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Australian Government Considers Copying UK Copyright Law Ideas

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the copying-copyright-right dept.

Government 190

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

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190 comments

In other news... (5, Funny)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459358)

British Parliament sues Australia for copyright infringement.

What do they expect from Oz? (1, Troll)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459434)

The same happens in all prisons.

Re:In other news... (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459556)

But Great Britain is allowed to let up to 5 other countries copy its law.

Re:In other news... (1)

tetrahedrassface (675645) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459654)

Who wrote the rules?

FUNNY! (1)

Mr.Ballmer (1241256) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459604)

I should have used that one! Watch it! http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:FUNNY! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22459680)

Are you the same homo spamming the wired.com site?

Re:In other news... (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459738)

I'm sure there must be some American company that has as its sole asset a sleeper patent to the concept of copyright law..

Australian government (2, Informative)

scooter.higher (874622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459808)

Australia is still under the sovereignty of the Queen, so what is the problem?

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

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

cabinet:
prime minister nominates, from among members of Parliament, candidates who are subsequently sworn in by the governor general to serve as government ministers

elections:
none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is sworn in as prime minister by the governor general

Re:Australian government (2, Funny)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460184)

Australia is still under the sovereignty of the Queen, so what is the problem?
She only had a license for personal viewing, and imposing it upon Australia is a public performance.

Re:Australian government (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460488)

I hope you have your tongue firmly planted in you cheek.

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

What matters is could a any monarch with meglomaniac tendencies gain enough political support to break with the convention of "constitutional impartiality"? - Since parliment can unilaterally sack the GG and find another ribbon cutter, my guess is that such a monarch would be laughed into oblivion both here and in the UK.

So what happens when they cut of half the country? (3, Interesting)

MacDork (560499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459362)

Do they think the ISPs will voluntarily give up a 30% plus chunk of their revenue stream?

Re:So what happens when they cut of half the count (2, Insightful)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459424)

Depends on if the government lets them raise the rates to make up for "losses due to piracy", doesn't it? Well, isn't that the argument used by the MAFIAA?

Re:So what happens when they cut of half the count (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459456)

I thought it was only illegal to provide copyrighted material, not receive it?

Re:So what happens when they cut of half the count (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459796)

The reason for that is of course, is that you as the end user have no means by which to establish whether it is a legally copy able version or not. The same would go for any other copied item. For example, say you enter a store a buy a article of clothing which has been copied and is not from the original manufacturer, should the government penalise you and confiscate your credit card, for buying it.

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

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

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

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

Re:So what happens when they cut of half the count (0)

Trouvist (958280) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459856)

Learn what the question mark is please, and use it.

Re:So what happens when they cut of half the count (1)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459872)

Well if they really are going to be a bunch of fucked up phreaks, why don't they make it a criminal offence, to download infringing copyrighted content,
Actually, downloading infringing copyrighted content off the Internet has been a criminal offense in Sweden since July 1st, 2005.

Re:So what happens when they cut of half the count (4, Insightful)

damienl451 (841528) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460220)

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

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

Re:So what happens when they cut of half the count (4, Insightful)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460464)

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

Re:So what happens when they cut of half the count (1)

DarkAxi0m (928088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459476)

i wounder what tpg would think of this, they seem to pride them selfs on being a unfiltered, unmoderated and no blocked ports isp

anon proxy here we come...

Re:So what happens when they cut of half the count (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460102)

Do they think the ISPs will voluntarily give up a 30% plus chunk of their revenue stream?
In Australia our broadband isn't very fast I know people who have 2-3 ADSL lines for downloading
that's ALOT of money the ISPs are going to miss out on.

I don't see how its possible for them to identify down loaders we will all just block the Australian ip range since almost all decent seeds are overseas due to Australia's crappy board band.

~Dan

Re:So what happens when they cut of half the count (4, Informative)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460416)

This is indeed the case. I fear that this legislation is unworkable.

May I suggest that any Australian readers voice their concerns?

