Jan 20, 2010

The copyright outrage the geeks forgot to mention

The tech community hasn't done much of a job of persuading mainstream Australia that proposed internet censorship laws are a bad idea, despite their potentially crippling effect on freedom of speech, writes Angus Kidman.

Chances are you’ve never heard of ACTA. It’s not something that’s likely to come up in polite conversation; it has never been mentioned on Crikey. Indeed, I’d suggest the only chance you’re ACTA-aware is if you have a close personal involvement with  somebody who spends a lot of time playing with their PC late at night. (Yes, that’s a polite way of saying you’d probably need to be shagging a geek.)

I know this to be true because I’m at what’s undoubtedly the geekiest place in the Southern Hemisphere right now: 2010, the annual gathering of Australian Linux enthusiasts. With commendable broad-mindedness, this year’s event is actually taking place in Wellington. Yes, in New Zealand. You’ve probably heard of it.

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25 thoughts on “The copyright outrage the geeks forgot to mention

  1. October

    Dear Author,

    I didn’t read your article as your first paragraph contained no information or hook of any kind. I even tried to read your second paragraph out of respect to Crikey, but there was nothing there, either.

    If Crikey expects to survive with his kind of sloppy, self indulgent writing – blogorrhea instead of journalism – it is in for a nasty shock, especially if it expects to be paid for it.

    A Reader

  2. A government big enough to give you everything, is strong enough to take everything you have.

    LOL^^Author Pawned.

  3. Most Peculiar Mama

    :”…despite their potentially crippling effect on freedom of speech…”

    Maybe you could point to us the relevant passage in the Australian Constitution that confers upon its citizenry the right to “free speech”?

    Or will you plead the Fifth Amendment?


  4. Angus Kidman

    No, there isn’t a constitutional right to freedom of speech, but I don’t think that means you can’t ever refer to “freedom of speech” in an Australian context. If you choose to disagree, I can’t stop you . . .

  5. homesjc

    Power to the geeks and for freedom of information.

    Having spent this morning chasing up some IP issues with generic chemicals, and having been involved with the US free trade agreement, we need a good active open discussion on IP and copyright. We were duded in some areas and have yet to realise it. We nearly lost significant parts of the pharmaceutical benefit scheme again through excessive protection of IP.

    Time to demand that non Australian corporations be denied certain privileges. ie access to directly lobby governments, and that their Australian representees need to submit publicly available reports on subject, time and any inducements. How do you classify escorts?

    Closely examine the impact on Haiti of US cooperation’s. The rolling of the Aristide government was in part due to the workers of a US cooperation demanding and getting better wages, then having that reversed after the intervention. Other incidents bring to mind the consequences of action to support US corporations – the United Fruit Company in Central America. Power to the geeks.

  6. Delerious

    I’m writing to say I liked the article and I hope Angus would write more….the last thing I expected was a luddite to comment on it in the first instance. Oh well, I’m shagging a geek and he is shagging me.

  7. acannon

    I’m afraid I still don’t get what ACTA is about. Can you clarify?

  8. Jillian Blackall

    “ACTA will try and enforce copyright in the digital realm, meaning the same kind of ISP-level meddling that’s associated with current internet censorship proposals in Australia.”

    That does sound like something to be concerned about. It’s true it hasn’t received mainstream coverage.

  9. Martin C. Jones

    Thanks for the article, Angus.

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