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Government Australia Piracy Your Rights Online

Australian Govt Holding Secretive Anti-Piracy Talks 218

Posted by timothy
from the but-pirates-are-secretive dept.
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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Australian Govt Holding Secretive Anti-Piracy Talks

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  • First (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Monday February 13, 2012 @01:55AM (#39016477)

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

    • Re:First (Score:5, Insightful)

      by exomondo (1725132) on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:07AM (#39016523)
      next it will be dissent.
      • Re:First (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Cryacin (657549) on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:55AM (#39016781)
        You have the freedom to do whatever you want. Just as long as it's what we want you to do.
        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          You have the freedom to do whatever you want. As long as it's legal. Of course, we're the ones making the laws...

          • Re:First (Score:5, Interesting)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:47AM (#39018183) Homepage Journal

            Of course, we're the ones making the laws...

            No, son. Laws are written by lobbyists. I mean this literally. When a new law is created, the first step is a lobbyist or lobby group actually writing the law. Then (at least here in the US) it goes to some congressional staffers (For whom there is also a bidding way, by the way. The staffers will go to work for the lobbyists a little later in the process) and those congressional staffers look it over, add some things that they want, like a new iPad 2 and maybe a few million for a cousin back in Missouri, and then they send it to the actual elected official with a note saying, "Vote for this. It's great!@!" The elected official, who is too busy to actually read the new law because he's constantly trying to get lobbyists to give him cash payments since sort of like a shark, if he stops getting money for more than a few seconds it's the end, does as he is told by a) the staffers and b) the lobbyists for who the staffers will someday work.

            Who told you "we're the ones making the laws"? It may have been that way at one time, before elections became a bidding war, an auction.

            They really need to do an updated version of the Schoolhouse Rock where they explain how a bill becomes law. I think Bob Dorough is still alive.

    • by zooblethorpe (686757) on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:12AM (#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.

  • They never have and never will care about the Consumer til the day they are looking at bankruptcy.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:05AM (#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.

      • by mug funky (910186) on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:17AM (#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.

      • by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:45AM (#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. ^_^`

  • by abelb (1365345) on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:05AM (#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.
    • by mug funky (910186)

      you never heard of iTunes?

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

      • by Necroman (61604)

        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.

        • by Cimexus (1355033)

          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.

      • by abelb (1365345) on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:26AM (#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?
      • 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.

        • by St.Creed (853824)

          True enough.

          And even if you could get iTunes, it is pretty unstable and very unfriendly towards its users w.r.t. options, user interface, etc. - you won't believe what you have to do to get multiple accounts, for instance. Or an account without a creditcard on it. Or syncing apps/pictures etc. ("shall I sync your computer to your phone?" "yes please" "Okay, you only had 1 picture on your computer so I removed everything from your phone" "whaaaaaa!").

          The horrible mess called iTunes is reason enough for me no

      • 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 wha

      • by X.25 (255792)

        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.

      • by Pecisk (688001)

        iTunes is explict monopoly in this field, and available only in selected countries. Even where it is available there is no full service - in some countries everything is very expensive even in iTunes, in most countries you can't buy newest stuff, and you can't buy tv episodes.

        I wouldn't call it exactly a choice. However, I'm planning to buy 21 and Wasting Light in it, as (finally) I can do it legally in my country.

  • It's inevitable (Score:4, Interesting)

    by digitallife (805599) on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:10AM (#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.

    • by mellon (7048)

      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.

    • by Sasayaki (1096761)

      Or put a little bit more simply,

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

  • by Sasayaki (1096761) on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:34AM (#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.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      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

    • So DO SOMETHING (Score:4, Insightful)

      by caitsith01 (606117) on Monday February 13, 2012 @03:52AM (#39016973) Journal

      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!

    • by devent (1627873)
      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.
      • by Sasayaki (1096761)

        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 WH

        • by devent (1627873)

          Why wouldn't you want that people can freely re-publish your book? Just use the CC-BY-NC-SA, if people share your book more it's free advertisement for your next book. You can't have it both ways, let people share it or restrict it.

          For the KDP Select, well, it was your choice to use it. I really don't see the point in using Amazon as the only distributor, if you can just upload a Pdf on your website, add Paypal, Credit-card and Bank-transfer, donations for payment and offer it to the over one billion PC u

          • by Sasayaki (1096761)

            I wouldn't mind it, and freely give away copies of my book on a regular basis. Free days are one of the (major) KDP Select perks.

            I chose Select because the alternative is to publish everywhere, but Amazon is the four $X kilogram gorilla in the ebook market and Select gives me (a basic unknown) a huge publicity boost. The alternative is to publish on Nook, Smashwords, Lulu, iTunes (with an ISBN and $99 yearly account fee), etc etc etc, and make about 20% of my Amazon sales spread out among all of them... and

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:35AM (#39016671) Journal

    ... 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?

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday February 13, 2012 @04:08AM (#39017039) Journal

      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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

      I think the future is here.

      • 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

    • 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

      • 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.

  • by SlashDread (38969) on Monday February 13, 2012 @03:22AM (#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!

  • 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
    • 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 p
  • 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 conve

  • root cause (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Monday February 13, 2012 @04:57AM (#39017169) Homepage Journal

    And then they're surprised that we distrust them. Seriously?

    The common theme I see behind all the recent political issues is transparency - and not of the "we need more surveilance" kind, but of the "you are supposed to be our representatives, not our masters, so start treating us as the real boss" kind.

    I personally think that we need something like an amendment to the western constitutions that makes it clear that the phrase "we, the people" or "the people are the souvereign", etc. that appear in one form or another in all of them includes the fact that the souvereign has the right to know what his representatives are up to at any time.

    As with all things, exceptions are invitations for abuse. There are a few cases (immediate danger) where a delay seems useful. Terorrist attack? Well, think again. If it were all over the evening news that terrorists plan to hijack four airplanes tomorrow and fly them into buildings - what do you think their chances of success have just become?

    There are very few cases where secrecy is actually warranted in politics, and we need a strict full-disclosure afterwards policy for those. And by "afterwards", I don't mean 20 years, I mean "before the next election".

    It's time these jokers are told again that they govern us, not rule us. Because in a democracy (or republic, for the nitpickers), the people rule.

  • by barv (1382797)

    Comics are a great educator. For instance SMBC encapsulates just how desperate are the efforts to stop piracy, see http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2508#comic [smbc-comics.com]

    Or consider how corporations control government regulatory processes, http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2497#comic [smbc-comics.com] (btw I had to look up "regulatory Capture" to fully appreciate the science behind that strip.)

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