Google Explains How To Kill The Internet In Australia: Just Make Proposed Changes To Copyright Laws

from the just-what-everyone-didn't-need dept

Down in Australia they’ve been looking at updating their copyright laws to catch up to the digital age (read: to make the laws more favorable for an entertainment industry that refuses to adjust to the market), but seem to be doing so in a way that pretty much guarantees the opposite would occur. For example, one of the changes would effectively require search engines to ask permission of every web page they indexed. It’s one of those “sounds good in theory” ideas that is ridiculous in practice, and would pretty much make it impossible to have a search engine in Australia. Google has submitted their own take on this law, explaining why it would push Australia into “pre-internet” days. This is the type of lawmaking that happens when lawmakers rely too much on a single industry (in this case, the entertainment industry) to detail the “problems” of the internet. It doesn’t take into account what’s really going on, or the fact that the complaining industry needs to learn how to adjust to the new technology — not beg for laws that hold back the technology.

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Comments on “Google Explains How To Kill The Internet In Australia: Just Make Proposed Changes To Copyright Laws”

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Shohat says:

Makes pefect sense

The law could just require every webserver(just ask the hosting company) to come with a deny to all in the robots.txt file by default , and the user has to change the file or ask specifically for the “indexed package” in order to get indexed by the SEs.
This way you get indexed only if you want to, and the search engines enjoy a sort of protection from idiotic claims.

Anonymous Coward says:

Since when is google the internet?

There seem to be two kinds of people: those who know that the internet is not the same as the world wide web and those that don’t.

To the latter, google is the dot-com that could. The ultimate triumph of the new economy over the old. The promise of a never-ending wealth engine powered by synergies of combining content producers and consumers. Go go gooooogle!

To the former, google and advertising-funded-searching is just the most recent manifestation of a much larger cultural information structure that reinvents itself every decade or so as those who produce information adapt to the ever evolving market defined by the tastes of those that consume it.

If google can’t index others content without their permission, some pretty straightforward deals will be made and someone will make some money getting the content people want will get to those who want it. If google chooses not to be that person then someone else will, life will continue and the internet will keep humming along as it has for the past 30+ years.

Panos says:

It would make no difference

As pointed out WWW is just an Internet service. And it is not the main vessel for copyright infringement. P2P networks are.

However politicians think they can make rules without really being aware on the effects of the laws.

A new law in Greece banned accidentally (?) all electronic & electromechanical games throughout the country and that included game consoles, computers (in a way) and the lot!

Needless to say the law was never pursued.,2101,57305,00.html

for more info.

Steve says:

If this became law, Australian government would require Google to remove everything with a .au A company with a .com website, and from another country can file a grievance with the Australian government that Google is indexing there content against Australian law. So yes, this would put Australians back to the stone age. I think it’s dumb, really dumb. If you don’t want people searching for your webpage, then why even have one.

Ryan (profile) says:

we already have this

it’s called robots.txt and it explicitly lets me forbid a search engine from indexing my website if I so choose.

Is it not safe to assume that if I haven’t said “don’t index me” that I’m ok with you indexing me?

It works, really!! Why haven’t any of these belgiums or australians heard of it?

Ignorance of the law is no excuse in a criminal case, so ignorance of robots.txt shouldn’t be an excuse here either.

Ricardo Fioretti says:


well… when i first heard of this new australian law story i laughed so hard thinking that it was simply ridiculous, and now that i see it everywere i wanted to write that i’ve heard of stupid “theorical” internet laws… and this one… so i’m gonna have to hope that the google law team can make an effort to win this case

Earl Mardle (user link) says:

Australian Politicians

have made a specialty over the years of writing the most boneheaded internet legislation on the planet.

There was a totally idiotic attempt to xcensor the net a fe years ago and, along with tis madness, they are also planning to Tax Aussies who earn linden $$ on Second Life.

Plainly things are just so perfect here that these guys have nothing better to do than come up with laws that make netizens go hyukhyukhyuk

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