Some good news and bad news on illegal downloading of so called “copyrighted” material over the internet.
To clarify, the sense of irony involved with the previous sentence is due to my opinion over said legislation being mostly a tool for certain companies that have a major influence of US legislation (and thus on its Aussie copycats, too) to milk money out of us all. Have a look at the following video for some creative criticism on copyright legislation:
I’ll start with the bad news. The Australian Government, spearheaded by the much “beloved” Stephen Conroy, is currently testing a system that would put an end to all peer to peer downloads it deems illegal. Essentially, this system will look at the data packets coming your way from your ISP as you surf the internet and compare them to its database of copyrighted material. If such material is identified, you could either end up with your internet disconnected or with a lawsuit from a recording company / studio conglomerate. Essentially, the sun is about to set on the Days of the Downloads.
The good news is that the bigger recording companies have started to get some sense into them, and by March this year several million songs sold legally on iTunes will have their DRM removed. This implies that once you’ve downloaded a song it’s yours to do with as you please, without silly restrictions on copying them or on which device you can use to play them with. Hell, they won’t even be able to decide you just can’t listen to the songs anymore, an experience many people buying songs from Microsoft’s shop have had to endure. It would be nice if those companies also lowered songs’ prices, but at least they came to realize what the vast majority of the public wants.
So, where does all of that leave us? Well, if you’re Australian, you’re in trouble. You may be able to download usable songs, but if you’re interested in video material then you're lost, especially if you’re interested in old or rare stuff that’s not generally available for you to buy or rent. Things are even worse if you’re after new material: say, if you’re interested in the new Battlestar Galactica series, you’d have to wait for Channel 10 to air it and watch it off the air – which means you have to follow commercial TV ever changing by the way too frequent whim time table. Either that or wait for the DVD to come out, because legal downloads of video material in Australia have severely limited offerings.
And what am I going to do about this affair? Well, all I can say at this stage is that Labor can forget about getting my vote or any sort of an up the list preference. You see, I am very worried of where their tyranny of darkness would lead us next; the Dark Ages have started for very similar reasons, and I don’t want to be a part of this history repeating.