Tag Archives: George Brandis

Kill your Australian children

Today will not be a nice day. Some will think it is Friday, some will think it that at 15:00 it will be beer ‘O’clock day, some will even think that it will be movie and a shag night. Yet, what happens when it is not? What happens when it is ‘Kill your children day‘? Will you sit down and think: ‘what a load of bollocks‘. Will you stick your head in the sand, or play dead? Will you emulate the Ostrich and the Possum?

I think Queenslanders should go first, they earned that right. So when they get home grab the kitchen knife and slid their throats, stab them in the chest if need be, or perhaps, if you are that weakling, just poison them, or optionally an overdose of sleeping tablets. Seriously! Kill your children! Not just you, the people in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territories and Western Australia all should follow your example. Let’s set a goal, so that on Monday the 13th of August the media gets to state that inaction and stupidity caused the death of 15% of all the children in Australia (roughly 4,675,000 children).

You see, that time has come and it is not about the children, they will not have a future anyway at this rate. I don’t want to kill any of them because then you get to live with grief only. I want you to go through life with the guilt of killing people, you earned it, you deserve it, and you wanted it.

What is going on?

Yes, that is the question is it not? The news that ABC gives us with: ‘Adani spent a year trying to hide this information on its reef spill‘. We start seeing a different story (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-10/adani-spent-a-year-trying-to-hide-reef-spill-details/10090632). In the article national environment, science and technology reporter Michael Slezak (which was updated a mere three hours ago), we see a few things. It starts with “Now, conservationists say documents and a series of emails obtained through freedom of information laws appear to show the company and the Queensland Government knew the pollution would be so bad it would break the law“, it is not about the mere “a temporary licence to pollute wetlands around its coal export terminal at Abbot Point near Bowen with coal-laden water“. This is merely the beginning, or better stated the beginning of the beginning. We get there because the writer of the article then treats us to: “The ABC can now reveal the content of those documents, including a section Adani has fought for the past year to keep secret. That section suggests that later on March 27, while Adani was applying for a last-minute extension to its temporary pollution license, it appeared to know the water it was likely to dump would be so polluted it would breach the license

Added to that is a step by step harassment routine between the Queensland government and Adani, that is not merely set to the ‘lead by example‘ and ‘show and tell‘ story of: “Oh, its unfair to merely put the tip of my penis into your vagina, let me add the shaft too!” It is a setting that is showing to be in a stage of where we get “It would also likely dump polluted water directly into the ocean and into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area“, so when we get the shaft in there (the vagina that is), we see the response from the government being quoted as: “The department quickly indicated that would not be a problem“.

So now we get to the intro of the good stuff. Michael treats us to: “The Queensland Government said Adani admitted to breaching its license, spilling polluted water into the Marine Park that was 800 per cent dirtier than was allowed. Adani told the ABC it challenged that interpretation and that “no breach occurred”, but details the company fought to keep secret appear to suggest it knew it would breach the license it was applying for and the Queensland Government knew too“, this is where we are. Not only was there a transgression, not only was there an intentional pollution, the government supported it (on two levels) and in all this ‘government is ‘letting them get away with it’

So how do you feel now?

So the goal is clear, you have to make sure that 15% of all the children are dead by Monday morning! You see, if you are going to allow for pollution to continue, not by mere scrapes, but by well over 800%, you might as well kill them now and prevent them from seeing what a mess that you as a parent let it get to. You will of course have to live with the guilt of killing your own child, but it wasn’t like you wanted them to have a future, was it?

You could of course go for the cowardly option and expose EVERYONE in the government who let this happen. So name, address, photograph and of course the evidence like the e-mails involved, the contacts and the conversations they had. It is time to play the game differently. As we see that now the government and the transgressors are on the same page to allow for pollution, we need to change who is allowed into government. It should of course also include their sacking in absolute disgrace and of course a lifetime ban from politics and public office, is that not a fair deal?

So when we see: ““What it shows is that both the Government and Adani were aware that there was very high chance of the breach of their license during the cyclone, that could lead to the pollution of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area,” Mr. McCallum said“, we see more then we think. It is my view that the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC needs to be on the first flight to London and bring a personal report to her majesty Queen Elisabeth II that the Queensland government has failed to a degree that can no longer be tolerated and as such allow for the dismissal of the entire Queensland State government, no exceptions!

This will include the immediate sacking of George Brandis, Matthew Canavan, Joanna Lindgren, Ian Macdonald, James McGrath, Barry O’Sullivan, Chris Ketter, Joseph Ludwig, Jan McLucas, Claire Moore, Larissa Waters and Glenn Lazarus. We can’t go blaming people and pointing fingers. This level of cooperation between government and polluting industries need to be taken to a whole new level. There cannot be some level of facilitation; we need these politicians to watch one another, too much ‘confusion‘ and ‘miscommunication‘ at present. Sometimes you have to lose the barrel as to protect the happy healthy fresh new apples. It is harsh, but so is polluting the heritage reef to the reported dumping well over 800% of what was allowed in the first place.

So when we see the claims (at http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/world/gbr), where we see: “The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem on earth and one of the best managed marine areas in the world. At 348 000 square kilometers, the reef is one of the richest and most diverse natural ecosystems on Earth“, as well as “The Great Barrier Reef was one of 15 Australian World Heritage places included in the National Heritage List on 21 May 2007. Australia is proud of the way we look after our world heritage properties. We have an excellent track record managing the Great Barrier Reef as a multi-use property, and are committed to sustainable development that ensures the outstanding universal value of the Great Barrier Reef is not compromised“, so when we are misdirected with: ‘Australia is proud of the way we look after our world heritage properties‘, as well as the claim ‘committed to sustainable development that ensures the outstanding universal value of the Great Barrier Reef is not compromised‘. There can only be one solution, sack the entire Queensland Senate in all this! You could of course revert to the first setting and merely kill your children, so YOU do not have to explain what you allowed your Australian government to get away with!

