Australian Journalists Union Supports, Then Withdraws Support For, Internet Censorship

from the wonder-how-that-happened... dept

We’ve been covering the efforts by Hollywood studios to push extreme draconian new copyright laws down in Australia, where their interests are being helped along by the Attorney General George Brandis, who has a cozy relationship with Hollywood, but cannot present any evidence he’s ever met with consumer advocates. Brandis pushed out his proposal earlier this year and it was basically Hollywood’s wishlist, exactly as many expected. The Australian government has been accepting “comments” on the proposal, and there have been some interesting submissions. Perhaps most interesting was that the Media, Entertainment, and Arts Alliance (MEAA), a union that represents a combination of both journalists and entertainers, put in a comment supporting the extreme proposal for an internet censorship regime via filtering. You can understand why some of the more shortsighted folks on the “entertainer” side of the union might support such a policy, but the idea that a journalist’s union would do so as well seems… troubling.

The MEAA proposal said that it “strongly supports the proposal” and even talks up (incorrectly) how useful similar censorship efforts have been in the UK. However, it appears that many MEAA members quite reasonably freaked out to find out that their own union was advocating “strongly” in favor of censorship and internet filters — because hours later, MEAA withdrew its comments saying that the whole thing was all a big mistake:

It was never our intention to make a submission which could in any way be interpreted as supporting an internet filter.

We have previously campaigned against Government proposals for an internet filter and will continue to do so, as we also continue to campaign against data retention.

That’s funny, because in the submission itself they directly talked about how amazingly awesome such a filter in the UK was. Huh. It’s almost as if someone simply took some talking points from Hollywood without any real understanding of the deeper issues of what they were supporting, and submitted it — only to realize afterwards that they were a media union endorsing out and out censorship.

Filed Under: , , , , , , ,
Companies: meaa

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 Journalists Union Supports, Then Withdraws Support For, Internet Censorship”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Kronomex (profile) says:

George “Insert Corporate Brand Name Here” Brandis wouldn’t even look at consumers and the public let alone talk to to them if there’s no money in it.

The MEAA has just shown what a bunch of wankers they are by even courting the idea what a “terrific” thing internet censorship is. The sudden change of heart and piss weak excuse is just as bad. Make up your frigging minds!

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...