Australian Government Holds Secret Anti-Piracy Meetings; The Public Is Not Invited

from the so-20th-century dept

As Techdirt noted recently, policy-making behind closed doors is no longer acceptable. Until the end of the 20th century, it was hard for the general public to make their views heard, and so governments didn’t really bother asking them. But that’s no longer the case: the Internet has blown government wide open, and there is now no excuse for not consulting as widely as possible — including the public — before passing legislation or signing treaties.

That’s a lesson that the Australian government seems not to have learned yet, judging by the following story:

The Federal Government has reportedly held a second closed door meeting held between the content and telecommunications industries to address the issue of illegal file sharing on the Internet through avenues such as BitTorrent.

The first meeting took place at the end of last year, and is part of the content industries’ attempt to circumvent the Australian courts’ refusal to order ISPs to act as a private copyright police force.

According to another report, the argument now seems to be mainly about who will pay for a proposed “graduated response” (three-strikes) scheme:

one source familiar with the discussions said local film industry representatives are concerned that the cost of operating graduated response schemes is too high.

Another source said the content industry’s response was to try to push the cost of managing infringement notices — and an appeals mechanism for customers who felt they had been wrongly accused — onto internet service providers.

Never mind the fact that the content industries not only want this kind of extra-judicial punishment, they want it for free: what’s really appalling here is that “three strikes” seems to have been settled upon without any qualms about whether it is fair or would work, or whether it might be a good idea to conduct some research to find out. It’s the usual evidence-free policy making that has bedevilled this area for decades. But that’s hardly surprising, since the most important stakeholder here — the public — wasn’t invited to the meetings to offer its views on moves that would have a major impact on using the Internet, on privacy and on civil liberties.

That’s not only unacceptable, it’s extremely unwise in view of what the Australian government plans to do next:

If the content and internet industries reach agreement on a scheme to deal with copyright infringement, the Attorney-General’s department is expected to put a draft proposal out for public consultation.

Given the way that such a draft proposal is being drawn up, any public consultation is likely to be seen as a sham, since the terms of the debate have already been set. And when the draft with a few token but irrelevant tweaks finally becomes law, guess how much public support that is going to have?

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and on Google+

Filed Under: , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Australian Government Holds Secret Anti-Piracy Meetings; The Public Is Not Invited”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
33 Comments
Mr. Smarta** says:

Gee... anything else you'd like with your plate of everything?

So, they want someone to build the nuclear carpet bombs, someone to fly them over the different countries and drop them, someone to clean up the mess and take the blame for all the innocent people blown up, and someone to pat them on the back for all the hard work they’ve done.

Gee… They’ll fit right in here in the U.S. with Obama and his cronies in Congress. Meanwhile, everyone who isn’t a lawyer or in the Entertainment mafia gets bent over and done dry.

Boo Boo says:

worms

Why are these wide eyed dickheads in governments so up the ass of the content industry ?
Do they think its cool hobnobbing with movie studios and record labels ?
One of these days someone in high places is gonna get burned
by hanging too close to these guys,they are all goo goo now running errands for the content mafia, but lets see , when these guys don’t get what they want, the worm will turn.

Lowestofthekeys (profile) says:

What’s the point in them even meeting? They’re all agreeable to the same douchebag-esque maneuvers, and they obviously don’t care about the people’s opinion on things.

They might as well just forego the pleasantries of making it seem like they’re actually meeting to make an informed decision, and come out and say it’s a giant corporate circle jerk.

Violated (profile) says:

Not a lot

I am doubtful they will reach an agreement. After the Australian courts turned them down then the copyright cartels are only using this as a “bullying and threats” party.

Then after all that the content industry do not even want to pay for the filtering system that they want to force on to the Australian public. A situation that only provides the answer to Donald Duck off.

I am sure that the Tech Industry quickly learnt what little Hitlers the Content Industry is how they should not cooperate with them. The only way something would pass here was if they get tired of their whining screeching little child-like voices and just give them something to shut them the Hell up.

Let me put it this way. How much love would iiNet have for the people who dragged them through the courts?

Anonymous Coward says:

This is why we'll win

We’re building better mechanisms to share bits all the time — note the recent changes at the Pirate Bay, such that it’ll all fit on a pretty small USB stick. That’s only one of many changes that are coming, and the MAFIAA aren’t going to like any of them. Our goal is make sharing ubiquitous, easy, resistant to attacks, uncensorable, and unstoppable.