It is actually quite easy to find your Federal member of Parliament. Just go to this site [aec.gov.au] and search your suburb. For a list of members, here is an alphabetical list [aph.gov.au] , party list [aph.gov.au] , list of members by state [aph.gov.au] and also an electoral list [aph.gov.au] .

Once you've found your member, their contact details can be found if you follow the links.

The more people who get involved, the more that politicians will listen. Don't let lobbyist groups get away with this sort of rubbish!

Re:So what happens when they cut of half the count (1)

SlightOverdose (689181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460482)

Not very fast? Most ISPs offer 24mbit ADSL2+. Much faster than most of the world.

The half that's not making money (3, Informative)

svunt (916464) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460250)

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

fail (1, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459398)

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

Re:fail (4, Informative)

TeraCo (410407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459522)

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

On the third warning, they'll disconnect you.

Re:fail (2, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459528)

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

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

Very likely to be mandated... (1, Informative)

Darundal (891860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459422)

...considering the track record of the current administration in Australia http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/web-porn-filter-takes-biggest-hit/2008/02/16/1202760663247.html/ [smh.com.au] .

So... If I want to shut down my competitor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22459502)

I get him to hire one of my plants as a minimum wage monkey. Monkey violates copyright on company network and bang! No more competition. We are soooo gonna fuck the Aussies on this one, bwahahahahahaha!!
b(^_-)d

Hahahaha good luck Rudd! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22459554)

Maybe it's like Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe: "If you've done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off by trying to introduce mandatory ISP content filtering"

What a fucking joke. It's a moronic piece of legislation to propose, and has no chance of succeeding whatsoever. In the wildly unlikely event that he can get it to pass it has zero chance of achieving its aim. Either way he's going to come out of this looking like an absolute, utter tool.

And that little populist boost he'll get from the cretins out there is going to fade away pretty bloody quickly once it's clear that he's just completely fucked the internet for the entire goddamn country.

Um, WTF? (5, Informative)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459618)

How does an article about a filtering scheme introduced by the previous government support your claim that this filtering will likely go ahead? The current government has next to no track record, except in declaring the net filtering introduced by the previous government a failure.

Really, what are you trying to say and did you get an interesting moderation for the same reason as a triple breasted bearded dwarf might be considered "interesting"?

Re:Um, WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22460294)

Rudd is the current Australian government you idiot.

Re:Um, WTF? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460454)

Yes, they announced the failure. It was started by the previous government.

Re:Very likely to be mandated... (1)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459632)

Actually the failed software was the previous government's idea. The new government suggested an ISP based filtering system - with opt outs for those that want unrestricted access - something that is far far worse. I voted for labour so that we wouldn't have this sort of idioticity, and looks like I came out the idiot as we now have even more of it! Good going Rudd - there is nothing like when the left is being more right than the right.

Re:Very likely to be mandated... (0, Flamebait)

steeviant (677315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459722)

"I voted for labour so that we wouldn't have this sort of idioticity, and looks like I came out the idiot as we now have even more of it!"

No, you came out looking like an idiot because you think idiocity is a word.

Re:Very likely to be mandated... (1)

Malekin (1079147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459984)

The Labor Party (and, by the way, it's spelt that way) were quite clear in their promises before the election to attempt to filter the internet at ISP level. Maybe this will be a good lesson for you: next election you might actually bother to read the policies of the people you vote for.

Re:Very likely to be mandated... (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460258)

As important as the internet is to all of us, the last election was primarily dealing with MUCH more important issues than an opt-out ISP level filter that most anyone on /. could get around.

Internet Filter... Assault on workers rights... Internet Filter... Assault on workers rights.

Y'know what, as annoyed as these things make me, I'd go back and vote the same.

Re:Very likely to be mandated... (1)

Jessta (666101) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460138)

I voted for labour so that we wouldn't have this sort of idioticity

The Labor party and the Liberal party have such similar policies,
you probably should have voted for the Greens if you wanted something different and to stop this kind of stupidity.