The article ends with: “Adani did not directly answer a series of questions put to them by the ABC, but did supply a statement. “We categorically deny any wrongdoing in this matter, we complied with the limits imposed by the Temporary Emissions License issued by the regulator and no breach occurred,” the statement read“. Now my insane tactic might start making sense. Now, we see the setting where we get the board of directors linked to this all. Gautambhai Shantilal Adani, Rajesh Shantilal Adani, Vinay Prakash, Pranav Vinodbhai Adani, Narendra Mairpady, Vijaylaxmi Joshi, Hemant Madhusudan Nerurkar, Venkataraman Subramanian, all, or nearly all hiding away in India (hiding is a strong word, I admit), but there is still the board of directors in Australia. That same group of people that knows about the setting of: ‘recommendations regarding a $900m taxpayer loan to Adani‘, which was in a setting in May 2017. So not only are they destroying one of the most important sea life locations on the planet, one of the very few that can be seen from outer space (for now that is). We (our taxes) are furnishing the loans that Adani needs to do even more damage as I personally see it. So in all this, should the Queensland Senate even be allowed to stay in office for even one more day?

You could of course revert to the original setting, kill your children and live with the guilt until the day you die. Let’s not forget that I am giving you the choice here, which is a lot more than the Queensland government is currently accused of and allegedly guilty of doing, as well as what Adani seemingly did for the Great Barrier reef.

How long will we continue to hide from the dangers that politicians allow big business to do to our futures?

Oh, just to prove my intentional lack of sanity in all this, when it comes to tactics, I prefer the Orange ones!

#SorryMiltonJones

 

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Out of the two issues

There are two things bugging me. One is technology based and I will get to that one next (read: article). You see, it is not the most important one and it fades against the game that is now on rotation. The first one starts on a good note, which tends to be a little awkward as it involved George Brandis, the Attorney General. The headline ‘George Brandis warns against assuming all attacks are terrorism after Munich shooting‘. I actually agree here. There was an extremely graphical video that I discussed (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2016/05/01/homerun-by-ukip/), on May 1st 2016, yet the video is all about implying targets. Here we have the crux, what makes the implied target a real target? Well that is for the boffins in the intelligence world to resolve. Yet when he states “He was obsessed with mass killings, owned a book on US school shootings and played computer shooting games. Most of his victims were fellow teenagers, five of them under 16“, I am placing a few question marks at his quotes. Just as Pauline Hanson is eager to blame religion, Brandis mentions that the German gunman played computer shooting games, which in light of the statements made by Andrew Scipione recently is slightly too enthusiastically and way too easily spoken.

Last there is “One of the phenomena that we have seen develop more recently is the development of lone actors who self-radicalise, often very quickly, most commonly online,” he said. “Very frequently these are young men with psychological disturbances, they don’t fit into the conventional or traditional understanding of a terrorism network”, which is true and fair enough. There are plenty of other sources that make similar claims, which does not make them false or wrong. It beckons the thought on how a kid of 18 got the gun. You see, Germany has a much stricter handle on guns, as can be seen in the article ‘Germany and gun laws: a chequered history‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/23/germany-guns-chequered-history-munich-shootings), the quote “three school massacres were instrumental in forcing through political reforms which are widely seen as making the country’s gun controls amongst the most stringent in the world“, even as many German’s have legally owned firearms. Germany is 4th on the world list of guns legally owned per capita. So, on one hand stealing one would be relatively easier (statistically speaking) in Germany, although that premise is an empty one without clear evidence on how the gun was obtained. So where did he get his gun from?

Now, this is not me stating that ISIS was involved, I am merely asking whether ISIS would eagerly use a tool like Ali Sonboly for instigating terror. Now consider the ‘news’ where we see the statement “Gunman Ali Sonboly used Facebook account to lure victim with offer of free food“, he apparently (according to the telegraph) used a fake Facebook account with the name ‘Selina Akim’ (other sources stated a hacked account), if that is true, than we have another iteration of issues. Not the fact whether or not he was a real mental health case, because this does not necessarily diminish that part. So when we consider the quote by George Brandis “when a search of the man’s home did not find any Islamist-related material, or any other political, religious or ideological material“, which we can consider in partial error. The ‘planning’ and creating a fake identity on Facebook (or hacking an account), trying to lure people of the same age group to McDonalds gives way to planning and to the act of contemplating. Contemplating because he viewed an approach with continued attention (aka tactical planning) and he observed or study thoughtfully (the use of a fake pretty girl profile). Now this does not make him any less of a mental case. Yet there is question on whether he himself came up with this or whether he was cautiously ‘coached’ by an outside source.

There is at present no way to tell, because even if no external evidence exist, until the origin of the firearm can be found, we all (me inclusive) will have a decent amount of speculations. So, I am not stating that George Brandis is wrong or incorrect. I am merely asking the questions that most have left untouched. The quote in the Telegraph (I know, not the best source to use) is “Police said the killings were not terrorist-related. They added that Sonboly was armed with an unlicensed Glock 9mm pistol and had 300 rounds of ammunition in his backpack“, the issue is regarding both the unlicensed Glock, where we do not wonder whether a Glock requires a license to exist, but the fact that the serial number could be traced back so quickly to an ‘unlicensed’ owner. In addition, the part of ‘300 rounds of ammunition’, so were these three boxes of 100? Six boxes of fifty? All issues, including the fact that ammunition outside of Canada and America tends to be a whole lot higher in price (I speak from experience here). In addition, German laws are stringent in this matter, so he would have needed to acquire/steal it somehow. There are more question marks rising now. These question marks are all linked to those proclaiming to have the facts, which makes it dangerous. In that regard, I am asking question, yet, am I asking the right questions? I feel that I am, because the actual answers might shine a more clear light on what allowed the events in Munich to happen. It still will not invalidate the views of George Brandis, yet questions need to be asked. When we know the following:

  • At almost 18:00 a shooting starts. Initially they think that there are three shooter (as there were three events), at the mall 300 rounds of ammo were found in a backpack.
  • At 20:30 gunman Ali Sonboly was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. (the Guardian stated that he was found 21:30 local time, as well as the statement that a post-mortem examination would be needed to see if he died from officers’ gunfire).

