Stilgherrian’s links for 10 November 2008 through 13 November 2008, greased up and wearing a beanie:
- Against Australian Internet Censorship? We Must Change Our Arrogant, Flawed Strategy | Let’s Take Over: Someone who manages to talk about Internet censorship with even more anger than me, though the anger is directed at those who poorly manage the political arguments against censorship.
- If you look long enough, you can find anything on the Internet | The Weblog With No Name: A nice little piece about the need to preserve our knowledge, “just in case”.
- ISP Content Filtering Live Pilot | DBCDE: The official call for expressions of interest from ISPs who want to take part in the Australia government’s Internet censorship trials.
- Filter advocates need to check their facts | ABC News: Network engineer Mark Newton’s latest piece about plans for Internet censorship.
- Get the Picture – Video | Screen Australia: A detailed analysis of the video industry in Australia, with lots of useful statistics and graphs. The site also has analysis of cinema, free-to-air and subscription TV, interactive media, the audiovisual trade and international comparisons.
- A Brief Lesson on the Practicalities of Internet Filtering/Censoring for the Current Australian Government | UserFriendly: The metaphor has been used before, or at least variations of it have, but this cartoon version might spread the meme more widely.
- Destruction Day for Pirated DVDs | Minister for Home Affairs: Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus’ original media release claiming the figure of $1.7 billion for the cost of illegally-copies DVDs.
- Film piracy “funding” Islamic militants | ABC News: According to Optical Media Board chairman Edu Manzano, the Abu Sayyaf — blamed for the worst terrorist attacks in the South-East Asian country — are likely behind the illegal copying of movies onto DVDs, which are then peddled at Manila shops by migrant Muslim traders.
- US Attorney General: Piracy funds terror | ars technica: Another source for the trope that illegally copying DVDs funds terrorism.
- What piracy crisis? MPAA touts record box office for 2007 | ars technica: The US box office continues to grow, despite all the rhetoric about piracy.
[This article was first published in Crikey on Monday. I’ve also added the comment and additional material which were published yesterday.]
Hurrah! The War on Terror is over! Well, at least it seems we’re no longer afraid of terrorists, because when Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus warned that illegally copying DVDs costs the industry $1.7 billion, for a change terrorism didn’t get a mention.
Major distributors have been trying to scare us off illegal copying for years. Australia’s laws were “harmonised” under the US Free Trade Agreement so copyright infringement became a crime. Gloomy doom-music-laden messages play before every movie. Serious people tell us that “piracy funds terrorism”.
“The Abu Sayyaf — blamed for the worst terrorist attacks in the South-East Asian country — are likely behind the illegal copying of movies onto DVDs,” reckons Edu Manzano, chairman of the Philippines’ Optical Media Board.
“The Yakuza are behind them in Japan and the Hezbollah are involved in the Middle East,” though he admits they lack “documentary evidence”.
Bob Debus’ weekend media release omits the “piracy funds terrorism” trope, saying instead that it funds “a range of criminal activity like drug trafficking and money laundering”. (Hang on, isn’t money laundering self-funding?) But by the time the story hit the ABC the governmentâ€™s current bogeyman had been added to the list: child pornography. Ooh err.
Continue reading “Crikey: The inflated cost of illegally copied DVDs”
Free speech campaigner Irene Graham (pictured) has updated her page on the Australian government’s Internet filtering plan.
Very little detail has been made publicly available, although the Labor Party (ALP) announced a mandatory ISP filtering policy in 20 March 2006. Two years later, all indications are that their “plan” is still quarter-baked at best.
A good non-technical summary, opening with a great quote:
“[P]reventing information flow, communication or the exchange of art, film and writing on the internet is a task only King Canute would attempt.”
— Bob Debus, (then) NSW Attorney General, Speech at the OFLC International Ratings Conference 2003.
Ms Graham also has a quick world tour of Internet blocking. For a good technical summary, Electronic Frontiers Australia’s paper is still one of the best.