Re:Very likely to be mandated... (2, Insightful)

Shamanarchy (1054298) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459678)

Darundal, we now have a new administration, the Rudd government referred to the the article.

The new government is making a big noise about listening to the people on a wide range of topics. Of course, the bureaucrats at the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy are still the same ones who promoted the previous attempts at censorship. Perhaps this is the right time to contact the new minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, with a balanced view on the issue?

What would Slashdot readers recommend as a good starting point for information to educate a government official on the problems with Internet censorship?

Re:Very likely to be mandated... (1)

Malekin (1079147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460032)

Given his political history, I'd say Senator Conroy actually believes in the bullshit he's pushing.

Like a virus (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459444)

Like a virus bad ideas have a way of spreading.

These ideas don't just spread. (0, Troll)

siddesu (698447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459672)

They are being actively promoted by a powerful international lobbying group with a huge marketing budget, which has found a very very attentive listeners in the crowd of control-freak nanny-state trotting politicians all over the world. It is a very good symbiosis for both groups -- both want the same thing - total surveillance; and the government control-freaks find it very helpful that the "intellectual property" proponents give them a good reason to introduce it.

But, actually, they are the same group of people -- or at least became one since the publishers and movie makers got into the business of political propaganda anyway. Or was it the other way around?

Don't we all download copyright material? (2, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459454)

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

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

Why should other mediums get special treatment under the law?

Re:Don't we all download copyright material? (4, Informative)

giminy (94188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459608)

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



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

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

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

Re:Don't we all download copyright material? (1)

Refenestrator (1060918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459682)

Was it the Taubman v. Mishkoff [taubmansucks.com] case?

Re:Don't we all download copyright material? (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459958)

Heh, I've received more legal threats than I dare to count and respond to all of them in the same way - I ignore them - so don't be too proud of your research there.. I've never heard back from any of the supposed "lawyers" who have contacted me either.

Re:Don't we all download copyright material? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22460206)

I find this pretty interesting,
If it were to be introduced an entire new form of Trolling would form.
Rick-rolling someone would be a lot more powerful

FTP is free! (3, Insightful)

GrpA (691294) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459466)

According to the article, it only targets Peer to Peer technology, not FTP, HTTP or other protocols...

Which if IIRC is where it all started.

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

GrpA.

Why shouldnt we do this? (3, Insightful)

DuncanE (35734) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459696)

You still have to make a listing of the files available and searchable for each node/sharer.

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

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

Re:Why shouldnt we do this? (2, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459870)

Im serious. If we find a way to enforce copy right again, why shouldnt we? I know we like stuff to be free, but it really shouldnt be unless the person chooses to give it away.
While I have empathy for your ideals, I would argue that they do nonetheless go against intuition and human nature. For example, if a person buys something, then it is (intuitively at least) considered to be owned by that person, and thus this person would intuitively believe that they can do what they want with this product, including making copies of it. This has certainly been my experience with tape recorders and records.

A mitigation of possible or theoretical financial losses could be had through something like a generalized tax on recording media like CD-ROMs and tape cassettes that we have here in Canada. This is of course not ideal for the consumer or any industry groups seeking compensation, but it is a more fair compromise than the overbearing and arbitrary punishments given to P2P violators. Making these taxes fair and appropriate is the most difficult and contentious thing however; for example people these days don't generally copy records onto tape anymore, and yet the tax is still applied to tapes, and at the same rate at which it was originally applied.

Merely seeking to punish behavior, and arguably behavior that does not have an intuitive or natural feeling of being wrong (like armed robbery) is an overbearing and unfair approach.

Re:Why shouldnt we do this? (1, Flamebait)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460046)

A mitigation of possible or theoretical financial losses could be had through something like a generalized tax on recording media like CD-ROMs and tape cassettes that we have here in Canada. This is of course not ideal for the consumer or any industry groups seeking compensation, but it is a more fair compromise than the overbearing and arbitrary punishments given to P2P violators.
The studios (movie/recording) already have a very good deal as far as holding copyrights are concerned - they exclusively can sell or negotiate contracts for sale of the works, and they have this exclusivity for a very long time (depending on the country, 50+ years).

