : why do you allow your government to
do the shit it does ? Why don't you just shoot the sons of bitches like
you would a wild dog ?

Re:Good luck with all that, you idiots ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39016541)

We shoot them and they grow back.. And I know these will be hard to believe, but we can't use the reasoning "The fella/shelia was causing a kerfuffle" and shoot them dead. This is Australia. Not Texas.

Re:Good luck with all that, you idiots ... (2, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016777)

Used to be that way until Mr. Howard sneakily disarmed Australians. Remember Martin Bryant? Shot up a stack of people in Port Arthur with a semi-automatic rifle? They were meant to be banned, but the rest of the gun laws went with it. It was the turning point of Australia.

Re:Good luck with all that, you idiots ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39016577)

The Aussie government, like the British Government, is in the pocket of the US Government.
They're perfecting these nanny/police state surveillance technologies in Australia and Britain for the day they *will* deploy them in the US, just like the great firewall of China - you think it's coincidental so many US IT companies are involved in that?
It's easier to present your people with a 'fait accompli' of a finished working system of mass surveillance than to have to put up with the protests, inquiries and possible revolt during the implementation/debugging stages of the various tools required - especially when they're being carried out in different countries nominally not under your jurisdiction...

Re:Good luck with all that, you idiots ... (1, Insightful)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016591)

look up the port arthur massacre.

none of us have guns anymore because of that.

we'd vote for the other guy, but he's worse. go figure. it's like a scaled back version of the USA, but with a functional health/education/welfare system. one wonders what the US govt actually spends its money on if it can't even get those right.

Re:Good luck with all that, you idiots ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39016639)

Military spending.

Re:Good luck with all that, you idiots ... (4, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016793)

one wonders what the US govt actually spends its money on if it can't even get those right.

Guns. Big ones, little ones. Ones carried by men, ones carried by trucks. Gun on ships and guns on planes.

Re:Good luck with all that, you idiots ... (5, Funny)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016841)

Guns. Big ones, little ones. Ones carried by men, ones carried by trucks. Gun on ships and guns on planes.

"In his later years, Dr. Seuss became increasingly... unstable."

Re:Good luck with all that, you idiots ... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017031)

Brilliant dude.

Re:Good luck with all that, you idiots ... (3, Informative)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016819)

look up the port arthur massacre. none of us have guns anymore because of that.

Actually gun ownership numbers are higher now than before Port Arthur. A bit under 5 million registered firearms, and god knows how many unregistered.

You just can't legally own auto or semi-auto rifles, or some large calibre handguns and high capacity shotguns. Manual-action rifles and small-calibre handguns are fine, and we import about 80,000 each year, 40,000 rifles, 10,000 shotguns, 20,000 handguns (Yes I know there's a missing 10,000, no I don't know what it is.)

Re:Good luck with all that, you idiots ... (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016827)

Tons of crap to kill even more civilians on the other side of the globe.

We don't have a government. (4, Insightful)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016637)

In place of leaders, we have the children that are more interested in calling each other names than actually sitting down and working through issues. As both sides just stand there screaming about how the other is going to ruin the economy, any discussion on "minor" issues such as civil liberties gets drowned out. (By minor, I mean that the vast majority of Australians seem to follow whatever Parliament is screaming about, be it gambling reforms, the carbon tax, etc and remains ignorant/indifferent towards everything else). Unfortunately, the laid-back attitude that typifies our culture also extends to our view on politics... Many Australians at the last election chose to donkey vote rather than choose between either of the major parties, instead of looking at the variety of independents that were on offer and picking one of them.

Slight correction (2)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016659)

By donkey vote, I actually mean just leaving the ballot slips blank, not ordering in preference. I can't find a citation saying the numbers rose, but I remember it being discussed in the news on account of this twit [news.com.au]

Re:Slight correction (0)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016753)

thanks for explaining that.

and btw, please stop calling flashlights torches. I was in a taxi in australia and the driver asked me to reach over into the glove box and hand him a torch. I was not at all sure I wanted to be in the same cab with him until I saw what a 'torch' really is. if you guys could start calling them flashlights, it would be a great.

