As Australians continue to be ripped off on digital content (Bernard Keane in yesterday’s Crikey exploring the ridiculous world of ebooks), it’s good to see that some of the former defenders of the copyright industry have now given up on it:
As I suggested in the comments to Keane’s piece, our government should:
- Stop passing ever more obscene one-sided, ludicrously punitive, unbalanced, anti-public legislation like SOPA, PIPA or – the upcoming and even worse – ACTA.
- Return copyright terms to some kind of sane length.
- Stop enabling the exploiting of local consumers. If copyright owners respond to the generous grant by the public of a temporary monopoly (which is what copyright is) by trying to rip us off – then don’t enforce it. Make it a complete defence to a charge of “copyright infringement” if the item in question is not available lawfully in the consumer’s region at the same price as elsewhere.
- And with region-coding rubbish in media players and consoles – make it clear that if a mod-chip or other circumvention device overcomes a region block that discriminates against local consumers, then it is lawful, even if it has the effect of undoing other anti-copying measures. Give the bastards an incentive to stop trying to gouge us.
The question is: does the Australian government represent Australian consumers or US conglomerates? Could we at least put some pressure on them so that they might consider doing the former?