I don't know why we don't change the law in the other direction - the public is free to copy works as much as they like, but not make any revenue from them, and the rights holder is free to sell the works as much as they like. The labels can still sell CDs, t-shirts, have online stores with cover art, a nice experience, a "one place for all your wants" store, memorabilia, concert tickets, and so on.

Maybe then, these things would happen:
* CDs would become reasonably prices - you would buy them for the added extras (a real physical thing with inserts etc.) and to support the artist, but they'd have to compete with free
* Artists would make more of their money from actual performances/appearances
* "Non-commercial" artists would enjoy more of a level playing field

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

Copyright has to reflect societies valuation of the works, and in essence societies acceptance of payment terms. Right now, the deal seems very heavily lop-sided. Moving the needle in the other direction (i.e. away from the all-powerful studios) through change in the law is probably the best plan at this point. Yes, there will be fallout. But in the long term, a better balance can be sought. Either society will realize that we didn't loose much, and so we keep the more "consumer friendly" law, or we realize that no good works are produced any longer, and so we actually recognize a legitimate value in copyright taxes (and other proposals).

Re:Why shouldnt we do this? (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460530)

Okay, it sounds like a crazy solution, and maybe it is, but the answer doesn't have to involve bending over backwards and putting taxes on the public to fill the coffers of the studios, money which we all know will barely make it to the artists themselves.
If you've read my previous posts in previous discussions of copyright issues you would realize that my opinions are very much reflective of your own. I merely propose a compromise as a practical solution, and not so much as an ideal. Sometimes you have to deal with the plutocrats on their own level.

Re:Why shouldnt we do this? (1)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459916)

>why shouldnt we have a law like this?

Because copyright itself is quickly becoming an outdated concept, especially since the law (in the US at least) seems to have forgotten about the 'for a limited time' phrase in the constitution that allows copyright to exist at all. If they're going to ignore the law, why shouldn't we?

Re:FTP is free! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22459818)

According to the article, it only targets Peer to Peer technology

You mean like the freakin' internet?!?

Re:FTP is free! (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460040)

No, the majority of internet services are not peer-to-peer.

New protocol suggestion (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460288)

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

HyperText Torrent Transfer Protocoal (H3TP), coming to an Internet near you!

Re:FTP is free! (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460338)

And how is FTP or HTTP not a peer to peer technology?

Re:FTP is free! (2, Insightful)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460388)

Because peer to peer refers to distribution of the content by peers, whereas FTP and HTTP are protocols where two end points service requests. For example, if we are both downloading something from an HTTP server our computers can't connect to each other and exchange parts of the download we each have received already.

I don't know how ... (1)

AlanS2002 (580378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459506)

this would be policed. How is an ISP supposed to know weather what is being shared by P2P constitutes a copyright infringement or not?

I do (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459638)

"selectively".. as are most laws these days.

Does not parse (1)

LunarCrisis (966179) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459550)

Under the three-strikes policy, a warning would be first issued to offenders who illegally share files using peer-to-peer technology to access music, TV shows and movies free of charge.

Awesome, so if you download them to share them instead, you're A-OK!

Seems like an awful lot of fluff (2, Interesting)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459582)

From TFA, it looks like someone asked the government whether they'd consider a three strikes policy and the government being a government has said that they'll watch what happens with the Brits and consider it. Which sounds lik politicion(weasel) speak for "we don't want to tell whoever is asking no because then they might get upset, but we don't want to actually do anything either".

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

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

Simple workaround (2, Interesting)

Gumbercules!! (1158841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459584)

Here's a simple work around. run uTorrent on port 21. then your data will appear to be FTP.