Now we get statements as him being into violent video games, on how this is planned, with references to books. The Independent gives us “One book found was a German translation of Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters, written by Peter Langman, an American psychologist. Mr De Maiziere said that Sonboly had researched a 2009 school shooting in Germany, as well as Breivik’s Utoya massacre“. I find it odd on how he went for such a specific book. Now we add another fact from the Guardian. ““It’s a little disturbing,” said Peter Langman, who was unaware that the Munich shooter had a copy of his book until the Guardian called him at his home in Pennsylvania on Saturday. “I don’t know quite what to make of it. I don’t know why he had it,” he said“, I share the concern of Peter Langman here. So less than a day after the event, the press seems to have all the facts, all the ‘goods’ of gossip, whilst a clear investigation takes longer. In addition, if there was a terrorist concern (which there was in the initial hours), the Press would not have gotten hold of anything ‘juicy’ and we would have seen at least one day of speculation.

The entire Munich event is calling for a lot more questions, question that have few answers. Now consider that the boy, obsessed with the extremist Anders Behring Breivik, on the day of the anniversary and he leaves his backpack with ammo behind? Now, we can argue on it and I am even willing to admit that under pressures our minds can go a little wonky, but with the essential need of ammunition leaving it behind seems a little too weird. In addition, we see the German website ‘the local (at http://www.thelocal.de/20160723/munich-attacker-was-shy-video-game-fan) state 16 hours after the event “Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae did acknowledge that Sonboly had extensively researched the theme of rampages and may have read about the lethal killing spree by white supremacist Anders Behring Breivik, saying there was an ‘obvious link’ between Breivik’s crimes and Friday’s shooting“. So, when this ‘conclusion’ is made after a mere 16 hours in public, how many hours were taken to investigate this? Was this one computer source? Several sources? Was Ali actually doing that research on his (or someone’s) computer?

When we consider the statements and the time line, I end up with a fair bunch of questions, questions that lead to even more question marks and no clear answers. So are we now being played or is this the German need to suss this quiet real fast? Let’s not forget that it could have been the solo act of Ali Sonboly, yet German security services do have an issue with escalations that involve refugees. It was only 4 days earlier that a 17 year old refugee started to play ‘me and my knife and axe‘ on a train in Wurzburg, also in Bavaria. So the police has every need to not see violence escalate, but at present what we are told and shown, I am not sure if the local population will accept the given as gospel truth. You see, the fact that both events are stated to not having any links to Islam extremism is not an issue, the fact becomes what pushed these two kids over the edge. There might not be a given answer to the first case as a knife and axe are readily available in nearly every hardware shop. A 9mm pistol with 300 rounds of ammunition is another issue entirely. As there are no links or clear indications where the gun came from and how he got his fingers on one. We become the people raising question marks whilst those who should be with answers are unable to provide any acceptable ones. This gives more and more weight to this issue being one with consequences.

It will take days before the dust settles and we have some chance of actually seeing the facts, yet the reality should sink in to many of my readers. There are iterations of cycled news, to some degree based on questionable data. Yet in this case it is less about the people and the fiction we see from the press, in this the press seems to be handed a less than sincere handshake from certain officials. Those officials have to push for agenda’s that make their live manageable, which is only partially fair enough.

The question we end with is: ‘Yet, was it good enough?’

I am not sure who has the answers, mainly because several of the released facts are too questionable.

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The line of privacy

I have a decent grasp on privacy. I tend to give it to others as much as possible, moreover as I on average do not really care about their private lives. This sounds harsh, but consider the facts. When the person isn’t family, or directly connected to you, how much do you actually care? Some people do care to know everything, but that is another matter entirely. So when ZDNET and a few others published ‘61 agencies after warrantless access to Australian telecommunications metadata‘, I was initially in that mood of, ‘oh yea, whatever!’ You see, when I see names like ‘Australian Financial Security Authority’, I reckon financial planners will get jumpy, but is that about possible ‘dubious’ choices, or their need for privacy? You see, one implies the element of a transgression, as such it becomes debatable whether those actions are to be lauded with non-access.

With a player like Clean Energy Regulator we see an industrial access need, and I very much doubt whether they are interested in individuals. But what happens when we see that groups like Bankstown City Council, Racing Queensland, Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner (VIC) and the National Measurement Institute, I start having questions (especially regarding levels of sanity).

Let’s consider the access: “warrantless access two years’ worth of customers’ call records, location information, IP addresses, billing information, and other data stored by Telco’s“.

Now, I will be the last one to questions access by ‘valid’ organisations and even looking that the ‘alphabetical’ list the locations of the redacted names does not seem to include ASIO and ASIS, who have a clear need for that access, but can anyone explain why Bankstown City Council needs that access? In that same line we can add both Racing Queensland and the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner (VIC). If there is an investigation, it should go via the police of the correct channels. I see zero, I say again, zero reason to give those three access. Before we know it, we see Waverly City Council and perhaps even Chatswood City Council. How long then until all that data becomes available ‘for a special price’?

There are a few others on that list that require scrutiny. Do you really think that industrial transgressors wanted by the Department of the Environment will use their own phones? How much wasted man-years will we face as those untrained individuals try to make sense of 23,644 burner phones, which is just Sydney. In all this it seems to me that those requiring access will after that have an issue with processing data, which means more software, more failed levels of security and even more data transgressions. This must be the heaven that Rupert Murdoch dreams of. Data all accessible behind a server guarded with the admin password ‘qwerty’ or perhaps even ‘password’.

Yes, there is a massive issue here and the magazines including ZDNET (at http://www.zdnet.com/article/61-agencies-after-warrantless-access-to-australian-telecommunications-metadata/) mention the names (minus the redacted ones), we see the additional quote “Of the agencies and departments given access to existing information or documents to enforce a criminal law over the 12-month period, and not included on either list released by AGD, or known to be an enforcement agency already“, we now see names like RSPCA Tasmania and The Hills Shire Council, when we look at one of the websites (http://www.rspcatas.org.au/ for example).

