Australia Eyes Website Censoring And A Graduated Response Program -- Because They Clearly Work So Well

from the you-don't-seem-to-be-learning dept

We've repeatedly pointed out how graduated response anti-piracy programs don't slow piracy. France's Hadopi program is obviously example A, though here in the United States our own graduated response program, where users are either throttled or bombarded with one-sided "educational" materials, has proven equally ineffective at impacting piracy rates. This shouldn't have really been much of a surprise, considering that numerous studies have shown that such programs really don't work and can in some cases have significant negative implications; studies that the entertainment industry and governments promptly ignore.

Right on cue, here comes Australia's Attorney-General George Brandis, who this week indicated that the country will continue its proud tradition of ignoring facts when it comes to Internet policy, and will start considering the use of graduated response programs to purportedly thwart piracy:
“The government will be considering possible mechanisms to provide a ‘legal incentive’ for an Internet service provider to cooperate with copyright owners in preventing infringement on their systems and networks. This may include looking carefully at the merits of a scheme whereby ISPs are required to issue graduated warnings to consumers who are using websites to facilitate piracy."
That there are no merits isn't likely to deter Brandis. Australia's willful obliviousness doesn't end there, with the government considering changing the law to legally force ISPs to take down websites the government doesn't like (which here in the States is obviously something that also just works so well):
"Another option that some stakeholders have raised with me is to provide the Federal Court with explicit powers to provide for third party injunctions against ISPs, which will ultimately require ISPs to 'take down'; websites hosting infringing content."
This is the same Australia that imposed porn filters that were bested by a young kid in all of half an hour. The same Australia whose ISPs quite clearly illustrated the futility and problems with filters. The same Australian government who year after year after year is told that a ham-fisted approach to "managing" or otherwise censoring Internet content causes many more problems that it fixes. Yet here we are once again with the Australian government almost gleeful in its disregard of sound advice, making you wonder what great ideas loom down the road.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    John, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 5:20pm

    Techically, it's not the same government who year after year after year...

    We elected the Coalition late last year, replacing the 2 term Labor government which did try to introduce filtering (ironically opposed by the current gov.) It didn't get any traction when Labor tried it on, but this time?

    Well the current government has been highly secretive and quite deceptive in what it is telling the people. I imagine they might actually succeed this time, especially after July when they have control of the senate.

    Sigh

     

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  2.  
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    Kronomex, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 5:26pm

    George has said that "in consultation with content and copyright providers..." meaning the dinosaur US film industry, etc, and the Australian side as an afterthought, have been leaning on our corporate friendly (read bicycle stand LNP) are going to hammer the public and throttle the ISP's. I think all this is being done ahead of the of the signing of the revolting TPP. We're already looking at VPN packages in this house although I expect George "Where do you turn the computer on?" Brandis is working out ways to ban them as well.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 5:58pm

    Murdoch's payback time

    The recently elected Liberal National Party (LNP) got into power late last year with a lot of help from the media, especially Rupert Murdoch's News Limited suite of daily papers, many in a monopoly situation outside of the largest cities, Sydney & Melbourne. Murdoch also has a 50% share in Foxtel, a monopoly payTV provider which also has internet access through their network. The LNP is unashamedly pro business and is only too willing to help 'Rupert the Kingmaker' get what he wants. "I brought you into power & I can take you out". Our bought for politicians understand that simple message loud & clear.
    Well, Rupert wants our 1GB FTTH National Broadband Network curtailed so as to stop any form of new competition from cutting into his Foxtel monopoly, so the LNP headed by Tony Abbottior is bowing to Murdoch's wishes and neutering the NBN to a woeful 25mb FTTN copper wire network. Mission accomplished. And then possibly selling it off to Murdoch for a firesale price so as to ensure that nobody else in the world will be able to compete ever again in Australia.
    As a content producer/provider Murdoch's News Corp/21st Century Fox Corporation wants to continue delivering a service which has worked well in the past, yet fails to keep up with the demands of modern consumers. Many years ago at an News Corp AGM in Adelaide, Aust, CEO Rupert proudly proclaimed that he doesn't care what people want to watch, view or listen to as long as they paid his suite of companies to do so. I stopped buying the Adeladide Adveriser after that published remark. Of course any hint of competition in such a small market as Australia (24 million) deserves to be crushed as soon as it rears its head above the rest. Even better if you can ensure that the framework for competition isn't even available, and Murdoch ensures both options are pursued.
    Now with AG & Miniter of Arts, George Brandis is just another prong in the fork of Rupert's attack on any & all competition, whether it be legal or illegal it's all the same to Rupert.
    Two faced Tony (Abbott) said that the LNP wouldn't import any policies or staff from overseas (in relation to the Labor Party hiring an Englishman as Chief of Staff for the PM), yet now so many policies are either Thatcher or Cameron in origin that all we have to do is look & see what English PM Cameron has done then wait a few weeks for the new annoucement fron either our PM or one of his ministers. What's even worse is that Abbottior is importing Canadian PM Harpers' policies on the environment & science, as both are Christian nutjobs who have no time for the poor, unions (another of Rupert's pet hates), science or the environment.
    It's going to be a long 2 1/2 years before the next election.

