“As an example,” said Mr Coroneos, “a family who holds a birthday picnic in a place of public entertainment (for example, the grounds of a zoo) and sings ‘Happy Birthday’ in a manner that can be heard by others, risks an infringement notice carrying a fine of up to $1320. If they make a video recording of the event, they risk a further fine for the possession of a device for the purpose of making an infringing copy of a song. And if they go home and upload the clip to the internet where it can be accessed by others, they risk a further fine of up to $1320 for illegal distribution. All in all, possible fines of up to $3960 for this series of acts – and the new offences do not require knowledge or improper intent. Just the doing of the acts is enough to ground a legal liability under the new ‘strict liability’ offences.”It looks like the new australian version of copyright law is going through the parliament rapidly, without significant modification despite the various insightful submissions by google, Linux society, the IIA, the Queensland UT Copyright reform group and many others
- New Copyright Laws Risk Criminalising Everyday Australians (Peter Coroneos is chief executive of the internet industry association)
It has now passed through the House of Reps and is due to be voted on in the Senate in two weeks.
The new australian copyright law is significantly worse than the US version (which is not good) and so there is no requirement for such a bad law arising from Australia being a signatory to the Australian-US Free Trade Act.
I downloaded the 'risk analysis for teenagers' (pdf) from the iia (internet industry association) site and it does confirm that teenagers will soon face hefty legal penalties, fines of $6600 are typical, for their current everyday behaviour - backing up or downloading music, recording music on their mobile phones and then sharing with friends, burning music on a CD and giving it to a friend, incorporating popular music into a video and uploading to You Tube, recording spontaneous song as video on a mobile phone and posting to MySpace
Download 'risk analysis for teenagers' (pdf) and others covering families, small businesses and industry from here
Welcome to the new world of Australian e-criminals, or is it i-criminals?
There is also an informative podcast interview by Brian Fitzgerald of Peter Coroneos available from the iia site.