Next, register the DNS of your site to be ftp.companyname.com and if they complain say "yes, that's where my customers upload their high resolution nautical maps to, for my research into deep sea excavation"

Of course, I strongly suspect ISPs will work it like this:
If downloads > x then
        you_are_a_pirate
end if

10% of the population copying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22459594)

Clearly, they don't see it as wrong. Solution: Criminalize something that 10% of the population considers acceptable.

Gotta love that logic.

No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22459620)

With my new, TOR-based, encrypted, PtP network, nobody will know what I'm up or downloading, or where from.

Until proven guilty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22459630)

Innocent until proven guilty?

Human rights? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22459644)

Considering that the internet is becoming an absolute necessity to actually live, communicate etc, cutting of access is like saying you can't walk on the roads... to me it's starting to sound like a human rights violation. It's a necessity. In 20 years, nothing works without it. Imagine losing your bank account, having no phone, no home address... it would create a vast criminal class without ability to live a proper public life.

Re:Human rights? (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460084)

Considering that the internet is becoming an absolute necessity to actually live, communicate etc, cutting of access is like saying you can't walk on the roads... to me it's starting to sound like a human rights violation. It's a necessity. In 20 years, nothing works without it. Imagine losing your bank account, having no phone, no home address... it would create a vast criminal class without ability to live a proper public life.
Indeed it would be marginalizing a behavior into a ghetto. Today people need the Internet to look for employment. More and more companies are relying on the Internet not just to seek employees, but to communicate with employees. This would indeed be creating an underclass.

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

Re:Human rights? (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460304)

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

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

It's a necessity. In 20 years, nothing works without it. Imagine losing your bank account, having no phone, no home address... it would create a vast criminal class without ability to live a proper public life.

That, of course, is the whole point. The purpose of such laws is to give a de facto death penalty: your life is over, so you either kill yourself, starve to death, or commit other crimes for which you may then be killed.

It's simply the "though on crime" crowd using the legal system to indulge in their sadistic tendencies.

Nothing but FUD. (4, Insightful)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459694)

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

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

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

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

Re:Nothing but FUD. (2, Insightful)

Davemania (580154) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459794)

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

Re:Nothing but FUD. (1)

burgundysizzle (1192593) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460186)

Almost all people eligble to vote in Australia vote (it's not a right to vote it's a priviledge and if you're registered to vote there's a fine if you don't and once you're on an electoral roll the only way off is to die). The participation rate is usually >99% of enrolled voters and there may only be a few percent of eligable voters who aren't enrolled to vote).

If doing something like this put up the cost of broadband by 20-30% and it will impact a lot of voters - you don't think that it could potentially cause the government some pause for thought no matter how much lobbying was done?

I forsee a senate review committee in the future of any legislation that attempts to implement deep packet filtering inspecting for copyright infringment and 3 strikes and you're out concept. In a review committee it will be considered and debated for many years.

Even if it did go ahead Telstra isn't playing ball these days and would probably take everyone (including the RIAA and record companies - that's Recording Industry Association of Australia) to court demanding that they pay for it all if they want it. Not because they care about their customers but they would find it hard to charge even more for broadband (although they try) and it would lower broadband participation rates. I'm not even sure Telstra would need a reason these days, they'd sue everyone to hold up legislation simply because they could. It would also probably put quite a few small ISPs out of business.

Re:Nothing but FUD. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459840)

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

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

Of course, the easiest route is just to copy some other country's law, which isn't a big deal between Australia and England since they happen to share the same Monarch and basic legal system.

Re:Nothing but FUD. (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460244)

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

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

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


Not enough to sue, but enough for D/C? (0, Troll)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459706)

Wait... what the fuck?

So basically they are saying that because the *IAA doesnt have enough evidence to take the suspected infringer to court, that somehow the ISPs should play Team Fucking MAFIAA: World Police and disconnect their users if they are acting suspiciously?

