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Australia The Courts Technology

Australia Shelves Copyright Safe Harbor For Google, Facebook (torrentfreak.com) 26

In a surprise setback for companies such as Google and Facebook that leverage user-generated content, Australia has dropped plans to extend its copyright safe harbor provisions. From a report: In a blow to Google, Facebook and others, the government dropped the amendments before they were due to be introduced to parliament yesterday. That came as a big surprise, particularly as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had given the proposals his seal of approval just last week. "Provisions relating to safe harbor were removed from the bill before its introduction to enable the government to further consider feedback received on this proposal whilst not delaying the passage of other important reforms," Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said in a statement. There can be little doubt that intense lobbying from entertainment industry groups played their part, with a series of articles published in News Corp-owned The Australian piling on the pressure in favor of rightsholders.
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Australia Shelves Copyright Safe Harbor For Google, Facebook

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  • by iCEBaLM ( 34905 ) <icebalm&icebalm,com> on Thursday March 23, 2017 @01:24PM (#54096607)

    At this point Google search is so entrenched all they would have to do is block all of Australia from accessing it and the internet immediately becomes useless in Australia.

    • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Thursday March 23, 2017 @01:38PM (#54096707) Homepage Journal

      The fun part comes when Google starts obeying all the little wishlist things and so rightsholders's stuff stops getting as much visibility, thus sales.

      Copyright is valid. Making a car requires an enormous capital investment for equipment, plus a ton of labor per-vehicle; the engineering expense to design that car is millions of dollars, and the production of that car is enormous. The Chevrolet Volt sold 21,000 units in 2012 and 25,000 in 2013, at MSRPs around $40,000; that's $840 million and $1,000 million. At below 20% gross profit margins, that's over $672 million and $800 million of production costs. By contrast, making music requires large amounts of labor to compose, perform, record, and master; making copies of music requires pennies per thousand copies and a capital start-up cost of a $400 PC you probably already own.

      Given the above, copyright obviously requires protection. The impact of partial copyright compromise is non-obvious even to many marketing executives: illegal things like playing your radio loud enough for others to hear in public cause people to buy your song, even though these things also compromise your ability to charge money for performance in that context. Focusing too hard on protection of rights will lead to loss of the benefits conferred by those rights, just as if you protected the right to remain silent by prosecuting anyone who speaks without first raising his hand.

      (By "rights" I of course mean "protections provided by laws which may be changed to expand, diminish, or extinguish their scope after appropriate legal process".)

      • by deck ( 201035 )

        (Sarcasm)
        I think the copyright holders of the world need to lobby to have all people wear a system whereby they can ascertain what an individual has heard or seen and send them and the source a bill for hearing or seeing the copyrighted work. I think that all music, all sounds, all books, all poems, and all physical items should be put under eternal copyright by someone (in the entertainment or publishing industry) so that even seeing a country side scene can put a person in jeopardy of copyright infringe

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I've lost count, but over the years I've seen many people make exactly that argument toward various other countries. If I remember correctly, Google should have blocked:

      - The UK, because they demanded porn and piracy filters
      - Most of the EU (definitely France, Germany and Belgium), because they DARED to ask Google to pay their taxes... and also because of porn and piracy filters
      - Russia, again, porn filters (notice the pattern)
      - Turkey, because they demanded Google to block everything nasty (mostly porn)
      - C

    • Google has put up with worse I'm afraid.

      Unfortunately the real power here lies with Rupert "Fucking" Murdoch. Much to the chargrin of News Corps minority shareholders, the Australian newspaper doesn't make a profit and serves as nothing more than a funnel to inject the sort of bad ideas that have turned american politics into the garbage fire it is, into australian politics too. And if he doesn't like it, the conservatives will bow, and do as the master commands.

      I wish the old vampire would just have a coro

      • Yeh the OZ is just a joke, a place where geriatric right wing nut jobs feel comfortable.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        So what exactly are those idiots proposing at News Corpse, do what we will say, or we will, what exactly, get every one to vote Labour when Labour already are at war with News Corpse. Reality is Malcolm Turnbull can pretty much tell News Corpse to go fuck itself because News Corpse has now where else to go. The whole thing is laughable. So do not do it or else we will attack you an then what the opposition will do it anyhow and laugh whilst they are doing it. It's like the empty threat of the year. For goog

    • I think you mean the web. The Internet without the web is still supremely useful.
  • I've been using other search engines, and the results are pretty much just as good. I'm sure the good people at Google are well aware that they need to watch their back.
    • If Google.au is removed, it's quite true that no-one will notice.

      If, on the other hand, Google stops indexing businesses in Australia, then no-one will notice... except the businesses in Australia, notably newspapers, who really want to be indexed.

  • I'd have Google and Facebook block users from Aussie-land with a simple page saying, "Due to actions of the Australian government, we are no longer offering service to users from your country. Contact your govermental representatives to comment."

    I'd give the issue about five days to be cleared.

  • Our PM is so useless, that him publically supporting it was probably what killed it. The opposition would oppose it on principle, and the factions inside his party would oppose anything he does that they haven't told him explicitly to do.

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