Feeds

Attorney-General alters copyright consultation paper

Feeding the trolls 101

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

The Australian Attorney-General’s department has triggered a teacup-storm of speculation, criticism, and conspiracy-theorizing by issuing and then changing a discussion paper on copyright reform.

The story began last week, when the department flagged a review of the “safe harbour” provisions that are, among other things, at issue in the High Court appeal in the “AFACT versus iiNet” trial.

In its original discussion paper, however, the Department also raised the spectre of government greasing the wheels of copyright trolls actions, in a section entitled Streamlining the process of seeking ISP subscriber details in copyright infringement matters.

In what looked like an industry-provided template, the paper echoed copyright industry complaints that complying with legal processes such as court orders is “cumbersome and expensive”.

On October 14, however, the document was re-issued with this section removed, a move which suggests that a draft rather than a final version was first posted. Even so, the original version is being interpreted as reflecting the inside thinking of the Department.

The kerfuffle has also obscured other aspects of the discussion paper – in particular, its handling of the definition of “service providers” who enjoy safe harbour protection.

As Australian law now stands, safe harbour only extends to carriers and carriage service providers as defined in Australia’s Telecommunications Act. However, the consultation notes, carriers and service providers aren’t the only people who provide network access.

This appears to create an exposure outside the telecommunications / ISP industry. Is a company at risk because its staff download unauthorised material during work hours? What of university campus networks or search engines?

Australians have until November 22 to comment on whether “safe harbour” should be defined as “A person who provides services relating to, or provides connections for, the transmission or routing of data; or operates facilities for, online services or network access, but does not include such person or class of persons as the Minister may prescribe in the Regulations.” ®

Upate: The Attorney-General's department has told The Register the inclusion of the user identification 'streamlining' was an error.

"A draft document which incorporated other issues not included in the Safe Harbour review was mistakenly posted on the Departmental website. It was removed as soon as the error came to light," a spokesperson told The Register.

"We believe that the ongoing departmental convened discussions between ISPs and content owners is currently the most appropriate forum to address these issues." ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.