Thats such a stupid idea that we should immediately apply it to shoplifting! After all, the department stores know how much they are losing due to "shrinkage" - we know that equates to X shoplifters - so we just have to go and find suspicious looking people and boot them right the hell out the CBD! Bulge in your pants? One strike! Not holding a reciept for buying shit in the past hour? Two strikes! Window shopping? Three strikes and a boot up the arse!

It keeps prices down for the real customers...

"War on piracy?" (4, Insightful)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459736)

I think we need a war on this stupid "war on" meme. For music companies or journalists to suggest that the downloading of music justifies the same response as Hitler's invasion of Poland is disgusting.

no, what we really need (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460156)

is a war on the war on the war on meme

for real

Re:"War on piracy?" (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460398)

What we need is a war on people being assholes to each other.

Its a Two Party System (1)

R4nneko (1194727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459770)

I really wish that there had been a viable alternative with a sensible technology strategy, but as far as that went during the elections neither side really differed in that regard at all. At least I can nominally say "Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos"

Re:Its a Two Party System (1)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459882)

You realise Australia is a multi-party system? As in any political party as an opportunity to create a majority in the lower House and form government? The Greens and Family First (In addition to the two major parties; Liberal and Labor) both field candidates in every seat, so if enough people vote for them they can form government. Instead of complaining "Oh no The Liberal Party and the Labor Party or both the same, it's not my fault if the country goes downhill" how about you do some research.

Australian Greens Policy on Science and Technology [greens.org.au] .

#24 encourage government use of open-source software, and require the use of open and publicly documented file formats.

#25 regulate to ensure that network neutrality is maintained on the internet.

The only thing I can find about Family First's policies on the Internet [familyfirst.org.au]

Family First will work to achieve Government commitment to establish a Mandatory Filtering Scheme at the ISP Server Level in this country. (These are quotes but I haven't figured out how to use quotes in Slashdot properly yet)

Liberal Party policy platform which has no mention of the word "internet" [liberal.org.au]

Labor Party "Plan for Cyber-saftey" [alp.org.au]

A Rudd Labor Government will require ISPs to offer a 'clean feed' internet service to all homes, schools and public internet points accessible by children, such as public libraries. (Mandatory ISP filtering).

I should mention I am a member of The Greens, partly due to their policies in areas of science and technology.

Re:Its a Two Party System (1)

R4nneko (1194727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460554)

These are indeed good points, as things stand now it is only effectively a two party system and I will admit that my research around election time was fairly limited.

immunity (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459792)

I'd only agree to this if it meant immunity to any kind of legal action. otherwise, fuck off.

prison is big business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22459802)

like mandatory military service in some countries, why not mandatory prison sentences? After all, every day there's more talk of what we can't do, can't smoke pot, can't copy files, why not?

pop another anti-depressant they tell us, fuck you!

not surprising all of this is coming from countries which first sold us the idea of "original sin"

Jesus, ANOTHER Aussie story on Slashdot?! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22459804)

Why don't they just rename it slashdot.org.au and get it over with?

Re:Jesus, ANOTHER Aussie story on Slashdot?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22460054)

We would but for all those other nations daring to submit.

Re:Jesus, ANOTHER Aussie story on Slashdot?! (1)

burgundysizzle (1192593) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460248)

Crikey! Bonza mate - sounds like a fair dinkum idea to me!

Three Strikes (0)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459810)

Three strikes is actually a good idea for stopping infringement. It's pretty fair. It allows for mistakes to be made without them being life-ruining, while still effectively enforcing the law. So long as the methods for determining copyright infringement are effective and empirical enough, this could be quite useful.

Re:Three Strikes (1)

Shemmie (909181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459904)

I wonder...
So, sending a picture showing a torrent program listing your IP with an offending torrent would be enough to count as a strike? Simple solution - flood the ISP's with pictures...?

Fake hundreds and hundreds of pics, get a group going, and voila, un-enforceable?

Re:Three Strikes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22460080)

With the ISP's designated as referees in this game, I can just imagine what their customer service lines are going to be like. If I get hit with a notice my first comeback will be that somehow my wireless router must have been compromised by someone in my apartment complex and that I demand to have my strikes counter set back to zero.