Re:Slight correction (4, Informative)

sensationull (889870) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016821)

Or you could grow a pair and cope, not everywhere is the US, you lot have not invaded everywhere yet, give it another 100 years of MPAA rule and you'll probably have your wish though.

Re:Slight correction (4, Informative)

strack (1051390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016887)

yes. because the US invented the *english* language.

Re:Slight correction (3, Funny)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017147)

Everyone knows that torches are containers for dead batteries that live at the bottom of kit bags.

Re:Slight correction (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016889)

The stupidity of donkey voting aside, leaving the ballot slip blank is an invitation for someone to vote on your behalf.

Re:We don't have a government. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39016945)

I think the last election showed that you can't trust the independents either.

Re:Good luck with all that, you idiots ... (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016775)

Where do you live Mr AC?

Because I can guarantee you that it's not as bad as you think. The police state mentality here is a long, long, long way behind the US and there are far fewer speed cameras than you'd think.

here in Perth we just got our first one. Somebody shot it.

Here's the thing - here on /. you hear an awful lot about genuinely crappy proposals that various parts of the Australian government make. 99.99% of these never see the light of day.

Re:Good luck with all that, you idiots ... (1)

__Paul__ (1570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016779)

Geez, it's not like other western countries don't have speed cameras.

Re:Good luck with all that, you idiots ... (5, Insightful)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016837)

Well, to be fair, the stuff you read about Australia on here is often exaggerated, missing crucial pieces of information that add context or background, or are just plain wrong. Not to say they are completely made up - no, they do relate to things that are actually happening. But they are reported on in a particular way that makes things sound worse than they are (usually).

To take one of your examples: speed cameras. What makes Australia unique in this regard? Virtually every developed country has speed cameras. I've travelled extensively and I don't think there are any more or less on average than other places. Certainly less than in the UK and much of Europe. Probably more fixed speed cameras than in the US (though, on the flip side, you do see a lot more cops parked in the median trying to catch speeders 'manually' in the US than in Australia). You'd have to be kinda dumb to get caught by a fixed speed camera in Australia anyway as in most states they are marked with multiple giant signs saying "speed camera ahead!" (Victoria is a notable exception to this). Irritating if you get caught? Yes ... but hardly something that warrants discussion of shooting people...

Same with this article. They can discuss things behind closed doors all they want, but eventually if they want to actually DO something it will have to come out in the open and be passed through Parliament like any other law. Until that happens (or looks likely to happen), no point in overreacting. Think back to the internet filter stuff a year or two ago - it never actually happened because there was widespread opposition to it. But Slashdot didn't really mention that. It phrased articles about the filter proposal to make it sound like it was a done deal, when really, it never had any serious chance of getting through Parliament in its current state. But the damage to our 'reputation' is already done. I commonly see people on here still making the assumption that Australia has a net filter (when it doesn't and isn't likely to for the foreseeable future since the first one was never even introduced into Parliament, let alone passed).

I suppose what I'm saying is that Australians aren't really any different than Americans in this regard. Only some are politically interested in the first place. A smaller proportion of those still care about IT/media/communications issues enough to raise a fuss. And when things start to look bad enough, people do react - the defeat of the net filter is evidence of that. So at this point some closed-door discussions are taking place about piracy, sure, but until something concrete is revealed, there's no point in overreacting. As someone that works with Australian Government departments every day of the week as a contractor, I can tell you that 90% of discussion, proposals, ideas etc. never get off the ground.

The other factor is that life here is very good. We're a forgotten little corner of the world in some ways, so the world doesn't think about us much. But the economy is booming, the financial crisis that crippled so many others barely touched us (we were the only OECD nation that didn't go into recession), we have very low sovereign debt, a pretty good universal health care system, very low violent crime, unemployment is low, we have generous working conditions, guaranteed 4 weeks vacation + 10 public holidays, a $16 USD/hr minimum wage etc. and a culture that values work-life balance. People simply don't have much to complain about. Things like speed cameras and anti-piracy discussions simply don't rank that high on the care factor for most people. (And frankly, big media's product these days mostly sucks - they will kill themselves with their antiquated business practices before they die due to piracy anyway)

So do pay us a visit, you might be surprised to find that things aren't as bad as what you think (remember: things on Slashdot and the wider internet generally are designed to attract eyeballs and hits, so are phrased in the most provocative way)

Failing to provide alternatives (5, Insightful)

abelb (1365345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016519)

Until content producers provide a quick, easy and legal means to download content as soon as soon as it becomes available consumers will keep getting their media from "alternative" sources.