     

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  4.  
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    Bpat, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 6:27pm

    Re:

    It really is a shame. Our previous government wasn't perfect but the current one just told the same lies until they had been said for so long the public believed them.
    Now we are being screwed by the new politicians and people forget week to week, because the government doesn't speak to the media and the media likes this party in charge because they make more $$$.

     

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  5.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Feb 17th, 2014 @ 6:29pm

    ALRC report on Copyright now available

    For those interested this was brought about by the release of the Australian Law Reform Commissions (ALRC) long sought report on "Copyright and the Digital Economy" released last week to the public.. The govt has had it since November 2013 though.

    The report contains 30 recommendations for reform of the current copyright act with the key recommendation for an introduction of a fair use exception to Australian copyright law [about bloody time].

    A few links.

    [pdf] The full report (which is a whopping 478 pages)
    [pdf] The summary report (lot more readable at 32 pages)
    [epub] The full report as an eBook (oooh new technology)

     

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  6.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Feb 17th, 2014 @ 6:41pm

    Re: ALRC report on Copyright now available

    further to above...

    you can also read the full report in its separate chapters and download each chapters pdf individually by going to the following url and clicking on the appropriate chapter etc on the right hand side.

    http://www.alrc.gov.au/publications/copyright-report-122

     

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  7.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Feb 17th, 2014 @ 7:10pm

    Re: ALRC report on Copyright now available

    So, reading between the lines, sounds like the usual suspects saw the fair use suggestion, panicked, and likely cracked the whip over some heads, and this is the result of the politicians trying to show how 'loyal' they still are.

     

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  8.  
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    The Old Man in The Sea, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 7:15pm

    Re: Murdoch's payback time

    I have to disagree with the main premise that Murdock got the LNP into power. The Labour Party was the mainstay in bringing the LNP to power. The Labour Party managed to shoot itself multiple time through both feet and both kneecaps. Had they managed to not screw themselves over, they would have still remained in power.

    It will now be interesting to see if the LNP do the same and bring about multiple foot and kneecap injuries.

    It is up to us as members of our individual electorates to grab the ear of our local representative and ask the hard questions and force them to get the answers we need, irrespective of the political entity our representative may belong to.

     

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  9.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Feb 17th, 2014 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Re: ALRC report on Copyright now available

    Congratulations you receive a nice yummy cookie now.. ;)

     

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  10.  
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    Zem, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 8:26pm

    The current Australian government only has 1 person who knows what the internet is. The rest of them believe the internet is a fancy phone system made up of many tin cans connected by bits of string.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 8:48pm

    Re:

    This is the same solution I had when my ISP decided it was part of the 6 strikes. I now use VPN at all times. It's not so much that I care about if my ISP is looking over my shoulder for downloads but rather it is about denying them the ability to see anything since they are so hell bent to spy on their users.

    Kronomex, I recommend you look for those packages that allow more than one computer to use their system as long as it is in the same household. Works well here.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 10:21pm

    Re: Re: Murdoch's payback time

    The silence on the LNP lies & secretive behaviour since they came to power 6 months ago is deafening, however the constant attacks on the publicly funded Australian Broadcasting Service (ABC) from all the LNP cronies including Murdoch's teams at News Corp & Fox News has been never-ending, all because they report news that is unfavourable to the current government. News such as what is happening with our relations with Indonesia & the constant flow of tidbits from the Snowden files that are undermining the secrecy that the LNP have brought to the running of the country. You won't find those news stories front & centre in the Murdoch camp & after the funding threats from the LNP government to the ABC, you won't find those stories there either. Thank goodness for the Guardian website & other independent news websites to keep shining a light on the right-wing LNP & their business cronies.
    When the previous Labor Government decided to bring in some extra regulations on the mainstream press last? year (regulated by the industry's own watchdog) there was hell to pay from the rabid right wing tabloids, however now web censorship is being proposed there is not a whiff of opposition from the Murdoch camp.
    Why? because he is the one who ordered & paid for it.
    As soon as PM Abbott & the LNP has done Murdoch's bidding in all the areas that he wants change for his company's benefit, they will start being attacked by his media interests. As all the daily news broadcasts on radio & TV look to see what stories Rupert's boys have put out for the plebs to read for that day & then run with them until bedtime that night the News Corp reach is far more insideous than just the press he owns. So much for independent journalism in Australia.