We see in the about section: “The RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is the voice for the animals of Australia. We defend their dignity and fight to stop cruelty. We offer shelter, education, medical attention and love. We are animal protectors, carers and guardians. We bring solace to abandoned, surrendered and injured. We prosecute those who would harm them. And we fight for the humane treatment of all living things. Our job does not stop at animals. We believe behind every animal is a human being who is in need of guidance, encouragement and help“, which is a nice fluffy and caring text. Nothing wrong there. So explain to me, how a place like that has a decent level of cyber security, with in their office pool an IT person with CCSP certification or higher and a few other skills. You see, when these skills are absent your data will be up for grabs. Perhaps that is outsourced, meaning that additional people have access to all that data, have those places been properly vetted? So on an island of 515,000 we see this level of personal data access requirements? My initial follow up questions would than become, of all those funds required from the donations, how much ends up going to animals?

In the case of the Hills Shire Council we can have a lot more fun, their community profile (at http://profile.id.com.au/the-hills/population) gives us “The Census population of The Hills Shire in 2011 was 169,873, living in 57,205 dwellings“, why for the love of whatever is holy (or named Cthulhu) would THEY need that level of access to data?

In my view we should start asking a few questions regarding the mental health of whomever gave that level of access. I am guessing that this was Attorney General, George Brandis, which basically gets confirmed in the Guardian Article (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/18/dozens-of-agencies-want-warrantless-access-to-australians-metadata-again). As we see the quote “the government narrowed the definition of an “enforcement agency” that was eligible to access telecommunications data to a shortlist of law enforcement agencies, including the Australian federal police and state and territory police forces“, my initial thought was ‘that makes perfect sense’, yet in that light, how the flipping Divine Comedies did RSPCA Tasmania make that list?

The Guardian in light of all this ends with a comical quote “This method was taken to allow the Australian Border Force to gain access to telecommunications data without needing to gain approval from the Attorney General’s Department or the intelligence committee“, which is interesting as this implies that the Australian Border Force has less access than RSPCA Tasmania, which would make perfect sense if you are a golden retriever.

So apart of the access and the lack of insight here, has anyone considered how that data is to be read, analysed and processed? In addition, when we consider the access level of applications, the support and very likely (read: extremely likely) the levels of consultancy needed, what else is missing what will this cost the taxpayers in the end? I can tell you now that such solutions are not cheap, not easily implemented and did I mention the security needed for keeping that data safe? Even if this all goes through clouds and remote access, how long until a volunteer looking after cats will leave that password accidently out in the open, or even worse leave that system logged in and unattended?

As stated, I would never object to the actual law-enforcement agencies to get that access, but it seems to me that too large a group on that list is nowhere near that level and even (read: especially) when we consider groups like Greyhound Racing Victoria, why are they not going through police channels?

I see both articles and no one seems to be asking the questions that need to be asked. Questions that had to be asked extremely loud and very nearby after a mere 30 seconds of reading those articles. By the way, when reading the ZDNET article, it is the article that follows that is cause for even more questions.

One of the quotes is ‘the Many Layers and Tools of Digital Collaboration Today‘, which is nice when it is a mere graph of generic data. In that we might not care, but in the issue of ‘call records, location information, IP addresses, billing information, and other data stored by Telco’s‘, which includes all your personal data. Consider the following quotes “employees and departments are helping themselves to the tools they believe they really need. At the same time, companies are steadily dealing with what is now too many categories of communication and collaboration software to adequately manage and govern, much less individual apps” and “The issue itself is perhaps best demonstrated by the rapid rise of Slack, the current darling of team chat and wildly popular with its users. In many of my recent conversations with IT managers, I find that Slack is invading the workplace on many fronts, regardless whether it’s sanctioned or not” and finally “The top categories of apps today include VOIP, Web conferencing, e-mail, unified communications, IM/chat, file shares, file sync, CMS/DMS, intranets, discussion forums, enterprise social networks, relationship management platforms (including customer-facing CRM), and last but not least, online community“.

Now remember, the second article (on the same page) is not connected to the first, but consider the cloud and the explosive growth of so called ‘tool apps’ and the utter lack of in-depth security and access checking, how many back doors are organisations creating through such tools, with access to your data? Weirdly, I would never hold a bad thought for a volunteer organisations like the RSPCA, which is exactly why they should have never ever been given access to data like that. For the mere reason that cyber security cannot viably be maintained.

Whomever boasts on the security of places like Slack is in my view decently nuts. When we see interested players like Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, KPCB, Spark, and Social+Capital, the first thing we will see fail is a pressure to release a new version and there will be the need of security patches (which is a reality), this also means that data would have been unprotected. The mere intense need for Common Cyber Sense is that boss who wants that new version, because the presentation looks cooler. Even when we ignore the issue of Slack, we still see an exponential growing app base, with access all over the place, which means danger to the data. Even when remotely accessed, even if that connection is secure, too many places get access to data they should not have access to.

When we hear people state that servers have access limitations and more of the mumbling, here is a simple word of caution, something I personally witnessed. There was a financial software program. It was a good and legitimate program. The small issue was that when the program accidently crashed, that person remained on the data server with rights of an administrator. It took them 2 weeks to figure out it was happening and another 3 weeks to repair their system. Consider something like that happening today and with the ‘upgrades’ Microsoft requires on a too regular a basis, can we even risk this level of access to the expanded group that has too limited a grasp (as I see it) on what constitutes Common Cyber Sense?

I wonder how long until we get a carefully phrased apology from certain high ranking IT elements, who will offer their resignation and walk away with a 7 figure handshake.

 

 

 

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You keep what you kill

The business section of the Guardian had an interesting article yesterday. It comes from David Pegg and it is about targeting customers. In the article we see a prominent picture of Robert Redford (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jul/15/sky-broadband-customers-targeted-allegedly-pirating-robert-redford-film). So what is at play here?

Here we see ‘US firm TCYK, apparently named after film The Company You Keep, made Sky hand over details of customers accused of downloading movie‘, which comes with the opening quote “Dozens of UK broadband customers have received letters from a US firm accusing them of pirating a little-known Robert Redford film and inviting them to pay a financial settlement on pain of further legal action“. You see TCYK got a court order against Sky Broadband, which must now hand over customer details of those TCYK accuses of using torrent sites to download and distribute the films.

These people now get the offer of paying a hefty fine or end up in a legal battle.

