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Old 19th July 2004, 09:02   #1  |  Link
Mug Funky
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Aussies! help get Copyright law fixed for Fair Use

there's an election coming, and there's some stuff we all want changed.

so in the next few months, let's all harass our federal MPs (and of course all the others as well) to get Fair Use rights included in our outdated copyright law.

if enough of us do this, and put the right spin on it, it could be made an election issue.

okay... a bit of background:

- i got annoyed at the fact that EMI music australia only release CDS200 copy (read?) protected CDs, so i contacted the company and found out a few things. in short, my conclusion is that the law needs changing, rather than the company. the person i contacted at EMI said rather simply that EMI release these CDs in all countries that allow them to.

- australia has no Fair Use clause in copyright law, which, though not enforced, allows various forms of DRM and consumer-unfriendly practice to go unchecked, with no recourse for consumers - the ACCC can't do a thing against it simply because while there may be very slight violations of the Trade Practices Act, they do not amount to anything that the ACCC can act on, or would bother with if they could because of legal costs.

the best way to change this is to get the law changed.

now, most of us hear this kind of thing all the time, especially on forums such as this. but most of us don't really do anything about it - it stays on the forum, where really it will go unnoticed by people who may be able to help.

so let's all make as much noise as possible before the election. try google for "australia consumer" and contact any consumer advocacy groups that pop up. maybe "Australian Consumer Association" and a few similar bodies - remember that an established group like that will be more powerful than a group of individuals.

i'm currently compiling a letter that i will send to as many federal MPs and consumer groups as i can... just gotta find the right way to express all this stuff (after all, to non-geeks, it is incredibly boring stuff, though important).

if anyone wants, i can make this letter available before i send it so we can get something between us that we all agree on...
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Old 19th July 2004, 10:07   #2  |  Link
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I can't vote for another ~6 months...
Then again after this time, I'll be forced to vote

Anyway, as far as I know, currently the biggest threat is the usa-australia free trade agreement - it seems to be good for Oz in many places but not with IP issues.

There is a good government report on this here.

It's long but a good read - it explains quite well the economical argumets AGAINST strong IP rights.

Radek
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Old 19th July 2004, 10:37   #3  |  Link
Mug Funky
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thanks for the link... i'm in the middle of reading a review on the "digital agenda act" that recommends the inclusion of "fair dealing" rights (i haven't found a copy of the actual act yet, but we can assume there are no permissions for fair use/dealing)

but reading on i found that the US-AUS FTA will supercede this. so i agree that the FTA is going to be the clincher here.

however, the broader review of the digital agenda act will be concluded after the FTA passes (or doesn't pass ), so there may still be hope even if the FTA's IP restrictions pass.

personally, i wish we had a government with the strength to say "f*** off!" to the american government. New Zealand can do it, why can't we? it's much healthier in an alliance to have the courage to stand up and raise a possible issue. nobody likes a yes-man.

oh.. here's the link i'm on atm...

http://www.copyright.org.au/

follow it to the Digital Agenda review link and have a look.

hmm... so it looks like fair use may actually happen. OTOH, it seems the ARIA is itching to get some subpoenas out as soon as these laws pass. privacy law means there is a requirement of evidence (innocent until proven guilty, with a catch), which is a good thing. i don't think the FTA said anything about the evidence requirement (i might have to read it again, *sigh*)

[edit]

i may already have read that link, syskin... looks familiar anyway.
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Old 19th July 2004, 13:28   #4  |  Link
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Quote:
the biggest threat is the usa-australia free trade agreement - it seems to be good for Oz in many places but not with IP issues
no its bad in so many places its not funny. some of the bad areas such as farmers have been sugar coated to sound nice but they are not. if this passes a lot of industry here will be screwed over.

Quote:
if enough of us do this, and put the right spin on it, it could be made an election issue.
been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. fact, most MP's are technology illiterate. look at how little richard alston knew, got his information from telstra basically. this wont make it as an election issue.


finally, this is rather against the forum rules so maybe we should let this go here.
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