Re:Failing to provide alternatives (2)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016597)

you never heard of iTunes?

i'm a dyed in the wool apple hater and i've heard of iTunes.

Re:Failing to provide alternatives (2)

Necroman (61604) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016625)

Apples system is lackluster when it comes to video if I understand it. DRM around the content. Format locked to their devices. Prices near the same as physical media, if not more in some cases.

Re:Failing to provide alternatives (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016857)

Yeah for video iTunes sucks. Audio is good - it's DRM-free and of a decent quality (256 kbps AAC).

To be fair it's not really their fault - the studios won't LET them remove the DRM from the video content. They could get away with it in audio since iTunes dominated the market so much they could twist the studios' arms. But they don't enjoy that same near-monopoly in video, so the DRM remains.

Re:Failing to provide alternatives (4, Insightful)

abelb (1365345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016633)

Yes you're right. To be more precise: Vendor neutral, DRM free method of legally downloading media. Streaming also, is not good enough. The crux of my argument is that pirates offer this already, yet content providers seem to be opposed to the idea of giving consumers high quality DRM free downloads, which is exactly what people want. When I buy a DVD I'm confident it will work on any player for many years. Why not give consumers the same level of assurance with Internet delivered content?

Re:Failing to provide alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39016697)

Now provide a method that doesn't require the installing of insidious crapware on your PC, provides lossless quality with no DRM and has a similar library of content.

Re:Failing to provide alternatives (1)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016949)

you never heard of iTunes?

i'm a dyed in the wool apple hater and i've heard of iTunes.

Interesting - so iTunes will let me buy, download and play video in Australia on my PS3, which I already own? Good to know.

You call that an alternative? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017001)

It took them years to even acknowledge the existence of the rest of the world let alone cater for non-credit card users and when they finally did, they used one of the most maligned payment providers in existence.

Also, a dollar per song, how does that translate to a euro per song? Where are all the cost savings going? And am I buying a license (argued by the content industry so I can't sell the tracks 2nd hand) or a copy (argued by the content industry since this means they have to pay artists less? And what about breakage fees? Why are artists selling through iTunes still charged breakage fees (not brokage fees, breakage as in broken LP/CD's).

If you think iTunes is a good reasonable offering, you have been taken it up the ass as a good little consumer a bit to long. Give your sphincter a rest and grow a backbone.

iTunes is a ripoff, it is basically saying, we pass the gigantic cost savings on to the credit card companies, the content industry and Apple and the customer and the artist can go screw themselves, after all, they are used to getting screwed.

Re:Failing to provide alternatives (1)

X.25 (255792) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017029)

you never heard of iTunes?

i'm a dyed in the wool apple hater and i've heard of iTunes.

Hi.

I had problems running iTunes on my Ubuntu 10.04.

Could you help?

Thanks.

Re:Failing to provide alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39017159)

Could you help?

Sure. You and I have no inherent rights to watch the movie.

Go and read a book and stop worrying about it.

carbon cages (-1, Flamebait)

fionahills (2546244) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016537)

It is pleasure a going through your post. I have bookmarked you to check out new stuff from your side. carbon cages [wholesalec...eparts.com]

It's inevitable (3, Interesting)

digitallife (805599) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016549)

It's inevitable that the media giants are going to get their way, or most of it, eventually. The reason is simple: They have the will and resources to keep flinging bills at the figurative wall until one sticks - and it only takes once - whereas the public has to continually be on their guard trying to stop these things. It's like being followed by a hyena... No matter how long you keep your guard up or how many opportunities the hyena misses, you're going to lose eventually.

Re:It's inevitable (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016607)

It was inevitable that SOPA was going to pass in December, too. For pity's sake, man, don't concede the game before it's over.

Re:It's inevitable (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016609)

It's like being followed by a hyena... No matter how long you keep your guard up or how many opportunities the hyena misses, you're going to lose eventually.