I don't mind my neighbours leeching a gig here and there.

Can't tell if the content's illegal... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459888)

There is no reliable way to tell in advance if content is illegal. I might be sending a (legally purchased and owned) MP3 to my mother-in-law.

This whole thing is BS.

On copyright and technology.. (4, Insightful)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459910)

Do you ever look forward twenty or thirty years and wonder what the world of technology will deliver to us? What it's potential is and what will actually be realized?

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

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

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

Please stop this madness. The world will suffer greatly at the hands of a small group of greedy executives and their shareholders if this nonsense continues much further down its current path.

Re:On copyright and technology.. (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459956)

part of the problem, you only need to look 1 or 2 years ahead to see significant changes, not 20-30.

Judge, Jury and Executioner? (2, Insightful)

Mind Socket (180517) | more than 6 years ago | (#22459990)

So who decides when an infringement occurs? If privacy laws prevent ISPs from snooping on traffic (or do they?), and the main source of copyright complaints comes in the form of mass mail from industry associations, who's to verify and decide what is a "strike" and what isn't? What is the appeals process? What is cutting someone off meant to realistically achieve? And finally, what's the weather like in Sweden? I think I'd like to move there.

If at first you don't succeed, try again (1)

ttys00 (235472) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460020)

From the article:

It was expected 2.5 million households would take up the free porn-blocking filters within 12 months but only 144,088 filter products have been downloaded or ordered on CD-ROM since August last year. The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has estimated about 29,000 of these accessed filter products were still being used - less than 2 per cent of the set target.
Of the 144,088 people who wanted the free software last year, less than a quarter are still using it. That's a pretty big hint that most people don't want their internet filtered.

Re:If at first you don't succeed, try again (1)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460108)

Dude that's the wrong article...

Rudd's Announcement a Smokescreen for pr0n filter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22460076)

What the article doesn't mention:

Just hours before it was revealed that Senator Conroy has spent $85M of taxpayers money on a pr0n0graphy filter he expected 2.5 million households to rush to get off him. Only 4% took him up on it, leaving Conroy with egg all over his face. (egg? something else comes to mind... ;-)

Embarrassing story, so hours after this Rudd and Conroy announce the War on Internet Music. They may have released this to take the above story out of the news. Conroy and Rudd are both Conservative Christians.

http://tinyurl.com/27f6wt [tinyurl.com]
http://tinyurl.com/2zguwp [tinyurl.com]

Getting worse (1)

infernalman7 (1144421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460078)

I thought the limit on data trasfer per month is already stupid.

Be a victim of the torrent downloading worm. (2, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460096)

Encryption can fail if the government makes it illegal or establishes a way of forcing the populace to give the passwords during an investigation. Such investigation could start simply by monitoring your bandwidth usage and comparing it to that of someone who only sends mails and browses for porn from time to time.

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

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

You'd have to hunt down the unwillingly downloaded Harry Potter latest movie or britanity spear latest... whatever she does now. However, bandwidth speed is growing fast and multimedia size is more or less constant.

Is the Torrent on Piratebay yet? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460160)

If not, then someone should post one to the British legislation, else those Auzies will never figure out how to copy it.

"Censoring the internet" (1)

spamuell (1208984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460336)

The UK does this too, albeit currently not quite to the same degree. Cleanfeed [wikipedia.org] blocks some sites and since December 2007 all ISPs must legally have a version of it in place. The list was originally intended to just include child porn sites, but according to some it has now expanded [wordpress.com] and no one other than the Home Office (including the ISPs) knows what it now covers.

Y'all's not familiar with Oz govt (1)

Buscape (1153545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22460474)

They're going to cut illegal song downloads by 90%. So what if the technically savvy figure a way around it. Americans really have a hard time grasping the 'English' way of doing things, but it works, which is why we don't drive SUVs, why we recycle, etc. The govt makes it too bloody expensive to be a 'rebel'.
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