Apparently everyone in Australia with an internet connection should be arrested. Like our first fleet ancestors we are all criminals. In truth the wonderful book “Fatal Shore” by Robert Hughes informs us that only the first 50 years of our convict colony was really tough. After that life in England if you were not one of the uber rich one percenter’ s born into riches and royalty, life in that rain drenched, sun starved island was truly miserable. People started to commit crimes in order to get sent here.
You had to make sure it was a petty crime. That got you a seven year stretch with a ticket of leave at the end. The ticket of leave meant you were free to live anywhere in Australia but couldn’t ever return to England. No great loss there.
It was a bit more of a problem if you got a 14 year stretch. Then you could become a victim of undercover, creeping incremental white slavery. You did your first 7 years on the government road gangs then you were indentured to a squatter for the next 7 years as an unpaid labourer. If you were a good worker your dishonest boss could cook up another crime against you before the 7 years was up and you got another 7 on top from an accommodating magistrate, another conspiring blueblood to help keep you in perpetual servitude.
If you were not a good worker the squatter could kill two birds with one stone. Incite the war of conquest against Australia’s first people who the Royal Society of London adamantly insisted didn’t exist anyway. You did this by sending your indentured convict with 100 sheep into an area you knew was going to get him a spear in the guts. Fitting end to your bad worker, plenty more where he came from and in the meantime good cause for riding on in there with guns, dogs and some squatter mates to take care of those murderous black barstard’s who didn’t officially exist anyway. Thus one of the ways the war was waged.
When you finished your 7 years and were nicely set up growing wheat and sheep on some river flats up the Parramatta river valley you wrote home to cousins in England and told them to throw a brick through a window, steal a loaf of bread, get a 7 stretch and do your time as we have land waiting for you. I guess that’s why the conservative sections of our body politic still have an irrational fear of boat people. Never the less why should we all be arrested in our own illegally gotten country once again?
Our copyright laws apparently. Sharing a video clip on YouTube is technically a 5 year stretch with a $93,000 fine. Our laws in this area probably date back to near the convict era, certainly reflect blue blood thinking in their battle to keep us in our place. You are always reminded of a Monty Python skit that has become reality when there are too many laws to remember but ignorance of any one of them is no excuse for breaking it. A good way of making sure we are always criminals just waiting to be caught.
Section 132A part 2 of the Australian Copyright Act states: “distributing an infringing article that prejudicially affects the copyright owner” is against the law. There you go. Everything you do online is technically illegal in Australia. Everything you do on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter and YouTube is completely illegal. Your one edition claim to fame, your photo in a newspaper is not yours so if you post it on Instagram you have just committed a crime.
Thankfully on our behalf the Australian Digital Alliance is campaigning to highlight the flaws in our ancient anachronistic copyright laws that belong in our historical dustbin. It’s a simple solution. Something like a fair use clause would allow people to share, copy or recreate works so long as they don’t do copyright owners harm or take revenue away from them. With our on line lives this is like outlawing culture. Recently “Juice Media” did a rap parody on their YouTube channel of Julian Assange, using John Farnham’s “You’re the Voice”. It was issued with a takedown order. John would not have had a problem but even though it is his song he doesn’t own it some bully boy recording label, dead but yet to lay down does. They issued the takedown.
Even the establishment is starting to say that the “antiquated” attitude to copyright “breeds contempt for the law.” Well that horse bolted years ago. Australians are born with an inbuilt contempt for the law. It’s part of our convict heritage. We had an old saying out in the country. The law only exists where there is a blue uniform to enforce it.
The Australian Digital Alliance will present its arguments to the Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry into Copyright and the Digital Economy in late November.
“In six month’s time, in February we will take that body of work to the Attorney General’s office and teach the old people who live in Canberra who make the laws how young people are making things,” – Dan Ilic
Well Dan if they give you 100 sheep and point you up some alley in Redfern don’t go mate.
Why creating memes is illegal in Australia