back to article Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves

Australia's is pondering whether it needs the power to block websites that facilitate copyright infringement. Crikey revealed a draft of a discussion paper on “Online Copyright Infringement” that offers three remedies. The first, “Extended Authorisation Liability”, would strike down the legal principle that internet service …

  1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Stop

    Lawyers

    I think this has less to do with copyright issues and almost entirely to do with lawyers thinking that they will be made for life. "Hey, we can sue everyone ad infinitum!"

    Like the American firm who allegedly put up the content in the first place and then sued the downloaders.

    My thoughts on this are NSFW.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Lawyers

    "Australia's is pondering whether it needs the power to block websites that facilitate copyright infringement."

    Because that has worked so well that traffic to The Pirate Bay has doubled since they started trying to do that...

    Nothing like having free adverting paid for by your local copyright cartel, government and the hundreds of proxy sites that will pop up to provide the blocked access...

    "copyright thieves"

    Copyright Infringement is not and has never been theft. Theft involves taking something and depriving the owner of that something. Copyright infringment involves distributing a copy of something and leaves the original unchanged.

  3. poohbear

    Re: Lawyers

    And generally, that copy is inferior to the original, so that while it may appear identical to human eyes or ears, it will be very different at the bit level...

  4. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Re: Lawyers

    "And generally, that copy is inferior to the original, so that while it may appear identical to human eyes or ears, it will be very different at the bit level..."

    Did you drink a gallon of draino before posting? What does it matter if the copy is different if that copy happens to be identical to human eyes or ears? The media exists to be consumer by human eyes and ears. Nonhuman sentiences can make their own damned content.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Lawyers

    Andrew O.... are you even listening? We need you....

  6. Pete 2 Silver badge

    OzLaw

    Whenever I read an article about some new law "down under", I'm left with the lasting impression that their government makes some startlingly bad (for it's citizens and for liberty, in general) decisions for all the wrong reasons - and enacts laws that are some of the most restrictive in the free world.

    Will Oz be the first country to slide, gradually from democracy to totalitarianism? Will it even be a willing journey made with little protest or remark, until it's all too late?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: OzLaw

    No. They will be the first to follow the USA in that regard... ;)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: OzLaw

    When the current 'Government' is being driven by Murdoch and we have tea party wanna-be's in power, you get this kind of crap.

  9. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Re: OzLaw

    > They will be the first to follow the USA in that regard

    I would agree, except that the USA has stumbled upon an unusual "safeguard" against this sort of thing. They have constructed a form of government with two "houses". One is generally "ruled" by one faction and the other house is normally ruled by the other. They also have a president who (apart from being able to, allegedly, press a big red button) is essentially a figurehead - who spends most of his (or maybe next time: her) time in office either repaying election promises, or trying to get re-elected - and for 2 years out of every 4 year term, is impotent as it takes more than that time to get a law through both of their houses.

    The upshot being that for all their commercial power, military might and media dominance, they stand little chance of actually changing anything within their own political system. Which could be why their companies, military and financial systems have become so powerful.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: OzLaw

    "Which could be why their companies, military and financial systems have become so powerful."

    Also because 10mins after being elected president he/she is shown a video of themselves shagging a goat at the Skull and Bones club initiation ceremony.

  11. Pu02

    Re: OzLaw

    Take it from a local- you have it- in a nutshell.

    We elect politicians with sawdust between their ears and complain when all they leave us are empty nutshells.

  12. RealFred

    Re: OzLaw

    Which is a shame because Conroy (Labor) tried to do it first and failed. Oh, you forgot to mention that, instead you took a potshot at something thats in the discussion stages and tried to make political mileage out of it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: OzLaw

    Like UK MPs, They don't work for you (www.theyworkforyou.com), they work for Uncle Sam.

    Occasionally, Uncles Sams's interests are the same as yours - this sleight of hand trick makes it looks as though they are representing you.

  14. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Stop

    Re: RealFred

    Conroy wasn't the first.

  15. RealFred

    Re: RealFred

    No, but he's just as guilty as the others. Don't try to turn this into a party bashing discussion when its obviously not. Both sides of politics are as bad as each other. they want to censor what we see and hear so they can better control the general population

  16. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    Re: RealFred

    " Don't try to turn this into a party bashing discussion when its obviously not."

    It sounds very much like a politician's idea* of a good thing. I don't give a left-handed turd which 'party' they come from, anyone who tries to put this kind of thinking into law is not on the side of the people, quite the opposite.

    *as provided by their lobbyist de jour.

  17. DiViDeD Silver badge

    Re: OzLaw

    "Conroy (Labor) tried to do it first and failed"

    You know, it doesn't matter what colour rosette the weasels are wearing, they're still weasels.

