Copyright Hounds Looking To Fleece Australian Schools

from the guess-stupidity-has-a-creative-commons-license dept

Schools in Australia currently pay photocopying fees to the country’s Copyright Agency for materials teachers copy and distribute to students, but now the agency wants them to pay for using the Internet in lessons as well. A group representing schools says the charges could lead some of them to just pull the plug on their Internet connections, which could cause serious problems, particularly for students in rural areas that have come to rely on it for access to educational materials. It’s unclear, though, exactly what the problem is here, or why the copyright group feels they should be paid, and this seems like an awfully aggressive twisting of the idea of copyrights. With photocopies, the material is being duplicated, but that’s not the case — in theory, or in fact — with materials on the Internet. If something’s put on the internet and made freely available, even if it’s copyrighted, it’s quite a stretch to somehow translate that into a demand that the content producer should be paid every time somebody looks at it, but only if a teacher pointed them to it. Well, maybe there’s a flip side to this: if you’re reading Techdirt from the confines of an educational institution, expect to receive your bill shortly.

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Comments on “Copyright Hounds Looking To Fleece Australian Schools”

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Dani says:

Double copyrights

I am having a really hard time understanding how an entire nation can justify charging people for something they have already purchased rights to!

The internet is free, public domain for commercal or private use…but I have to pay you to look at it unless I can afford my own computer at home? This is unbelievable!

With worksheets, photocopies, etc., I’m assuming the schools have actually bought books that contain the workshets. Most of the time, these books say “copying permitted for classroom use”, so why should they have to pay twice?

That don’t seem like the best way of promoting education!

dataguy says:

Re: Double copyrights

I think the reactions, in TFA, are a bit heated because this issue is currently winding its way through the Australian courts. An inexpensive solution for the schools (should they lose their case) is to block all the sites of the authors the Copyright Agency represents. That way they will still be able to access the Internet even if they had to take it to the extreme of blocking all Australian sites from their students.

People who try to get their greed enacted into legislation should be feed to the dingoes?

wolff000 says:

Re: Re: Double copyrights

“People who try to get their greed enacted into legislation should be feed to the dingoes?”

why the dingos, there are so many better ways to make sure they die a slow and terrible death. to make a school pay for educational materials twice is appalling. these people should be staked down in the desert and left there till there is nothing left but bones.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

This is the last stage before the massive backlash against the RIAA and MPAA. Regular companies have seen them getting away with their “no such thing as fair use”, “everyone is a thief” crap and have decided to try to make business models out of it.

Luckily, this will hasten the backlash against this concept, will cripple existing legislation, and will eventually force the music and movie industry to distance themselves from the RIAA and MPAA.

So I say bring it on! The more stupid things like this, the faster we get a disemboweled RIAA.

TechNoFear (profile) says:


What happened to fair use for research?

“fair dealing for the purpose of research or study:
allows a student or researcher to copy protected material. Copying 10% or one chapter of a published literary, dramatic or musical work of 10 pages or more, and one article from a periodical, is deemed to be fair,”

I suppose they just need more cash…

?In global terms, CAL compares more than favourably with its counterparts, distributing to members an average of $AUD2.49 per capita of population. By comparison, the US distributes an average of $AUD 0.43c, Canada $AUD0.78c and the UK $AUD1.41,? Mr Fraser CE of CAL

Quotes from CAL web site

So does me reading / posting that violate CALs copyright and require me to pay CAL?

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