So, how does that work in Australia? Well, here we depend on the Copyright Act 1968, where we see in section 36(1) “Subject to this Act, the copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work is infringed by a person who, not being the owner of the copyright, and without the licence of the owner of the copyright, does in Australia, or authorizes the doing in Australia of, any act comprised in the copyright“, which means you made the movie, you are licensed to handle the movie, or you own the copyright, if you are none of these three, you become the infringer.

Now we get to the nitty gritty of the act (sections 43A and 43B) when we consider ‘temporary reproductions‘, which starts of nicely in section 43A(1) with “The copyright in a work, or an adaptation of a work, is not infringed by making a temporary reproduction of the work or adaptation as part of the technical process of making or receiving a communication“, with the crown part ‘temporary reproduction of the work or adaptation as part of the technical process’, which takes Sky Broadband out of the loop in all this, because Sky just sends packages from point A to Point B and as such, they do not keep any parts of that they communicate, they only keep the logs of what is communicated.

In subsection 2 of section 43A we see “Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to the making of a temporary reproduction of a work, or an adaptation of a work, as part of the technical process of making a communication if the making of the communication is an infringement of copyright“, which might put Sky in the hotspot, yet Sky is at this point an innocent disseminator of information (you know that anti-censoring part people all love), so Sky must prove that by handing over the records. This now counters the (what I would regard as fake indignation) from Michael Coyle, a solicitor advocate at Lawdit Solicitors, who stated regarding the act of Sky Broadband “They should be fighting tooth and nail not to have this information released”, to which I would state “Yes, because we should always protect the people engaging in illegal acts!” more important is the part that comes next “TCYK says that it hired a “forensic computer analyst” to identify IP addresses of computers that were making the film available online” so it seems that those watching the movie are not high on the list, it is about the distributors, those who made the movie available online. So there are two parts. The first part ‘temporary reproductions’, is a part we are still looking at, yet ‘distribution’, which we will also look at.

As Sky is protecting itself by showing themselves to be innocent disseminators, we need to see the logs, part of that is to give evidence that you (or they) are working on a temporary reproduction.

Temporary what?

OK, let’s take YouTube, when you watch a movie, a trailer, a TV Show, you are looking at a temporary reproduction. The movie is streamed into the memory of your computer and once the link is severed at ANY GIVEN MOMENT, the movie cannot be watched and it cannot be re-watched’ it must be pushed into the memory of your computer again. This is different from Torrent systems where a file, temporary or not is actually saved to your computer. This is the confusing part, whether it is a temporary file (what the people refer to as temporary) is actually ‘just a file’ that file remains on your computer, just like many other ‘temporary’ files.

I know, it is still confusing! Let me elaborate, when windows or a windows application needs to handle data, it created a file that changes all the time, we refer to them as temporary files. The UNIX reference is much better, they are called ‘scratch files’. So if you download a PDF, it will create a file, and that file will capture all the packages and add them together. That is done until the file is complete, when the download is completed the file gets written becoming the permanent file. This is the normal way for operating systems to work. The issue is that something is written (read: saved) onto your local destination, when this is done, it is by sheer definition no longer a temporary file. this is the part that is taken care of in Section 43A, now as long as there is no way to make the ‘temporary file’ work via an application of any kind, you can also rely on section 43B of the act where we see in subsection 1 “Subject to subsection (2), the copyright in a work is not infringed by the making of a temporary reproduction of the work if the reproduction is incidentally made as a necessary part of a technical process of using a copy of the work“. This now shows my explanation of temporary reproduction, where we refer to ‘incidentally made as a necessary part of a technical process‘, which could make that part a no go area, was it not for the first part where we saw ‘Subject to subsection (2)’, which is now the issue as this does not apply as per section 43B (2)(a) relying on both (i) which states “if the reproduction is made from an infringing copy of the work“, and the irritating use of the ‘or’ statement for (ii) “a copy of the work where the copy is made in another country and would be an infringing copy of the work if the person who made the copy had done so in Australia“, which takes care of any ‘border’ issues.

So, here we are with an infringed work, so what about the words of Michael Coyle?

Well, for this we need to look at Part V remedies and offenses, specifically ‘Division 2AA Limitation on remedies available against carriage service providers‘, which now puts poor poor old Sky Broadband in the limelight! It is a bit of a puzzle, but in short it amounts to “A carriage service provider must satisfy the relevant conditions set out in Subdivision D before the limitations on remedies apply” (a bit paraphrased), this is set in section 116AH, where we see that the carriage service must provide the following two elements for ALL category transgressions

  1. The carriage service provider must adopt and reasonably implement a policy that provides for termination, in appropriate circumstances, of the accounts of repeat infringers
  2. If there is a relevant industry code in force—the carriage service provider must comply with the relevant provisions of that code relating to accommodating and not interfering with standard technical measures used to protect and identify copyright material

This is only the first of several elements that address the part that the Guardian stated “TCYK says that it hired a “forensic computer analyst” to identify IP addresses of computers that were making the film available online“, that part is also needed for Sky Broadband to prove that limitations ‘a’ and ‘b’ were adhered to. For this we need to take a look to a case (mentioned below) where we see at [697] “The question whether a person has supplied the means with which copyright has been infringed raises its own difficult issues. The primary judge concluded that the BitTorrent system was the means by which the appellants’ copyright was infringed. But I cannot see why the means with which the primary infringers committed acts of infringement must be so narrowly defined. The primary infringers used computers which were no less essential to their infringing activities than was the BitTorrent system. The same is true of the internet connections with which they made the appellants’ films available online

More important, at [505] we see “It follows that customers, by entry into the CRA, consented to iiNet disclosing and using information, including personal information as defined, for the purpose of iiNet administering and managing the services provided pursuant to the CRA. Part of that administration and management includes compliance with the CRA. In circumstances where iiNet has received evidence of breaches of its CRA (for example, cl 4.2(a) and (e)) the customer has necessarily consented to iiNet using information it possesses, including personal information, to determine whether to take action under cl 14.2 of the CRA“, which all comes from the case Roadshow Films Pty Limited v iiNet Limited [2011] FCAFC 23, which means that Sky Broadband is going through the motions iiNet in Australia went through 4 years ago. This is important, because the customer relationship agreement is a legal scope that the customer agrees to, which allows for disclosure and more important, now looking at the ‘limitation on remedy’ or bluntly put ‘the massive amount of money TCYK will demand of Sky Broadband if they cannot satisfy conditions’ is where we see actions from Sky Broadband to disclose information.