    The Liberal opposition of ISP level blocking and their cries about starving CSIRO of the funds needed to keep Australia at the forefront of something or other were simply examples of our supremely polarised political system. 'If it's your idea, then it must be shit, regardless of whether it's something I actually want'

    Voters in Australia, when they can be dragged away from The Voice, or The Block, or 'I'm vaguely related to someone famous, get me on TV', approach politics with the same polarised attitude. Any conversation questioning a government policy gets immediately mired in 'Ah, yo forget that it was YOUR lot that did A, so you cannot criticise MY lot for doing B', together with an accusation that, if you are criticising Labour, you are obviously a right Wing religious nut, while if you are criticising the Liberals, then you are a leftie communist child molester who needs to go and live in Cuba, if you like it so much.

    Australians should stand back and look objectively at our political 'leaders', whatever their professed political stance. It shouldn't take any reasonable person too long to reach the conclusion that they're ALL chiselling weasels whose only interest is themselves and who are happily selling the Australian people down the river for personal gain.

    Oh, and they'd also like Australia to become another US state, please.

  18. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Re: RealFred

    No, but he's just as guilty as the others.

    Definitely, but he still wasn't the first. I understand that everyone's on a hair-trigger with this kind of thing these days, but I'm not trying to turn it into a political discussion. If anything my intention was to try to maintain some balance (given this is one of those things where it's warranted, what with each major party being as bad as the other).

  19. RealFred

    Re: RealFred

    Which was basically what I was trying to point out. It seems we are trying to convince each other of the same thing

  20. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Re: OzLaw

    Will Oz be the first country to slide, gradually from democracy to totalitarianism for non blacks?

    FTFY

    > No. They will be the first to follow the USA in that regard

    Oops. Forgot.

  21. John Tserkezis

    Anyone keeping an eye on overseas VPN subscription statistics? I expect them to go up just a little bit...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing better to do?

    What is the Australian government's obsession with copyright law?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Nothing better to do?

    What is the Australian government's obsession with copyright law?

    Easy stick to beat the population with. It's a vehicle by which you can quickly create culpability whist claiming the moral high ground, and at the same time avoid solving the actual problem, which is copyright law and how it has escaped any modernisation.

    I'm all for protecting ownership, but it would be cool if the content owners actually got a say in it.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Nothing better to do?

    Murdoch has rights to content. Abbott has consulted with Murdoch rather than his own party on at least one recent piece of policy/legislative intent according to media reports. Ergo, in my opinion, the fascination.

  25. PassiveSmoking

    Sounds right up Orlowski's alley

    I'm sure everyone else who doesn't work for Big Content or their legal attack dogs will be appalled though.

  26. cracked
    Boffin

    Just say ...

    According to the pack of [redacted] I am currently holding ... Did you know that, per capita, Australians read more daily newspapers than anywhere else?

    ;-)

  27. RealFred

    Re: Just say ...

    And none of them are any good

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is what happens when it's time to vote

    And your most pressing thought is "It's time for a change". rather than what do they stand for or have said they might do (if it's good for them), we got Cameron and that spotty oik in number 11, they got their equivilents. Seems to be some lovely policy's comming, right, out of the new Aus administration.

  29. DiViDeD Silver badge

    Re: This is what happens when it's time to vote

    Someone with more nonce than me once said that Australian elections are not won by anyone. They're simply lost by governments.

    There does seem to be a general sense of 'It's time for a change, so let's give the other lot a go, regardless of how far they fucked things up the last time they were in power'

  30. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Re: This is what happens when it's time to vote

    There does seem to be a general sense of 'It's time for a change, so let's give the other lot a go, regardless of how far they fucked things up the last time they were in power'

    It would be sad if this weren't so true in so many countries that like to claim to be democracies. It's almost as pathetic as the voters who always vote for the same political party "because I've always voted for them" - that's not democracy either, although technically it is as a voter is free to vote for who they like but it is not an intelligent use of democracy.

    Those that are in power or vying for power know this and capitalise on it as much as possible as it's what gets or keeps them in a job.

  31. Kiwi
    Big Brother

    Re: This is what happens when it's time to vote @ DiViDeD

    Someone with more nonce than me once said that Australian elections are not won by anyone. They're simply lost by governments.

    Actually I think they meant it's the citizens who are the loosers. Until we're allowed to, er, "forcibly remove politicians from office" for poor performance, they generally tend to keep their jobs - with some (at least in NZ) rather nasty "perks" which they get for life. Even if they get out of government in the election, most of them will keep the same roles and the few who do get retired or otherwise moved on will be appointed to some cushy job or ambassadorial(sp) role or something like that.

    There does seem to be a general sense of 'It's time for a change, so let's give the other lot a go, regardless of how far they fucked things up the last time they were in power'

    With the NZ elections coming up, it's not so much "time for a change because we forget", more like taking a drug with nasty side effects to counter-act a different drug with different nasty side effects. Just because we want to feel different pain and/or a different mindf**k.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whack a mole

    comes to Oz.

