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.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Ricardo Friaz, 7 Nov 2006 @ 11:05pm

    ...So the search engine company would be familiar with every single web page indexed? They'd have to email xxxbestialityinspace.com for permission to link to them? That's silly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Solo, 7 Nov 2006 @ 11:22pm

    How do you spell clueless again? How about competence? Does this thing have any chance to pass as a law? Is there any hope for the human race?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      DittoBox, 8 Nov 2006 @ 10:02am

      Re:

      Well, in another one of the colonies we passed the DMCA, and COPPA, and CAN SPAM, and...

      Well, you get the picture.

      Don't underestimate any country's mentally retarded politicians.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pramit Singh, 7 Nov 2006 @ 11:27pm

    Why Australia has to go Europe's heavy on copyright way beats comprehension.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Spud, 7 Nov 2006 @ 11:35pm

    Just plain stupid

    If the proposed changes go through then the Aussies deserve to lose the internet. These changes are just plain stupid, especially the one about requiring permission from a web site before a search engine can index it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2006 @ 4:12am

      Re: Just plain stupid

      omg...unless Australia also gets its own big wall'o'fire to block themselfs off from the rest of the world, everybody would know that instead of going to google.au, going to google.com would already solve their problems. Australian laws still aint European, Asian, African or American laws.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Shohat, 8 Nov 2006 @ 12:05am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dom, 8 Nov 2006 @ 12:14am

    God damnit

    Our politicians seriously have no clue. What the hell is wrong with them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2006 @ 12:22am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lyynx, 8 Nov 2006 @ 12:24am

    Hahahahah... NO.

    Next thing you know users will need the web site's permission to download their content and browse their site.
    And if their computer leaves a copy of the images downloaded in it's cache then they can be dragged off to prison for copyright infringement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Panos, 8 Nov 2006 @ 12:44am

    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.

    http://www.wired.com/news/games/0,2101,57305,00.html

    for more info.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paul, 8 Nov 2006 @ 12:54am

    How would they accomplish this?

    What about web pages that don't have any contact information?

    Sure they could track down whois information for domains in order to contact, but what about services that offer web hosting without a personal domain?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    The Swiss Cheese Monster, 8 Nov 2006 @ 2:58am

    If people don't want their sites indexed.

    Then make it so that the content can't be indexed.

    This isn't hard to do.

    Has everybody forgotten about robots.txt?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jeff Quindlen, 8 Nov 2006 @ 3:05am

    robots.txt

    No, not everyone has forgetton about robots.txt. Specifically post #5, where Shohat specifically talks about robot.txt :D

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    hoeppner, 8 Nov 2006 @ 5:03am

    lol australia will shoot themselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    cadoz, 8 Nov 2006 @ 5:05am

    ahem... I guess the google element in this headline was just to guarantee a few more clicks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    rstr5105, 8 Nov 2006 @ 5:10am

    thank you anon

    Thank you anon. You made a very clear and accurate point about the internet and unfortunatly you are right. I would have made the point myself, but you beat me to it! :P

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Panaqqa, 8 Nov 2006 @ 5:39am

    Another silly law, eh? Shades of Belgium...

    If this passes, then maybe what Google should do is simply remove all Australian websites from their index and not bother asking "permission" to reindex them. A few years of nobody being able to find them online should change this type of thinking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    phreaki, 8 Nov 2006 @ 5:49am

    Coming soon to US

    I'm sure that a whole room of senators just smacked themselves on the forehead and went Doh!

    It's these type of narrowminded ideas that waste time and will get nowhere in the end. It doesn't matter about robots.txt to some people, they want a law on the books.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Steve, 8 Nov 2006 @ 6:08am

    If this became law, Australian government would require Google to remove everything with a .au or.com. 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    sean, 8 Nov 2006 @ 6:27am

    "If you don't want people searching for your webpage, then why even have one."

    Because it makes me feel special and like some one cares but I have no type of counter so when no one views it I will not feel bad about my self

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TriZz, 8 Nov 2006 @ 7:19am

    WTF Mate?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ryan, 8 Nov 2006 @ 8:24am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    wtf ..., 8 Nov 2006 @ 9:39am

    WTH?!

    As permission of *every* website indexed or just those that have a copyright? Just posting a website does not imply it has a copyright does it? What about forums, chats, etc ...

    And how exactly does this benefit the entertainment industry?

    I'm confused ... *sigh*

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    system001, 8 Nov 2006 @ 12:20pm

    a new spin

    this sounds like tracking people activities just with a new spin. here in amorica i think it is less about protecting their property and more about big bother and big business control everyone. finally here more people are opening their mouths and saying no more. just hope that it is not too late here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ricardo Fioretti, 8 Nov 2006 @ 2:13pm

    Ridiculous

    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

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Idiot politicians, 8 Nov 2006 @ 4:17pm

    Idiots

    Let's expand this to B&M world. If a person wants to look into a store window, he or she has to ask permission of the store owner. He or she has to ask permission of the store owner first before stepping into the store in blindfold in case the permissiong to look in store is denied.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Earl Mardle, 9 Nov 2006 @ 3:54am

    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

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    tundraboy, 10 Nov 2006 @ 7:37am

    What do you expect? This is the same government that continues to support Bush's excellent Iraqi adventure even after practically everyone else has peeled off from that ill-conceived coalition. Goes to show how bright they are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

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



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

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



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.