[Linux-aus] Petition draft text: No DMCA blanket anti-circumvention law in Australia!

Rusty Russell rusty at linux.org.au
Wed Jun 7 16:19:01 UTC 2006

On Tue, 2006-06-06 at 11:46 +1000, Andrew Pam wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 05, 2006 at 05:10:05PM +1000, Rusty Russell wrote:
> > I've been meeting with political advisers, writing letters, and making
> > submissions on this stuff for LA for almost two years now.  The
> > government will soon produce draft legislation implementing 17.4.7 FTA
> > commitments.  Unfortunately, they just don't care, so are going to
> > interpret the treaty as "we need to implement it like the americans",
> > even though a better interpretation is possible, with political will.
> We should also draw their attention to the UK APIG report:
> http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20060605142442771

Actually, I found the report lacklustre and quite poor.  They
principally bought the argument that TPMs had made online distribution
possible, that market forces would prevent abuse of overbearing TPMs,
and that labelling laws were the answer.

The first is exactly backwards: coddling the industry who say they won't
distribute online without being given more monopoly is exactly the wrong
response.  Clearly, too much monopoly has dampened market signals to the
point where they can ignore an opportunity to cut costs by 40% and
access a broader range of consumers.  We have rewarded their failure by
granting them a monopoly on distribution of media in the 21st century,
in addition to their traditional monopoly on selling copies.   And you
still cannot buy the online equivalent of a CD in Australia, for any
price, nor are there plans to allow such things.

The second correlates with the first: labelling that a product "may not
work with all devices" is an extremely weak response when the consumer's
only alternative is to go without.  Having overridden market forces by
granting an almost-blanket monopoly, it is nonsensical to suggest that
the market forces you have now gutted will magically fix any problems.

So let's try to pass laws which help TPMs protect against copyright
infringement, but remain silent on helping TPMs place additional
restrictions.  Otherwise we'll be stuck with reports like this that
suggest we tweak at the edges, and still presumptively ban legitimate


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