A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets — and this week there’s been a lot of it!
- Gay marriage an irrelevant sideshow, for ABC Unleashed. I reckon the way “the gay and lesbian community” abused Senator Penny Wong for simply re-stating Labor policy was disgusting. Did they really expect her to break ranks and criticise her party’s policy just because some random punter asked her a question on Q&A?
- AFACT didn’t explain notices to iiNet for ZDNet.com.au. On Wednesday I covered day three of the Federal Court appeal by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft in their case against Australia’s third-largest ISP. This is straight reportage of the morning’s proceedings.
- Will AFACT’s appeal solve anything? for ZDNet.com.au. On Thursday, I wrote this op-ed piece, picking up on one of the appeal judge’s comments about this appeal not necessarily solving anything long-term.
- Patch Monday episode 51, “Data breaches: it’s criminals again” with guest Brad Arkin, who Mark Goudie, who heads up the forensics practice for Verizon Business Asia-Pacific in Melbourne. We discuss Verizon’s 2010 Data Breach Investigations Report [PDF].
- A Series of Tubes episode 114. Host Richard Chirgwin talks with APNIC Chief Scientist Geoff Houston about the impending exhaustion of IPv4 internet addresses, and me about the AFACT v iiNet appeal, the demise of Google Wave, and a few political things.
[Photo: The view from Courtroom 1, Federal Court of Australia, Sydney, photographed on 4 August 2010. The brown smudges are not on your screen: the windows need cleaning from the outside.]
The iiNet decision was clearly the biggest IT news story last week, so this week’s Patch Monday podcast includes a comprehensive explanation.
My special guest is Peter Black, who teaches internet law at the Queensland University of Technology. But before you get to listen to him, you can endure my summary of Justice Dennis Cowdroy’s full decision.
You can listen below. But it’s probably better for my stats if you listen at ZDNet Australia or subscribe to the RSS feed or subscribe in iTunes.
Please, let me know what you think. We now accept audio comments too. Either Skype to “stilgherrian” or phone Sydney 02 8011 3733.
It’s almost old news now, but last Thursday the Federal Court ruled that internet service providers (ISPs) are not responsible for the copyright infringements done by their customers.
The full decision by Justice Dennis Cowdroy is almost 200 pages long, yet I found it relatively easy to read and learned a lot.
I’ve written three stories for Crikey so far:
- iiTrial: ISPs not responsible for users’ copyright infringement, which was published just a few hours after the decision was handed down. It’s the basic facts of the decision.
- iiNet decision a slapdown for AFACT, movie industry, which focuses on Justice Cowdroy’s comprehensive criticism of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) — not just the way they conducted themselves in court but their whole approach to dealing with copyright infringement.
- Conroy tells movie industry, ISPs to kiss and make up, published yesterday. AFACT looked like they expected the government to intervene, but communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy is instead asking the movie and ISP industries to negotiate a code of practice themselves, presumably via the Internet Industry Association.
I daresay I’ll be writing more soon. Meanwhile, if you have any questions…
Oh, in case you’re wondering, this legal case AFACT v iiNet is about online copyright infringement — that is, illegal file sharing — and whether ISPs do enough to stop it. Its result will set important precedents for the entire telecommunications industry, as well as your expectations of privacy online.
I wrote a backgrounder for Crikey last week, which is free to read.
If iiNet loses, all ISPs could be hit with similar claims worth millions of dollars. That cost, and the cost of additional monitoring, would be passed on to customers. The hearing is expected to last until mid-November. Judge’s rulings are expected early next year.
I don’t know whether it’s the first time an Australian legal trial has been covered live via Twitter, but the Twitter coverage of the AFACT v iiNet hearing in the Federal Court is breathing new life into court reporting. So, why don’t we just stream everything live to the Internet, audio and video?
That’s the question I ask in my first opinion piece for ZDNet Australia, Twitter in court: Why not streaming video?, which was posted on Friday afternoon after I’d spent half the week watching ZDNet.com.au‘s Liam Tung and The Australian‘s Andrew Colley bring us their observations as the case unfolded.
As it happens, the ban on live broadcast coverage from courtrooms dates back to the 1930s. Although there have been experiments with TV coverage, it’s still rare. But apart from the obvious cases where you’d want to keep it banned, why shouldn’t we allow it? That’s what I explore over at ZDNet.com.au. Have a read and let me know what you think.
If you want to follow the hearing, which is expected to last until mid-November, monitor the Twitter hashtag #iitrial.