Dear Australia: Software Knows No Borders

from the yeah,-that'll-work dept

Ross Lazarus points us to the rather surprising news that an increasing number of Sun MySQL employees have been barred from entering Australia on short-term business visas, due to the worry that they'll somehow "compete" with local businesses. There certainly may be more to this story, but on the face of it, it seems pretty ridiculous. Preventing employees of a certain company from entering your country may (barely) have made sense in the past and in some specific industries, but with software on today's internet, it's positively laughable. Somehow I doubt that the "local" Australian database developer community is resting easier thanks to their country's border patrol safely keeping MySQL employees abroad.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    EH, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 4:39am

    Non-story

    Just about any country does that. Go to Canada some time and say it's for business, or to do any sort of work whatsoever. The real story hear is that there are people who don't know that your reason for visiting is always vacation.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    FarSide, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 4:58am

    Re: Non-story

    Seems like it might be hard to apply for a "short-term business license" and say it's because you are on vacation...

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Dave, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 5:01am

    Re: Non-story

    No, saying your are on vacation is lying. I go to Canada a lot and the magic phrase is "I'm here to consult with ". I know it is silly, but "work" = bad, "consult" = OK.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Dave, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re: Non-story

    I've gone to enter the US and used both of those words to get sent for secondary screening and yelled at that I'm stealing American jobs.

    Once I got sent back (not refused) by an overzealous border guard.

    Don't laugh at Australia when the US does much the same.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 5:53am

    hahaha

    mySQL people can't enter! Heavens! I guess they will have to grow Australian nationals into mySQL gurus then!

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    simon, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 5:55am

    good ideea, wrong application

    while is nice to see that some care about local software production stopping foreign competition at country border is stupid, better give support (tax wise or whatever) for those who buy domestic software and help domestic industry to develop and promote this in media, then stopping people at border...

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Parker, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 6:22am

    Australian Border Patrol Is Crazy

    I went to Australia a few years ago on a student visa to do a one-year post-graduate degree. I order to bring avoid paying hefty duty charges on my laptop, I had to bring proof that I had purchased it a year before the day I was to enter Australia.
    An American Football team traveling on the same plan as me had to unload all of their luggage at customs and wash off the bottom of their cleats so as not to bring any foreign soil or seeds onto Australian turf.
    That seems reasonable to me, not barring entry of newer laptops or database dudes.

    I definitely agree with Simon that resources should be better sent supporting local software development.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    DS, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 6:42am

    Re: Australian Border Patrol Is Crazy

    "I definitely agree with Simon that resources should be better sent supporting local software development."

    Then they should make a better product, or have better service. That way, they won't need gov't protection. With gov't protection, every Bruce in Australia will be stuck with products that can't compete on the world market.

     

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  9.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jan 14th, 2009 @ 7:10am

    Re: Non-story

    So, you don't think that the fact that Australia is apparently banning the employees of a particular company is newsworthy, just because they didn't bother lying at immigration? What a strange viewpoint.

    I'm sure you wouldn't mind it if I lied at immigration next time I visit the US, maybe overstay my visa and/or negotiate contracts away from local companies while I'm there... After all, everyone does it according to you.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    DS78, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 9:00am

    Another good phrase

    My company has both a US and Canadian branch. When I travel to the Canadian sites I just tell them I'll be in meetings for the duration of my stay. The never ask any other questions...

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Virtual Web Symphony, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 9:34am

    Issue is some thing differrent

    I don't believe that Australia can deny entry just on this flimsy ground. There is something more which is not understood from this report.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    nasch, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 10:47am

    Check the link

    Check the original source for this:

    http://blogs.mysql.com/kaj/2009/01/12/on-open-source-and-open-competition-in-a-not-so-open- world/

    The claim that the visas were denied for competition reasons looks to me like pure speculation. All the guys knows is one person was denied a visa for unknown reasons, and the other decided not to go because he thought he might be denied entry.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Non-story

    All business is conducted on vacations these days anyway... better environment for both sides of a deal, keeps everyone friendly and energetic. Vacation more!

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Sos, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 3:18pm

    So the "increasing number" turns out to be two, one of which actually got a visa but decided not to come because he 'might' be overturned by immigration.

    This sounds like a case of a visa being rejected due to belief that the holder will violate the visa conditions, which Australian immigration does quite regularly. This can be as stupid as coming in on a vacation visa but bringing a hardcopy of your resume

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    whatever, Jan 19th, 2009 @ 3:50pm

    Dear Techdirt

    Once again your lack of fact-checking skills rears its head. Sensationalism at the expense of the facts. Tsk, tsk.
    Nice job. You just lost a loyal and long-time reader.

     

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


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