In addition we need to see the satisfied part “Any transmission of copyright material in carrying out this activity must be initiated by or at the direction of a person other than the carriage service provider“, that part is given by the logs as the viewer did the ‘click here to watch full movie‘, basically that means that the user initiated the act. In addition, there is “The carriage service provider must not make substantive modifications to copyright material transmitted. This does not apply to modifications made as part of a technical process“, showing that whatever solution was used, Sky broadband passed through the information as part of what it is supposed to do as an ISP.

In the end, this will be a messy battle and there is one part that holds less water. It is the statement “Nicolas Chartier, the president of Voltage Pictures, told the Hollywood Reporter this year that he had issued 20,000 lawsuits against individuals accused of pirating the Hurt Locker in order to “make a statement”. “The day after we announced 20,000 lawsuits, the internet downloads of Hurt Locker went down about 40%”“, I am not sure if that will be the end this time, Hollywood has been clasping down in several ways. We see the 10 movies that make a billion, but the hundreds of others that aren’t slicing the cake are not in there, as such Hollywood is now lashing out all over Terra ‘non US’ and we see that it will hit Australia too, even more direct when the TPP becomes fact, at that point having a computer with logs pointing to it with irrefutable evidence might literally cost you your house. There is one side in the TPP that remains undiscussed, especially, as I personally see it behind the closed doors of the TPP negotiations. In all this America relies on fair use, in all this they are eager to criminalise that what is not criminal within the US, it makes for another case.

If we accept the following “Some historians prefer ‘slave’ because the term is familiar and shorter and it accurately reflects the inhumanity of slavery, with ‘person’ implying a degree of autonomy that slavery did not allow for“.

Now we convert that sentence into “Some politicians prefer ‘user’ because the term is familiar and shorter and it accurately reflects the chargeability of usage, with ‘US consumer’ implying a degree of freedom that users are not allowed to have” This is as I see it exactly the core and the broken foundation of the TPP, there is no fair use and there is no accountability on the other side, by all means the TPP ignores the constitutions of more than one nation. This was raised by Alan Morrison in The Atlantic on June 23rd 2015 (at http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/06/tpp-isds-constitution/396389/). The quote in question is “It is January 2017. The mayor of San Francisco signs a bill that will raise the minimum wage of all workers from $8 to $16 an hour effective July 1st. His lawyers assure him that neither federal nor California minimum wage laws forbid that and that it is fine under the U.S. Constitution. Then, a month later, a Vietnamese company that owns 15 restaurants in San Francisco files a lawsuit saying that the pay increase violates the “investor protection” provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement recently approved by Congress“, this is a situation that could be a reality.

You see, this relates to the case at hand in more than one way. In my view, TCYK has every right to protect its side, the movie it made and the revenue coming from that, so I am not against prosecuting copyright infringement at all. Yet, in all this the shift that TPP will allow for is a situation where ‘investor protection’ will bring a case which will be heard by three private arbitrators; the United States government is the sole defendant in that given scenario. More important, it will be a case brought by “investor-based expectations”, I think we can clearly see the link when we consider “Village Roadshow’s revenue and profits are below expectations, which was down 1.9% to $469.5 million for the six months to December. Net profit was lower by 26.2% to $13.34 million“, so in this case Village Roadshow blamed the weather, yet Village roadshow has blamed piracy on many occasions, so the moment we see a court case based on ‘investor-based expectations’, we should all become weary of this becoming an option the regain revenue from a mismanaged product (which is far-fetched but not out of the question).

So why these jumps?

  1. It might be a movie piracy case in the UK, but the result will hit Australia sooner rather than later and vice versa.
  2. Infringement is a growing ‘market’ and as such, especially in dire times, the industry at large wants to recoup parts of their losses due to infringement, yet will it truly hunt down the real perpetrators?
  3. Too many people rely on their ignorance and ‘they did not know’. This defence is now slowly but surely coming to an end, it is more and more an accepted rule that if you did not buy the article, or pay for it, how come you watched it?
  4. The TPP will change EVERYTHING! This closed door agreement is all about ‘indulging’ big business whilst big business is not playing the game fairly to begin with. In its core it can be seen as a discriminatory violation of ‘fair use’ and ‘constitutional values’.

In all this I jumped at Village Roadshow more than once. Personally I think that Graham Burke has been playing a lose rant game too often, whilst trying not to step on the toes of Telstra and Optus, but that might just be me! In addition, I have additional issues with Federal Attorney-General George Brandis regarding past events. This all links to an article last April in the Sydney Morning Herald (at http://www.smh.com.au/business/village-roadshow-wants-to-work-with-isps-instead-of-suing-movie-pirates-20150416-1mj8cd.html), where we see the quotes “The document centres on a “three strikes” system. An illegal downloader will get three warning notices before a Telco will help copyright holders identify them for potential legal action“, which sounds fine, yet in that part, if at any time the IP address was hijacked, there will not be any evidence absolving the accused person, so the one in court could be the victim in all this. In my view, this is a warped solution to the court case Village Roadshow lost against iiNet, meaning that other avenues need to be taken, which now reflects back to the UK case of Sky Broadband, which could hit Australian legislation. The next quote is “Federal Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull set a 120-day deadline last December for internet service providers and entertainment companies to create a binding code“, which is indeed central but not in the way reported on. You see, Telstra and Optus are all about bandwidth, the more you use, the better the invoice from their point of view. This is part of the move we see all over the internet in the last article I wrote regarding the short-sightedness of Graham Burke, in the article ‘The real issue is here!‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/06/17/the-real-issue-here/), which also reflected on the article ‘FACT on Piracy?‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/01/03/fact-on-piracy/) from January 3rd 2014. These articles connect through ISP’s like Telstra and Optus who have been rescaling their bandwidth plans. The consequence of losing out on 4 billion a year. Now Telstra offers 50GB for $75 a month, smaller plans no longer exist, they have been pushing for new broadband boundaries so that their revenue is less impacted, so the impact of $40 and $80 a month is now decreased to an optional loss of $20 and $40 a month. It was (as I personally saw it) always about time and retrenching. It has been forever about big business! By the way, it is not just Telstra, others like iiNet have done the same thing, offering a new margin, reset to the width that has never been offered before. It is about rescaling the broadband plans, which results in resetting expectations and preparing for new data usage adherence.