Not if you ambush the hyena, rip its throat apart with your teeth, devour the twitching body, paint your body with its blood, and use the hollowed out carcass as a sleeping bag.

Re:It's inevitable (1)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016707)

Yah great idea but it is illegal in most juristictions and I'm not moving to the third world.

Re:It's inevitable (1)

inasity_rules (1110095) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017095)

And hyenas move in packs. Against one, you have a small chance. Against a pack... Goodbye.

Interestingly enough I wonder if you really understand what the third world is like? Its not all the same, you know. Take it from someone who lives there.

Re:It's inevitable (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016807)

Better rape the hyena's sister and mother while you're at it.

Just to make sure.

Re:It's inevitable (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016677)

Or put a little bit more simply,

"It's like sex. Fifty no's and one yes is a yes."

Death to corporate secrecy! (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016571)

It's not a threat of terrorism if you threaten to kill a bad ideal is it?

Re:Death to corporate secrecy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39016643)

Just don't TWEET it. You could find yourself deport to who the hell knows where

Re:Death to corporate secrecy! (2)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016699)

It's not a threat of terrorism if you threaten to kill a bad ideal is it?

That depends on whose ideal it is. Sadly, the way it is going, if you try to quash an ideal raised in parliament, more and more it is deemed terrorism if any part of the protests fall into the grey area of what is acceptable. Politicians are wonderful at grouping what they don't like by the actions of the worst segment and getting that soundbyte into the news.

As a rights holder and an Australian... (4, Interesting)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016669)

Those people can GET FUCKED.

They don't represent me. They represent Hollywood, a part of America, which despite appearances is not Australia just yet.

The talks do nothing to further my interests (I don't give a shit about piracy, in fact it helps me a lot), and in fact are actively working against me.

Re:As a rights holder and an Australian... (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016785)

They don't represent me.

Of course they dont represent you, they use people like you much in the same way a parasite uses a host.

They represent themselves and their broken business model. Whinging on /. is all good and well, but you need to write your local member to make your voice heard. More people need to write their local member, getting this mentioned on TV (Something on the ABC like Hungry Beast) would go a long way towards raising public awareness.

These talks and treaties are like DRM, they only work as long as no one knows what they're doing. The minute the public becomes aware of it, the game is up.

So DO SOMETHING (3, Insightful)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016973)

The current government is suffering from deep popularity problems and will be very nervous about further antagonising an already angry and disillusioned public. They will be aware of what happened with SOPA and what is happening with ACTA right now in Europe.

So make some noise, damn you. Stop telling us these people don't represent you, and start telling your government.

Write letters, emails, tweets, Facebook updates:

- tell everyone you know about this - if they are even slightly interested (or skeptical of your claims) be prepared to explain the situation and issues to them politely and without frothing at the mouth

- write to newspapers, comments on on-line news articles, generally increase the amount of negative feedback in places where strangers will see this

- for god's sake, write to your local MP and state senators. You may think it doesn't change anything, but if they get enough letters they get nervous, and when they get nervous they apply pressure on those in control of their party's agenda. I suggest telling them: that you voted for them last time and might vote for them but won't if they keep this up; that you are prepared to protest about this and will do everything you can to spread the word about it; that you will be agitating for a change of policy in every forum you can think of.

- write/email/tweet to the Liberal Party telling them this issue is important and you feel betrayed by the Labor government, and ask them what their policy is and what they are going to do about this

- write to the minor parties and tell them you are concerned and want them to raise this issue in parliament

- see if there is an organised campaign via GetUp, EFA etc and get involved - give them money, at minimum, actively help if you can in other ways

Our system isn't properly representative, but our politicians are driven by self-interest. You will notice that the net filter went on the back burner and never came back - the same can be achieved with this issue.

What doesn't achieve anything is complaining about it to a bunch of people who agree with you!

Re:As a rights holder and an Australian... (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017047)

You could publish your works with an open license, like the Create Commons. Then you could have more publicity for your works. I see you have a book in Amazon, why don't you create your own site and let me buy it for, say 0.99$ as a Pdf download. That way you could sell your book not only to the few selected with a Amazon Kindle device, but to the over 1 billion PC users worldwide.

