Australians may get their own stop online piracy act #SOPA: Christmas time for copyright owners
Rimmer, Matthew (2014) Australians may get their own stop online piracy act #SOPA: Christmas time for copyright owners. Medium.
Christmas has come early for copyright owners in Australia. The film company, Roadshow, the pay television company Foxtel, and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and News Limited--as well as copyright industries--have been clamoring for new copyright powers and remedies. In the summer break, the Coalition Government has responded to such entreaties from its industry supporters and donors, with a new package of copyright laws and policies.
There has been significant debate over the proposals between the odd couple of Attorney-General George Brandis and the Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull. There have been deep, philosophical differences between the two Ministers over the copyright agenda. The Attorney-General George Brandis has supported a model of copyright maximalism, with strong rights and remedies for the copyright empires in film, television, and publishing. He has shown little empathy for the information technology companies of the digital economy. The Attorney-General has been impatient to press ahead with a copyright regime. The Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, has been somewhat more circumspect, recognizing that there is a need to ensure that copyright laws do not adversely impact upon competition in the digital economy. The final proposal is a somewhat awkward compromise between the discipline-and-punish regime preferred by Brandis, and the responsive regulation model favored by Turnbull.
In his new book, Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, Cory Doctorow has some sage advice for copyright owners:
Things that don't make money: Complaining about piracy. Calling your customers thieves. Treating your customers like thieves.
In this context, the push by copyright owners and the Coalition Government to have a copyright crackdown may well be counter-productive to their interests.
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