You keep what you kill fits perfectly, it comes from the Riddick movies, which is basically the credo of a survivor, in this day and I agree, in this economy it is about lasting the longest and as such, they keep what they kill, which are the copyright infringers and their technologies. I do not oppose it, as I feel that owners of copyright are entitled to protect their assets. Yet, when we read Graham Burke we see “He said Australian film producers were trying to educate the public rather than sue them“, which might seem true enough, but behind that, I suspect, is the fear that if the Australian Copyright Act 1968 adds the ‘Fair Use’ principle, his education boat will sink on the spot, moreover, whatever US pressure we get from the TPP, gets drowned by Fair Use, because if it is good enough for Americans, it should be good enough for non-Americans too.

Last in all this is Matthew Deaner, executive director of Screen Producers Australia, who made a fair statement in the SMH article “They’re trying to say, ‘this is the right way to go about this stuff, this has a consequence to us’,” Mr Deaner said“, which we can get behind, yet the colourful rants by both Graham Burke and Sony executives on the utter non-realistic loss of billions is a consequence as well. By not properly and realistically setting the view, whilst, as I personally saw it, Sony executives were hiding behind excuses regarding missed targets that were never realistic to begin, which soured the milk of reality and reasonability.

Will this affect Australia?

Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Ltd [2012] HCA 16 was settled in the High Court of Australia, yet the essential changes to copyright, the impact of the Trans Pacific Partnership (once signed) will also impact the future. The lack of a ‘fair use’ clause is as I see it an essential first step to protect those not engaged in active copyright infringement as well as allowing for innocuous acts not to be struck down in favour of big business in a draconian way. In all this, US corporations have relied on unfair advantages, whilst overcharging people all over the non-US in a massive way is just beyond belief.

Even now, example, ‘Ex Machina’ is in the US $17, in the UK $20 (both Amazon), which is already a 20% offset, a title which cannot be bought in Australia. The US has segmented commerce to maximise profits, whilst not giving fair options to consumers. The fact that they still enforce multiple region codes to limit fair consumer rights is also not addressed. This is in part what drives piracy. If Mr Burke is so about educating, how about Mr Burke educating the other side of the equation? With video games where price difference can go up to 100% in difference between the US and Australia, a consumer grievance that Federal Attorney-General George Brandis never bothered to properly address. When we consider the issue of price fixing we see “Price fixing occurs when competitors agree on pricing rather than competing against each other. In relation to price fixing, the Competition and Consumer Act refers to the ‘fixing, controlling or maintaining’ of prices“, in this we see a loaded gun of different proportions. You see, Agreements between related companies are also exempt from price fixing, yet, when this difference is set at 100%, whilst the firms place technological restrictions (region codes) on products, as well as denying fair competition, largely pushed by American corporations, where is the fairness in any trade agreement?

If a trade agreement is about removing trade barrier, in that regard, the region codes should be regarded as detrimental to trade, but the TPP is not about equality, it is about giving the power to big business and limiting the rights of consumers, which is why partially because of created limitations movies and videogames are not equally and honestly made available. So as we look at what some can buy more expensive and others cannot buy at all, Mr Burke should in part refrain from stating that ‘one leg is education’ the other is regarding ‘products being available at the same time as other countries’, it would make him instantly paraplegic. Unfairness is what drives infringement. This was shown in the 80’s in Europe in a very direct way as games, movies and music were so unbalanced that a $450 ferry ride to London (from Rotterdam) could pay itself back during one VHS shopping spree (not to mention the price difference in games).

That same principle applies here, so if this is truly about stopping infringement than the first step would have been consumer equality. Yet this is about the US maximising its profits, counteracting whatever ‘free’ trade is supposed to do, so copyright infringement is not going away any day soon, it will soon create new situations, all because those involved seem to be about abolishing what constitutes a fair user, which is why the TPP should never come into effect.

You keep what you kill

The question is, who gets killed in the end, because as more true illumination is given, the bigger the question mark we see on what propels infringement. If there is one real upside to all this, it will be evolution, it will not take long for someone to change the premise of the game and design a new peer to peer cloud solution that resets the legal playing field.

Strife has always been the number one innovator in both war and technology, that part has not and will not change.

 

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Another online danger

It seems that we the consumers are soon in danger of being left out in the offline cold. You might not realise it, you might not even worry, but your money, your payments online are finite!

You see, not only are the events of last week troubling (not the UK election mind you), the consequence of allowing this to move forward unanswered could be a costly one.

With online presence there is the additional danger of non-online absence.

For this I will emphasize it with one example. The game is from Enix and the title is ‘Order of War: Challenge‘, if you had bought it from Steam, then you have a possible issue, because the game has been wiped of your account. Now, this is not a massive issue of today, this is an issue from the sheer point of view called ‘You paid for it!’ and now it is no more and you can never play it again. An important fact is that this issue played in 2013, so you might wonder what gives!

That is an excellent question. I for one would not care too much for Steam, I never did. Yet the issue of yesterday is now quickly progressing towards issues out today and even more important those who are out tomorrow and after that. This goes far beyond the wiping of a ‘Silent Hill Playable Demo’. Some changes are made because the circumstances changes, which is fair enough. That is not the true issue (even though the Silent Hill fans who missed out would be miffed).

The issue is found in the mobile and console games out now and more important those released after tomorrow.

Let me give you an example.

The mobile/Tables environment has a game called ‘Dungeon Keeper’. Many of those who loved that game when it was originally released on the PC went nuts the moment that game reappeared. Yet, in hindsight this new game was a massive failure on many levels. The game had actually destroyed the image the masterful game maker Peter Molyneux had built. The game is now all about delaying events and forcing people to make very expensive purchases online in the form of Gems. As micro transactions go, this game is the one example why micro transactions should be illegal. A nice view is given at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpdoBwezFVA. Yet compared to the pc edition of the second game (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DJmS7prcmE), the mobile game is horrendous.

