Talking copyright vs the internet on ABC Local Radio

Last night I took part in a nice long chat about copyright and the internet on ABC Local Radio across Australia — the program being Tony Delroy’s Nightlife.

Also on the program was Fiona Phillips, acting CEO of the Australian Copyright Council, so we had me as the technologist and her as the lawyer.

I think Mr Delroy was surprised to find that we were in broad agreement on most issues. We covered quite a bit of territory, including SOPA, Optus versus sport, new business models and the inevitable mention of Nine Inch Nails.

Here’s the recording of the whole thing, including the talkback calls.

Play

I’d also like to thank everyone on Twitter who suggested other creatives who were successfully bypassing the middlemen and publishing straight to their audiences: musicians Radiohead, Amanda Hocking, Amanda Palmer, Jonathan Coulton and OK Go; writers Stephen King and Cory Doctorow; comedian Louis CK; and even the movie Red State by Kevin Smith. Have I missed any?

The audio is ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The program is also available as an MP3 from the ABC website.

Talking Optus versus sports on 1395 FIVEaa

The Optus TV Now decision continued to be “important” news throughout the week, with sports heavies trying to talk the government into a quick fix despite the Australian Law Reform Commission review already scheduled.

If you’re new to the story, well, there’s a summary and links in my post from Tuesday and my opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Last night I ended up talking about it on Adelaide radio 1395 FIVEaa. I held the slight fear that I’d be on a sports program as token representative of The Evil Internets. But as it happens, presenter Will Goodings took us through a rather balanced discussion.

Play

As an aside, I was amused to see how an editorial in The Australian described the federal court decision.

Last week’s landmark Federal Court ruling that Optus can record and re-broadcast sporting events “near live” without breaching copyright…

The court decided no such thing. It decided that individuals could make their “private and domestic” recordings using Optus’ service rather than their own equipment. It certainly didn’t give Optus permission to “re-broadcast” anything, at least within any meaning of the word “broadcast” used by people on this planet.

Still, hats off to The Australian for a lovely bit of propaganda in support of their sporting interests. Remember who owns the National Rugby League…

The audio is ©2012 dmgRadio Australia, but here it is ‘cos it hasn’t been posted on the radio station’s website. Besides, this is a reasonable plug.

Talking major sports’ future on ABC 702 Sydney

If you’d asked me last week what I thought I’d be doing this week, the answer would not have included “writing and talking about the future of the major sporting codes as televisions events”. But I wrote this thing in the newspaper…

Last week federal court judge Justice Steven Rares ruled that Optus’ TV Now service, which allows customers to record free-to-air TV and have it streamed back to their smartphone, tablet or computer at a more convenient time, was a legal form of time-shifting under section 111 of the Copyright Act 1968.

Even if competing telco Telstra had a supposedly-exclusive deal with the Australian Football League (AFL) to stream live video coverage of matches to smartphones. Even if the delay between an Optus customer starting to record a game and playing it back was just two minutes.

Telstra is paying the AFL $153 million over five years for this now-not-so-exclusive streaming right. Optus pays the AFL nothing, because they’re just providing a technical service through which individual customers make their own “solely for private and domestic use” recordings.

Josh Taylor covered it for ZDNet Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald commissioned me to write an opinion piece that was published this morning, Sport has to think outside the box. Do please read it. It seem to have struck a chord, because I’ve received a lot of compliments.

Then the ABC’s Linda Mottram asked me to chat about the issues on 702 Sydney. And here’s the audio, along with her subsequent chat with a talkback caller on the same topic.

Play

The audio is of course ©2012 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. But these program items usually aren’t archived on their website so here it is. And I will of course suggest that you listen to Linda Mottram’s morning program regularly.

I’m thinking of writing up some of my thoughts on how future sporting coverage could be done technically. Meanwhile, do you feel as I do that the days of cashed-up major sporting codes are about to end?

[Update 8 February 2012, 1015: The Sydney Morning Herald has published a follow-up piece this morning by rugby legend Roy Masters. Court has gambled with codes’ futures. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to draw me a diagram of what the fuck he’s talking about.]

Episode 46 is online, Kevin Rudd!

Screenshot from Stilgherrian Live episode 46

Episode 46 of Stilgherrian Live, the Zeitgeist Edition, is now online for your viewing pleasure.

We had a strong field of nominations for “Cnut of the Week”, and it was tough selecting the shortlist. However we eventually saw Rupert Murdoch in 4th place (11%) for his insistence that we somehow pay for news online; Wynyard Baptist Church in 3rd place (22%) for their religious intolerance, and the Australian Football League came in 2nd (30%) for their legal attacks on a fan website which actually supports their sport.

Photograph of PM Kevin Rudd (with Senator Penny Wong) as Cnut of the Week

The clear winner of “Cnut of the Week”, though, was Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (37%) for delaying the introduction of an emissions trading scheme (ETS).

As my friends over at newmatilda.com point out, Monday’s announcement amounts to Rudd breaking his first major election promise. But apart from that, it’s a clear failure to take action on the most important long term issue facing this country and, indeed, the world.

Not happy, Kevin.

Meanwhile, congratulations to deanlk, who won a t-shirt from our friends at King Cnut Ethical Clothing via his nomination for the journos and obit writers who got duped by a fake quote in Wikipedia.

Stilgherrian Live will return at 9.30pm next Thursday night Sydney time.

AFL Flash Chant: “Howard, time to go!” Pass it on!

Here’s an idea. If inthemix.com.au could organize a Flash Rave at Sydney Town Hall yesterday with hundreds of people, it should be possible to organize a Flash Chant of “Howard, time to go!” during the AFL Grand Final this afternoon.

Here’s how:

  • Spread the word fast. We’ve 4 hours.
  • Focus on telling people in Melbourne, or who have friends in Melbourne, and AFL fans.
  • Spread the word using every social network you have — SMS, MySpace, Facebook, whatever. (But don’t spam people you know won’t be interested. Choose wisely.)
  • It’d be way cool if the chant was running once TV returned to the game after GetUp! screen their Climate Clever-er ad, or when John Howard was on screen. That means someone should organize someone who’s watching the game on TV to tell people at the ground when it happens. Have a brief trigger-word SMS ready to send instantly.
  • Everyone needs to be chanting the same thing: “Howard, time to go!”
  • If it’s loud enough, during a quiet part of the game, you get national TV coverage!

The crowd for Geelong versus Port Power will presumably have a working-class bias. Everyone will be hyped up for The Big Day anyway. It shouldn’t be too hard to make this happen.

I’ve just created flashchant.com so it’s easier to spread the word, too.

Update: The website has been online less than 2 hours and already it’s received 600 unique visitors. Scary.