Re:As a rights holder and an Australian... (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017155)

Actually, I'm really a big fan of CC-BY-NC-SA and I'd love to use it. What I really want is to free my work from "George Lucas-itis". That is to say, if I get old and fat(ter) and crazy and be all like "LIAO IS MY CREATION, NONE CAN WRITE IN MY UNIVERSE BUT MEEEEEEEEEEEE", then I want my fans to tell me to fuck myself sideways.

I've been struggling to find a way to do this that doesn't allow people to just republish my book 100% (there's no creativity in that, and I want to encourage creativity -- aka the WHOLE PURPOSE of copyright). I used to publish the first three chapters and prologue of my book as CC-BY-NC-SA, but then Amazon jumped on me because it violated the exclusivity of KDP Select, so I had to remove them from my website.

To try and more accurately do what I wanted to do all along, I've been meaning to publish a universe bible under CC-BY-NC-SA, which just haven't gotten around to it yet (It's only been like a month and I have a full time job and other writing thingies planned). I also plan to release it all into the public domain, or at least CC-BY-SA, as soon as I feel a reasonable period has passed since publication. Certainly before my death if it's timely, and at my death if it's not.

I have been kicking around the idea of publishing a story CC-BY-SA-NC and donating all the proceeds to Child's Play, but Amazon would pricematch it to free the moment someone gave it away, undercutting the whole "giving to charity" thing.

If anyone has any bright ideas, let me know.

"They" will keep trying .... (3, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016671)

... until they get what they want.

Just like the EU referendum in Ireland. The government made it clear that they would keep holding referenda until they got the "correct" result. Spending taxpayers' money to fight the will of the people, that's the way governments work. Was it different in the past?

At least there is a vote (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017039)

In Holland we had the referendum, the voters (across all parties) rejected it and it got passed regardless. The D66 which claims to want more referundum couldn't ditch the results of the first referendum ever in Hollland fast enough. Democracy sucks for politicians because those silly voters just don't know how to vote correctly.

It must be a highly annoying job. You as a politician clearly know what is right but can the plebs see it? No!

It isn't just copyright, see the whole EU debate, the Greek debt crisis, immigration. Democracy by a lot of politicians is seen as some holy grail that will make everything alright. Pity it allows grubby mean spirited selfish people to vote who are tired of paying through the nose for content, tired of constantly paying for more EU nations who are corrupt as hell and whose only contribution is a new load of ciminals, tired of paying for Greece a country that hasn't contributed a single penny to the EU in its entire history, tired of boat loads of immigrants who don't want to live among their own culture anymore for whatever reason and then try to establish the same culture in their new country.

Not nice? Not PC? Well, that is how the common voter thinks, don't like any of those things? Then you don't like democracy. Democracy ain't good, democracy is the dictatorship of the common man and the common man ain't all that nice.

Either you have full democractic rule and risk the majority voting to re-open the gas chambers OR you have ACTA and the EU constitution. Choose wisely... oops there is that democracy thing again, better hope everyone chooses wisely, or at least a majority. And sucks to be you if the majority thinks different.

The nature of the beast. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39016675)

The current (minority) Australian government is ruled by the Labour Party, which is left-wing. As a rule, right-wing parties are more favourable to participatory democracy, while our left wing parties prefer a "nanny" state, controlled by an oligarchy. Their secrecy is a natural outcome of this, as they believe they know what is good for us.

Re:The nature of the beast. (4, Informative)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016993)

The current (minority) Australian government is ruled by the Labour Party, which is left-wing. As a rule, right-wing parties are more favourable to participatory democracy, while our left wing parties prefer a "nanny" state, controlled by an oligarchy. Their secrecy is a natural outcome of this, as they believe they know what is good for us.

What absolute crap.

For starters, Labor is centrist or perhaps slightly right of centre on most social issues.

Secondly, the previous (right wing) government favoured authoritarianism and money-as-power and introduced things like: indefinite detention of refugees; harsh anti-terror laws, including detention without trial; scrapping cross-media ownership to reduce diversity and allow corporations to control the media; stacking the independent public broadcaster with right wing loonies to shut down objective news reporting; vilifying minorities; supporting the torture and detention of foreigners and Australian citizens via the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; etc etc etc.

