Friday, November 15, 2013

Why creating memes is illegal in Australia


DO you know that sharing a meme in this country makes you a criminal? 

That's right. Condescending Wonka, Li'll Bub and Ryan Gosling's hey girl are all crimes under Australian copyright law.

In fact by sharing a YouTube video you could face five years in jail and a fine of $93,500.

According to section 132A part 2 of the Copyright Act, "distributing an infringing article that prejudicially affects the copyright owner" is against the law.

So that pretty much makes everything you do on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter and YouTube completely illegal.

Even sharing a photo of yourself from the social pages of the newspaper is illegal.

Australian Copyright Is Broken

Say you get snapped partying it up and you want to share your new found social celebrity status on your Instagram account, you are committing a crime.

All of this means that millions of Australians knowingly or unknowingly break the law every day.

Well, now the Australian Digital Alliance is trying to change all that with a campaign demonstrating how Australian copyright law is broken.

The ADA wants a fair use provision added to Australian copyright law that allows people to share, copy or recreate works so long as they don't take revenue away from copyright owners or harm them in any other way.

The executive producer of the campaign, comedian Dan Ilic told that it is not about piracy but about culture.

"This campaign is not about ripping off things and reselling it for profit," he said. "It's about how young people tell stories. Culture shouldn't be outlawed."

Attorney General, Senator George Brandis told that The Australian Law Reform Commission is currently conducting an inquiry into Copyright and the Digital Economy.

"The Government will consider the recommendations of the final report when it is received later in November 2013," he said.

"No final decisions will be made until after consideration of the ALRC report and consultations with all stakeholders."

Though few people have ever been prosecuted for sharing or creating memes or videos, it has been known to happen.

Juice Media - a YouTube channel devoted to rapping the news - was recently targeted by the courts for having WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange record a parody of John Farnham's "You're the Voice".

The record label that owns the song issued YouTube with a take-down notice for copyright violation and it was forced to remove the video from the site.

Ilic says Juice Media were "bullied by record labels even though they were acting inside the boundaries of the law" because the video was a satire and therefore protected by Australian fair dealing provisions.

"That's not very fair at all," he said.

Believe it or not it is illegal to share this image under Australian copyright law. Source: Supplied
Believe it or not it is illegal to share this image under Australian copyright law. Australian copyright laws are currently undergoing a review by the government.
Ilic says that a continuation of Australia's "antiquated" attitude to copyright "breeds contempt for the law".

"It means people think it's OK to disobey the law," he said.

The ADA wants you to get involved by sharing creative works you have created on its website, be it a meme, mashup, remix or even a cruel but funny photoshop job of you and your friends.

"In six months 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," Ilic said.

James d'Apice, associate at Fox & Staniland Lawyers agreed that Australian copyright law is broken but disagreed that a US style fair use exception would be a silver bullet.

Rather he said the ADA's real goal seems to be a "creativity exception" that says "my remix is culturally valuable and so I should be excused from having to seek a license because of its cultural value".

"All of that would have to be couched in the commercial terms as well," he said.

"What I really like about the argument of groups like this is the point that it's so easy to breach copyright and we all do it and it is never enforced. This leads us to the exact point they make: that it's breeding contempt for our laws.

"If I can download one movie, ten movies, one song, ten albums, every album I own and no-one's going to hassle me about it then what's the point in having those laws in the first place?" he said. 13 Nov 2013

Australia is still a prison isle, created by the corporatocracy FOR the exclusive benefit to the corporations.

The example "Even sharing a photo of yourself from the social pages of the newspaper is illegal." indicated how enslaved the masses really are.

Politicians, law makers, judges ' magistrates, law enforcers (police) barristers, solicitors, lawyers, doctors and the like are part of the group of the untouchables. This is a fact that the corporate media are withholding from general knowledge.

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