We will, of course. While the MAFIAA is busy bribing politicians and hiring lawyers, we’re writing code…and code trumps law. WE will decide what happens next, and how, and where: no mere government will dictate to us.

The future’s coming. Adapt or die.

Anonymous Coward says:

I think our governments officials and corporate emloyers and employees, are nervous that the public finally has a will and a way to start “joining in”, like never before, to voice opinions that are beneficial to the public, but potentially negative towards the status quo.

I think certain people with influence throughout our socities, have been doing it a certain way for so long, they dont want change , through fear of loss, loss of property, loss of control, loss of a tool, loss of a service etc etc etc

there are those who will do whatever it takes to keep what they know “as long as it works for me, to hell with the consequence to others”.
Being so accustomed to their situation, and unwilling to do it all over again……when life is so cushty, why change, understandable, but dont expect the people at the bottom looking up at you and and expect them to accept it In an ideal world, we would be equal on all things, if you want to stay up there, then everyone should be up there, just because its hard, does’nt make it impossible, just not desirable,

and a hell of a lot harder, considering the priorities of some, and actions of others……consciously or subconsciously

inconsistency (profile) says:

as an aussie

I’ve been watching with incredulity your SoPA/PIPA fight.

To find that it has now landed here is depressing, but not surprising

I have now decided – I will not spend a single dollar more on these arseholes.

There a few movies released recently that I wouldn’t mind seeing, but fuck them. I’ll wait til they’re available on-line

There are a few new TV shows starting up, here, with our ratings season having just started, that look intriguing, but fuck them. I’ll wait til they’re available on line

I will not buy another newspaper or magazine – Rupert murdoch is probably the evilest fuck in the world, and he owns far too much of the media, here.

I have a DVD collection numbering over 200 titles – i’ve always enjoyed the special features – and about 30 blu-rays, but fuck them. I WILL not buy any brand new media anymore.

I will wait to find second-hand copies of any movies or TV shows or music CDs I want so that I do not give these evil fucks a SINGLE hard-earned dollar EVER again.

I have actively argued with friends and relatives that only ever download content about needing to pay the creators for their work.

But FUCK THEM

Never again!

inconsistency (profile) says:

as an aussie

I’ve been watching with incredulity your SoPA/PIPA fight.

To find that it has now landed here is depressing, but not surprising

I have now decided – I will not spend a single dollar more on these arseholes.

There a few movies released recently that I wouldn’t mind seeing, but fuck them. I’ll wait til they’re available on-line

There are a few new TV shows starting up, here, with our ratings season having just started, that look intriguing, but fuck them. I’ll wait til they’re available on line

I will not buy another newspaper or magazine – Rupert murdoch is probably the evilest fuck in the world, and he owns far too much of the media, here.

I have a DVD collection numbering over 200 titles – i’ve always enjoyed the special features – and about 30 blu-rays, but fuck them. I WILL not buy any brand new media anymore.

I will wait to find second-hand copies of any movies or TV shows or music CDs I want so that I do not give these evil fucks a SINGLE hard-earned dollar EVER again.

I have actively argued with friends and relatives that only ever download content about needing to pay the creators for their work.

But FUCK THEM

Never again!

Anonymous Coward says:

As Another Aussie

Please settle down, our American cousins. This meeting was between the content industry and our local ISPs. Our ISPs are very well aware that the content industry would like to book them in for some rough sessions of ass-raping. They are not at all keen on that idea and are rightly proposing to charge immense fees to the content industry. The content industry is saying things like, “How dare you!” and “The government should pay!”

The discussion will go nowhere. In the unlikely event that it looks like getting anywhere, there are internet-freedom-loving groups standing by, ready to put the fear of death into our local pollies.

A preferential voting system is a wonderful thing. You should try it.

Chargone (profile) says:

As Another Aussie

it gets less wonderful if you have the capacity to vote ‘above the line’ and compulsory voting though. it’s sufficiantly complex that far too many people, when given no choice but to vote, just go with, rather than voting for their party because ‘that’s my party, damn it!’ they … vote for the people their party wants… to the exact same effect.

so, yeah, probably works better if you get rid of at least one of ‘compulsory’ and ‘above the line’ voting.

or at least, that’s the impression i got when reading up about it prior to the last referendum on our election system here in NZ 🙂

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...