Labor isn't much better. But the Liberal Party is about as anti-participatory democracy as it gets.

Reason for secrecy? (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016713)

Has there been any government been able to produce a proper and believable reason why these talks should be held in secrecy? Obviously isn't not about national security.

Hell yes it's a conspiracy. (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016717)

Central to the Democratic process is that Government should be the least interventionist it can be, with all its activities open to public scrutiny - it keeps them from misbehaving, keeps them from behaviour not conducive to the PUBLIC INTEREST. When they hold meetings behind closed doors, you BET YOUR ARSE THEY'RE CONSPIRING TO BREAK THE LAW!

Re:Hell yes it's a conspiracy. (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016761)

If you want a vision of the future, Winston, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.

I think the future is here.

Re:Hell yes it's a conspiracy. (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016825)

yes, the sig has been rather apt lately... it's a line from "Nineteen Eighty Four".

Think I'll keep it. Morbid though it is, parent thread reflects very accurately the insidious nature of "democracy" the world over. It's not democracy in the classical sense, where the majority rules - it's neodemocracy, where money talks (and if you don't have money you have nothing), the minority rules and the (I hate to use such an already tired cliché) 99% are bonded in servitude from the day they are born to the day they die.

To illustrate the insidious nature of neodemocracy, consider that such meetings are not that rare: more and more activities of local and national Government are carried out in complete secrecy. Also, consider that law courts are increasingly held behind closed doors and legally (though not lawfully) reinforced with superinjunctions. In the UK you no longer have an absolute right to trial by jury - in fact, the trial judge can dismiss the jury and preside over the proceeding on his own *if he so chooses* - he does not even have to give a public justification for such a decision. Our Glorious Government have not, however, abolished the Right To Silence, although they have changed the arrest caution to reflect the fact that if you remain silent you can be found guilty by inference. This is not only completely unlawful, it is unconstitutional and flies in the face of eight hundred years of constitutional guarantee*. Strike that, it takes a pan and sends its nose through the back of its head.

*Fuck the Diamond Jubilee, has everyone forgot that Magna Carta was signed seven hundred ninety seven years ago? On 15 June, as I do every year, I will take the day to myself to reflect on the unbelievable cruelty the Government has inflicted on the people it is meant to serve over the previous twelve months.

Re:Hell yes it's a conspiracy. (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016877)

it's a line from "Nineteen Eighty Four".

Yeah... I know.. still, apt line.

Re:Hell yes it's a conspiracy. (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016789)

public interest? you think anyone in any gov (in any country) gives a true damn about that?

have you been watching/listening to world events the last 10 or so years? how can you think that the power owners (call them any term you want) want to share their power and have a fair society?

I don't see any evidence of mankind being able to do this, for any length of time, in any society.

the illusion of 'public interest' is just to keep the serfs from revolting. give them enough 'justice' that they'll believe the lie about 'public good'.

those in power are there because they are psychpaths, to various degrees. power attracts that kind of person. it always has and its inherent in humans. again, show me any society in any time period where this was not true.

as to those in power breaking laws, laws are an illusion created by those in power. and they can make laws as they pretty much see fit, with some bones thrown to the people occasionally, again, for illusion sake.

wake up and see what the world is really about, mate. sorry to have to break it to you; but this ain't no disney movie. and those that make the laws are above the laws, more or less. today, corporations are the 2nd most powerful entities, just 2nd to the governments, themselves. the people are subjects to be controlled and manipulated.

once you realize this sad and disturbing truth, the actions of all those in power suddenly make sense.

Re:Hell yes it's a conspiracy. (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016855)

Preaching to the converted, my digital friend. I've had the blunt end of unnecessary Government intervention and it nearly cost me my life and the lives of every member of my family. We still suffer to this day - all of us.

gone to the shitter (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39016799)

Just relax, Its not specific to piracy, it's just whatever the current government says is shit and dribble, which makes them look bad in the press. They solved that problem by having ALL discussions behind closed doors; they still talk dribble, but no one can see - problem solved.
Infact, (the soon to be exiled leader, Julia) has told the party they're no longer to talk to the press without prior consent - seriously

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands... (2)

SlashDread (38969) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016869)

Where they (temporarely, one hopes) have succeeded in actually filtering the Internet by commercial interest groep Brein, with effect of thepiratebay.org being unreachable for many users, the Piratenpartij of the Netherlands have mirrored the seach engine as part of there political partys website. tbp.piratenpartij.nl

Yeah... I like to see them try block a political party...