  33. Stuart 22

    Get your retaliation in first ...

    ... and block Australia until they can elect a less authoritarian government.

    That is all.

  34. Winkypop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Never under estimate the power of big content

    ....political donations and poorly informed politicians.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Never under estimate the power of big content

    Big content: Village Roadshow Limited to Liberal Party of Australia (Federal Secretariat) $120,000

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/interactives/tables/aec-political-donations-table/

  36. RealFred

    Re: Never under estimate the power of big content

    Village Roadshow, $4 million dollars to Liberal and Labor parties.

    http://www.zdnet.com/au/lobby-pushing-for-australian-piracy-crackdown-donates-millions-7000026421/

    Both parties are equally rotten

  37. RealFred

    Re: Never under estimate the power of big content

    How about the ABC report get their stories straight instead of the one-sided rubbish we expect from them

    http://www.zdnet.com/au/lobby-pushing-for-australian-piracy-crackdown-donates-millions-7000026421/

  38. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Re: Never under estimate the power of big content

    > political donations and poorly informed politicians.

    It doesn't matter how well or how poorly politicians are informed, what matters is that the idiots who vote for them are poorly informed. It's a failing of a two party system that can send you to prison for not voting for either party, that both parties become as one.

    With a true democracy the unlikely voter is key.

    Big content has always offered rewards:

    http://johnpilger.com/articles/australia-the-51st-state

  39. Christoph Silver badge

    "expand liability beyond carriers to ensure that entities like Universities and even search engines can be held liable for users' activities."

    So why are they stopping there?

    What about the teachers and parents who didn't teach those users to avoid infringing copyright? Surely they can be sued?

    What about the electricity companies that supply the energy to run their computers? They are obviously guilty.

    The supermarkets that keep them fed while they infringe copyright?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And and and

    Don't forget the computer and hard disk manufacturers, network card suppliers, blank DVD and CD vendors.... These people all have a lot to answer for.

  41. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Re: And and and

    You forgot to include prohibitions on the developers of development software as development software tools should be limited to prevent the creation of copyright violating theft applications. This is important as It was most certainly their original intent to allow criminals to write criminal tools that allow criminals to copy steal the content that the hard working, entirely honest and benevolent content production corporations created.

    Not that I'm against the principle that the creators of content should be suitably rewarded, but so many things like this smack of laws such as the UK's 1865 "red flag act" that were pushed through by the panicking train industries to have a man with a red flag walk in front of every road vehicle that had multiple wagons (e.g. towed something).

  42. Hellcat

    So will this work for the little guys?

    I know a couple of photographers who have had their photos used without consent on the websites of some newspapers. Can they strike for the papers to be DNS tombstoned, and how does it work with sites (and/or content) hosted or incorporated outside of Aus?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Re: So will this work for the little guys?

    sure, just send a cheque to the local MP made payable to an offshore account and he'll sort the rest.

  44. Tromos

    Websites that facilitate copyright infringement

    aka Search engines

  45. Suricou Raven

    Re: Websites that facilitate copyright infringement

    Only those that don't have the legal resources to fight such a block.

  46. ADC50

    WTF??!!

    Has anyone ever bothered to explain to these idiots how the intertubes actually work??

  47. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Re: WTF??!!

    Yes, but it didn't sink in.

  48. Dylan Fahey

    I always see these strange stories from Australia

    I always see these strange stories from Australia, don't the citizens have some sort of 'voting' system where they can throw these moron politicians out on their ear?

    They can't possible be as stupid on the idiots here in the states?

  49. jebdra

    Re: I always see these strange stories from Australia

    Yes we do and yes we did. A few years ago Conway (Labour/Labor/Democrat) tried to do this - so we threw them out. Now the current lot (Liberal/Tory/Republican) is doing the same thing.

    Our saving grace may be that our current house of review (senate/house of lords) contains a group of representatives who hold the balance of power who are the most unpolitical, unpredictable, non-PC group who have ever held power. A few independents with a single-issue focus, several senators from "micro-parties" who got in on preference deals (the big parties are already talking about changing the law to stop that happening again) and a set of rogues from the PUP who bought their seats (one of whom recently appeared on a radio program saying her ideal man would be "rich, well hung and mute").

    The next few years promise to be interesting in the Australian parliament.

  50. fajensen Silver badge

    Re: I always see these strange stories from Australia

    To (mis)quote Sir Humphrey: "The ruling party always gets elected!"

    Politicians globally - it's the same in Denmark, the weasels change, their policies Never! - only represent the segments of the electorate who can do something for (or to) their career. Normal people can vote once every five years, while people representing Murdoch can publish that "Sheep Shagging Feast" in Amsterdam - and they got the receipts too.

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