Jacqueline McNally on 6 Mar 2001 05:40:32 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> sharing e-mail banned by law - 5 years jail or$60,000 fines

At 03:30 AM 03/05/2001, you wrote:

>[From: Eric Scheid <eric@ironclad.net.au>
>To: "tbtf-irregulars" <tbtf-irregulars@world.std.com>]
>When will the madness end?
>An article in today's Sunday Telegraph (March 4, 2001), is the following
>article, which I cannot find on their website :-(

The same article appeared in the Sunday Times. The example that the 
journalist used is the key - it has nothing to do with copyright, but 
everything to do with selling a newspaper. The following news release puts 
the issue into perspective. I suspect the Sunday papers had trouble finding 
a newsworthy example.



News Release
The Hon. Daryl Williams AM QC MP

4 March 2001


Contrary to alarmist media reports, sharing e-mail is not banned by law.

Amendments to the Copyright Act that came into effect today do not outlaw 
the practice of forwarding personal e-mails to other people. That would be 

The Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Act updates copyright law to 
ensure it provides the same protections in an electronic environment as 
exist in a hard copy environment. For example, musicians whose music is 
distributed online without their permission will be able to take action to 
stop it, in the same way they can if pirate CDs are sold over the counter.

Forwarding a personal e-mail is unlikely to breach copyright laws. A court 
would need to find that the contents of the e-mail were an "original 
literary work". For example, if the e-mail was simply a joke that everyone 
had been re-hashing for years, it is doubtful it would have the necessary 
originality to be protected by copyright. Similarly, a casual exchange of 
personal information or office gossip would probably not be original enough 
to have copyright in it.

The Digital Agenda Act brings copyright law into the electronic age. It is 
an important reform that will further protect the rights of musicians, 
artists, writers, film makers and other creators of original works. It will 
also continue to allow users, especially libraries and educational 
institutions, reasonable access to copyright material through new 
communications technologies. It will not impose hefty penalties on everyday 
users of personal e-mail.

More of a concern is:
South Australia's Net Censorship Threat
3rd March 2001

An Internet censorship Bill was introduced into the South Australian 
Parliament on 8th November 2000 by the Attorney-General, Trevor Griffin. 
Among other things, the Bill criminalises making available content 
unsuitable for children online, even if the content is only made available 
to adults. EFA has issued an Action Alert suggesting ways of
informing politicians about the dangers of this Bill.

EFA alert
South Australia is about to criminalise provision to adults of material 
unsuitable for children on the Internet. It will be the first Australian 
State to do so. Contact South Australian Members of Parliament to express 
your  opposition to Internet Censorship. The S.A. Parliament is likely to 
vote on the legislation in the session commencing 13th March 2001. Please 
redistribute this alert in appropriate places but not after 16th March 2001.

More information and Analysis of the Bill

Other references:
Australia goes stark raving mad over Net censorship
By: Kieren McCarthy
Posted: 02/03/2001 at 13:18 GMT

Australia fights online obscenity
By Juliana Gruenwald, Interactive Week
February 26, 2001


Nettime-bold mailing list