Australian Movie Studio Boss Skips Out On Public Q&A, Claiming It Will Be Filled With 'Crazies'
from the respecting-the-public dept
In response to the proposal, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull (who has, apparently, been pushing for more reasonable rules to dilute Brandis' extreme proposals) said that a public hearing would be held in September to discuss the proposal, getting a variety of stakeholders in the room together, including consumer rights groups. The major Australian studio, Village Roadshow (the "token" Australian studio in the failed Hollywood-driven effort to sue ISP iiNet a few years back), has apparently decided to opt out of attending the session. While the company's CEO Graham Burke originally said he couldn't make it because he'd be overseas, he actually told Turnbull that he was skipping it because he didn't want to deal with "crazies," by which he apparently means the public who are concerned about their rights being trampled:
“My company is not prepared to participate in the forum. As expressed to you previously these Q and A style formats are judged by the noise on the night and given the proposed venue I believe this will be weighted by the crazies,” Burke told the Minister.Nice to see what they really think of the public and concerns about how the new rules might trample free speech, an open internet or the nature of innovation. It's a pretty weak argument, showing real desperation when someone insists that the concerns being raised by public interest groups and ISPs about significant legal changes that will have a major impact on the internet as a whole, are just "a miniscule group whose hidden agenda is theft of movies." No one's "agenda" is "theft of movies." People are legitimately concerned about the consequences of putting liability on ISPs over actions of their users. The near certain response is to lead to massive censorship, blocking of free speech, and much greater expenses for consumers -- none of which will have any real impact on infringement of movies.
“What is at stake here is the very future of Australian film production itself and it is too crucially important to Australia’s economy and the fabric of our society to put at risk with what will be a miniscule group whose hidden agenda is theft of movies,” Burke told the Minister.
It seems quite telling, actually, that Burke apparently recognizes that he has no good responses to these concerns, and can only respond through insults and ad hominems.