Signs of Intelligence from Australia (On Copyright Issues)

It’s not often that we see a quick change in a practice without some long, ridiculous incursion by a governmental agency. This is especially true about things that affect almost everyone, such as the internet.

In an article presented in Techdirt, we see that the people of Australia are giving thought to an idea that in these United States might never have gotten consideration. The idea that a quick glance cannot show copyright infringement in every case is an advanced one, which shows that, though we might not like some of their other restrictions on the internet, there are facile minds considering things.

It looks like the iiNet ruling is already having some positive impact in Australia. The crux of the ruling is that copyright infringement is not an “I know it when I see it” violation, but rather a complex issue that requires a court to weigh in. Asking an ISP to simply assume that someone is infringing, and thus to kick them off, is problematic and potentially goes against basic due process. It appears that other ISPs are now realizing that they were being too hasty in blocking internet access. Competing ISP Exetel, who used to block access to accused file sharers, has now announced a change of policy. Of course, it could have stood up for its customers’ rights in the first place, like iiNet did…

Though we don’t have any problems like this just yet on these shores, it would be nice to see this sort of “thought-before-action” spread around the world. There are so many things that affect us, yet snap decisions are made without a full knowledge of the facts so very often. While we don’t want to become (or be labeled as) pedantic, there are few times that careful consideration is not the best course of action.


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