[LINK] Government Open discusssion isnt always Open Discussion.

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Mon May 4 20:51:46 AEST 2009

It would appear that Senator Lundy's Public sphere is not designed to
encourage open and informed debate as the introduction and source would
seem to infer.

The introduction to her Sphere one page:
Democratic governance rests on the capacity of and opportunity for
citizens to engage in enlightened debate"[1]

A "Public Sphere <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_sphere> " is a
space that ".through the vehicle of public opinion it puts the state in
touch with the needs of society" [2]. This kind of engagement in public
policy is a great way to represent different views and harness a broad
range of expertise, particularly on topical issues of the day.

The Senators page quotes Wikipedia as its sourtce, and I quote:

The public sphere is an area in social life where people can get
together and freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through
that discussion influence political action. It is "a discursive space in
which individuals and groups congregate to discuss matters of mutual
interest and, where possible, to reach a common judgment."[1]
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_sphere#cite_note-0>  The public
sphere can be seen as "a theater in modern societies in which political
participation is enacted through the medium of talk"[2]
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_sphere#cite_note-1>  and "a realm
of social life in which public opinion can be formed".[3]

I posted the following comment on
Which fro some reason didn't pass the moderators editing pencil - in

The ACCC recently had a win in regards the last mile copper connection
against Telstra.

Twelve years too late. Twelve years of medieval anti-market anti-growth
strategies forced on an entire country by a need to make politicians
look good in the short term by the previous Government. (Telstera T1,
T2, T3 sell-off).

The internet has always been about sharing.
Sharing research, sharing results, and keeping in contact with ones
The quasi Cartels formed by the content industry and the
telecommunications industries are not about sharing.
They have always been about maximising bonuses to the
directors/advisers/deal makers and occassionally to the shareholders.

Larger internet pipes without an evolution in the lack of free market
trade in these areas - i.e.: free market trade in Telecommunicaitons,
free market trade in content - will not add any tangible long term
benefit to the Australian economy. 

Allowing lobbyists to dictate an analogue distribution model as the
basis of copyright legislation in a digital world is tantamount to
agreeing that we no longer need or desire a free market environment on
the Internet.

There is a distinct correlation between the growth of the content
industry and the growth of the Internet.

In other words - companies like time warner have done relatively well
our off the commercialisation of the internet - splitting their shares
2:1 seven times in just five years (between 1995 and 2000). 
Curiously, it is the same Time Warner that didn't start to pay dividends
until the directors options started being exercisable in 2005.

As if that wasn't enough - now they want to sue everyone for what
consumers do in the privacy of their own homes.

Do Australians believe that we should continue to take instructions from
faceless men in Hollywood about what we can and cannot do at home?

Until this issue is resolved to the satisfaction of the Australian
online community, I would hazard a guess that we are exchanging one
quasi cartel - with another.

If Hollywood manages to get ACTA approved globally - there will be no
free market trade opportunities left at all - on the Internet or

There are commercially acceptable solutions to the current copyright
digital dilemma. Unfortunately, the content industry doesn't want to
hear any other solution apart from its own outdated analogue model.

Whilst I applaud Senator Lundy's efforts on behalf of the Internet
community, which flag she has bravely carried since the last millennium,
the NBN, Fibre to the Home, the ACCC win against Telstra for the last
mile copper delivery, is all - almost a moot point; especially if there
is no content that we can legally make use of under fair use.

In other words, if the usage of groups of words (NY Times = 5 words in
sequence = fair use)  will in fact result in the infringer having to pay
upto $150,000 USD for every occurrence - then I for one will be scared
to send a private email to my friends unencrypted for fear of being sued
for accidentally using six or seven words in the same sequence as a NY
Times article.

In that event - what use will Fibre to the home be ?

Now linkers - can anyone tell this twit - what I said wrong in the above
It would seem to me - that content is a reasonable topic for discussion
- for without it - there would be no need for an internet service - or
in fact any content delivery medium..

Obviously the Senator is no longer the Staunch Internet supporter I
remember her to be, which is a shame - or does she have minders that
make her policies for her?

Either way - an interesting insight into "Open government".


No viruses found in this outgoing message
Scanned by iolo AntiVirus

More information about the Link mailing list