SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] What's wrong down under?
Re: [Sigia-l] What's wrong down under?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: sigia-l-bounces_at_asis.org
> [mailto:sigia-l-bounces_at_asis.org] On Behalf Of Ziya Oz
> Sent: 27 November 2006 05:40
> To: SIGIA-L
> Subject: [Sigia-l] What's wrong down under?
> The Howard Government recently introduced proposed changes to
> Australia's copyright laws. While originally promoted by the
> Government as a way of relaxing the arcane deficiencies of
> existing law - which, for example, make it illegal to record
> a TV show for later viewing - it is now clear that the laws
> would turn Australian copyright law into one of the most
> punitive, restrictive and regressive systems in the world.
> I thought Aussies were reasonably reasonable people; what
> happened? Will this impact how you'll handle information?
OK this is rather off-topic, so let's see how long it takes for people
to demand we start talking about card sorting, but...
I would think that what's happening in Australia is similar to what has
happened in the US and the UK. It goes like this:
Copyright appears fundamentally boring - an industrial regulation that
nobody apart from those involved in the relevant industries is bothered
by. Faced with total business model destruction by the rapid ascendancy
of digital media, those industries therefore lobby legislators like hell
to pass comically draconian laws to allow them to continue producing
Because copyright is boring, said legislators simply roll over.
Consumers then realise that what previously had little effect on their
lives is doing the opposite: teenagers are sued for file sharing,
foreign nationals extradited for doing things perfectly legal in their
own country; and copyright law abused to protect everything from
government reports to spammers.
Here in the UK though, we are starting to see the backlash. Yesterday, a
Treasury report recommended that the copyright on sound recordings
should not be extended beyond the current 50 years as the recording
industry wanted. A couple of days earlier, an aging pop singer wrote an
article in the mainstream press about the value of music copyright which
was, shall we say, rather poorly received:
(see the comments)
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