Yarr, I know how you should vote matey!

Re:Meanwhile, in the Netherlands... (1)

Henk Poley (308046) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017167)

Actually that URL now shows "403 Forbidden"

I feel no obligation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39016915)

I feel no obligation to obey laws that were written behind closed doors.

Why should i?

It's because of the NBN (2)

Jimbookis (517778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016933)

Seeing as the One True and Only Network in Australia is set to become the NBN owned by the government they are of course going to crack down on all things deemed unsavoury, illegal and probably anti-government. The NBN will be a terrific bitorrent network and the government wants to be seen being proactive about making sure as little copyright infringement as possible occurs on it. For any non-Australians, the NBN is a fibre to the home/premises network owned by the government set to replace every single copper line in the country upon which access is sold at wholesale rates to actual service providers. It's wonderful we're set to get a high speed and low latency network, but the baggage that comes along with it is getting pretty ugly.

To put that in context (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#39016989)

Currently for all practical purposes the one and only true network in Australia is owned by Telstra - a bastard child of some of the worst aspects of government and private enterprise which is still recovering by being run into the ground by a Mexican bandit and a nuclear scientist out of his depth who tried hard to prove that Carter was a genius by comparison.
The copper is corroding in the ground so is expensive to maintain, and it's not all copper in some districts that were wired early. It's lead with paper insulation where I live and every time it rains the signal drops off significantly. At work it's good but 6M/6M comes at a price of around $1000 per month, which is just insane for somewhere 15km from the centre of a city of a couple of million in a developed nation. Something had to be done and the government is the only thing big enough to challenge Telstra.

If it is not open it must be a conspiracy!!! (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39017069)

Oh no not another secretive meeting where everyone can not comment on every word said by every participant; It must be a conspiracy!!! Get out you pitchforks and storm the castle!!!

Get real. Maybe the industry wants to talk about things without airing their dirty laundry. Maybe they want to convince the nutbars in their group not to go too far. Maybe they want to iron out wording so It is not too far reaching. They may come out with something like SOPA but until then you have no right to listen to the conversation. At that point start the protest; before that wait.

Re:If it is not open it must be a conspiracy!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39017153)

You might want to follow up on the 6 strikes program they managed to get agreement to in the US.
Basically it allows them to say your naughty using technology that is flawed.
Your "allowed" to attempt to defend yourself against the charge, using a predetermined set of responses none of which include anything useful.
Then you get 6 and they can make the ISP do bad things to you.

So your paying your monthly bill for a service provider to cut your connection at the whim of an industry that can't find its ass with both hands.
They are turning your ISP into their spies, and letting them handle the dirty work.
Accusations are all it takes, rather than real proof.
And this is all done on a network that usually gets subsidies from Governments, and is allowed to run their wires everywhere without having to get permission from each landowner.
And now they are the private enforcement arm of media corps... and your continuing to pay them why? Oh because they basically have a monopoly hold on internet connectivity.

If it is not open, and does not include the public you bet your ass its a conspiracy.
See because rightsholders only have those rights because of the public.
We let them have protection, we were supposed to get a public domain... How is that working out for you?
An upsidedown nation where we can send an email in microseconds, but somehow they can't manage to release a movie there for at least 2 years after it first comes out.
I'm not Australian but if I were I'd be bloody well pissed that the corporations who think so little of your market, feel they have the right to get control over the internet because they can't be bothered to get product to paying customers in a reasonable amount of time. I guess your market is to small to matter, but big enough that you need to be taught a lesson to accept the scraps they throw you... or they'll cut off your net.

No Surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39017135)

Bread-n-butter tactics of totalitarian police-state governments like Aussie.

Expect same from USA (USASSR).

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