     

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  13.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 10:51pm

    I think I know what’s behind the persistence of this completely futile idea that filters will actually work: it’s because the relevant lobby groups keep thinking of the Internet as being like TV, radio, movies, newspapers—traditional broadcast media. They are amenable to censorship ratings and other such content restrictions, therefore the implicit assumption is that the Internet is exactly the same, just more so.

    They don’t realize that the Internet is fundamentally a two-way medium, that focuses on connectivity rather than content. Which is why attempts to control the content (whether for the sake of piracy or “protecting the children”) do not work.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 10:52pm

    Re:

    That was supposed to have the following title:

    Let Me Call It The “Broadcast Mentality”


    but your comment system somehow chucked that away after I clicked “Submit”.

     

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  15.  
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    The Old Man in The Sea, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 11:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Murdoch's payback time

    It doesn't matter what stripe the government is, they hide, they lie and they twist to their individual benefit. This is why we have to be on the backs of our representatives to work on our behalf.

    Though the ABC has been traditionally more left leaning, in recent years, they have been buggered by all sides of politics, because they have had the temerity of having a go at whoever is in government at the time. There are times when I can't stand the ABC for its political correctness, but there are different factions in the organisation supporting different viewpoints these days.

    One of the reporter (whose name eludes me at this time) - white haired fellow - has over the years been a thorn in the side of the LNP, but in recent years, I've seen him take the hatchet to both Mr. Rudd and Ms. Gilliard. I have had a good chuckle when he has just come out and asked them both unpleasant questions about their policies and actions.

    Unfortunately, as a population, we are not necessarily the most on the ball people. Irrespective of what political leanings we have, we all have a responsibility to use our voices to speak up about the various matters that affect our nation. However, we seem to be more interested in sport and our home grown soapies instead of what will affect our nations future.

    I may have quite a different political viewpoint to you, but if we both actively bring our points of view to the pollies, we might end up getting something done in our country.

     

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  16.  
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    The Old Man in The Sea, Feb 17th, 2014 @ 11:34pm

    Re: ALRC report on Copyright now available

    Have you had a look at the list of consultations, seems to be most pro-copyright groups involved.

    I thought the following extract worth showing:
    Page 23 - Executive Summary
    This case highlights two problems with Australian law. First, it does not permit,
    without possibly unobtainable licences, what many would consider a service of great
    social and economic value. More importantly, Australian law does not even allow the
    right questions to be asked to determine whether a service such as this infringes
    copyright.

    Copyright protection is vital in allowing creators and rights holders to exploit the value
    of their materials, and to increase the incentive to create those materials—but this
    monopoly need not extend indefinitely or into markets which the creator had no real
    interest in exploiting. Copyright must leave ‘breathing room’ for new materials and
    productive uses that make use of other copyright material.

    By appropriately limiting the ambit of copyright, exceptions can increase competition
    and stimulate innovation more generally, including in technologies and services that
    make productive use of copyright material. The ALRC considers that fair use finds the
    right balance. It protects the interests of rights holders, so that they are rewarded and
    motivated to create, in part by discouraging unfair uses that harm their traditional
    markets. It can also stimulate innovation, particularly in markets that rights holders
    may not traditionally exploit.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2014 @ 6:04am

    because the government is as thick as fuck and are easily 'persuaded' by thick, brown envelopes of 'encouraging bank notes' sent from the entertainment industries, who already know that none of this shit works! the industries have, however, managed to NOT take onboard the results of a study recently finished by the EU Commission, that rightly and openly states that the biggest reason for any failure, if it exists and the way to correct any failings of the entertainment industries, is to enact themselves the things that are continuously asked for by customers! those things, of course, are sensible comments and helpful information, which everyone, including the industries, know to be true! they wont, however, take any notice, because the aim apparently, isn't money they supposedly lose (even though every year shows greater profits), but control and the desire to stay in the analogue age, one thumb stuck up their asses, the other in their mouths and brains in neutral!

     

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