Now we have an additional side, I cannot tell when this happened, but several people (including me) have only had access to the game once in the last two weeks, there have been ongoing server connection issues. In light of the issues that have been mentioned in the past there is now a matter for other cause. You see, if there is an issue with a game, if you had purchased enough gems, the issue at hand is not just that you are forced to a server, the fact that the server is no longer there and the player can no longer play gives weight to the question whether there should be legal consequences for those eager to sell a micro transaction relying game. Can something offered as ‘freemium’ but will only work smoothly when purchases be made, should that game be allowed to be non-functional?  Should the makers not offer an offline side to the game? That is at the foundation of what is wrong. The danger of consumers paying for something that can be removed as soon as the exploiters no longer consider the product to be viable and it stops working for various reasons.

What are those reasons?

Well Dungeon Keeper is a first example. The fact that a server is down is one thing, the fact that the server cannot be reached for two weeks is an entirely other matter. Which leads us to the question, should games that only have online server options be allowed? Beyond that, when gameplay is removed, are those who paid for additional gaming experience be entitled to credit vouchers?

This is the loaded question because basically it is payment for a service, which should be regarded as temporary, however, was that clearly communicated to those buying the service? Now we have ourselves a different video game altogether!

You see, this part will be a growing issue as people are dependent on downloads and could storage of games that are not played on a daily basis. There is the added consideration that these providers never did anything wrong as they might have specified that in the terms of service, yet who reads them? This is not a business agreement, or isn’t it?

Let me move on (for now to another example).

Now we have (or better states we used to have) the PlayStation 3. It has the option of PSN and PlayStation Home. PlayStation Home was discontinued, but what about those people who have spent money for years on the locations there? There had always been an implied assumption that there would be PlayStation Home in PS4. Clearly implied is not correct, too many sources stated most options in silence. Then when the PS4 came it was initially incomplete and in 2014 the verdict was final, no PlayStation Home on the PS4. And recently PlayStation Home was also removed from the PlayStation 3. There was no fault here, there was never any clear agreement that PlayStation Home was to be ported to the PS4, but to lose it on PS3 would never be an acceptable option to those who like it.

I thought it was a cool place, it was partially useless, yet it had the option of being a playful marketing tool. Trailers, unlockable extra’s for games and so on, there were even a few decent games in that environment. Because it had channels so that people could chat, it was something that is out there that would forever be an option. Now it seems that Sony is mostly rejecting the social media, or it is partially doing that. PlayStation home is not the only place, the profiles are a second part, but here we are forced online and in an almost ‘anti-social network’ situation.

This is where the wheels come off the wagon, you see there is another side to all this!

This all links to the previous as there is a real danger that someone at some point will deactivate a service, then what? There is currently an uneven, unequal and a dangerous push to force people online. There is now a second part that has massive consequences for gamers on a global scale. I have made references with the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) before, and it seems that several other sources are now on the bandwagon regarding the dangers here, gaming is only one aspect (and not even close to the biggest one, but because of the global setting of gamers a lot easier to spot). It is not just the ‘profile’ issue, that is the least of it all, but it is a driving force around it. More important, the cost of being ‘online’ could soon be another matter altogether.

It would be too simple to state that the TPP is just a bad consequence of a group of utterly incompetent politicians, mostly staying presently at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but that would be not entirely correct either. You see, their inadequacies resulted in a group of industrials to change the premise on Digital Rights Management (DRM) on a massive scale. For the most, I have mixed feelings. I believe that it is perfectly legit for a corporation to protect their product from being illegally copied. Now, the internet providers (ISP’s) are all about bandwidth, so as such, they like people who copy movies, they love it even better when people copy Blu-rays, because 100,000,000 people going for 2-3 blu-rays every night is a massive amount of bandwidth. There is to the smaller extent that a DRM is all about setting up who can legally use something and who cannot, but that seems to be the smallest tip of the iceberg.

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald gives us ‘http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/politicalnews/trans-pacific-partnership-will-push-medicine-prices-up-review-finds-20150303-13sxty.html‘. This is not entirely correct, but not wrong either. If we take this quote “The leaked treaty text also reveals new American and Japanese proposals designed to enhance the ability of pharmaceutical manufacturers to extend and widen their patents on drugs and medicines“, it is the word ‘extend’ that is the issue. Because some pharmaceuticals are all about prolonging, we see more and more new patent additions to give any drug a longer exclusivity, which means that generic medication will be less and less of an option. There is in addition the quote “Jeffrey Bleich, accused Australian consumers of habitually stealing copyrighted content and of being some of the worst offenders with amongst the highest piracy rates … in the world“, that statement makes Jeffrey Bleich an idiot to some degree (not the worst he’s ever been called), because his peers in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden say exactly the same and he should properly investigate these matters before making those statements.

Now, he was not being too bright (or massively misinformed) and a mere voicer for large corporations, which is to some degree his job I reckon, but he could have been a smudge more thoughtful in that regard. You see, the American side has been utterly stupid for a long time. Because it was always American first, then ‘whomever is left’! We have seen that in Movies, Music and games. Although music not as much. It started in the mid 80’s when Greed took over and American corporations were utterly clueless on global corporate actions from day one. I am not just talking about Games, or movies (even though they are the most visible ones). No the utter consumer disrespect shown by Ashton-Tate, IBM, Lotus Development Corporation, Oracle, Novell and Adobe was beyond belief in those days. You would actually look forward to meeting with Macromedia, WordPerfect and Corel to see that humanity in IT was an option. Now many of them changed tunes over time, the movie and games industry stayed behind for a long time, it is only recently that the US is seeing that the money of their blockbusters are coming from outside the US in some cases in excess of 75%. Now we have ourselves a ballgame! Now we see the shift some are making, but in other ways.

You see, there is a reason why some people have an aversion to buying a game at 40%-70% more. In my early days, I had no options, a game advertised in the American magazines at $19.95 would cost me $69, that’s a not so nice 300%, so America changed the environment from the very beginning. Even today, Australian gamers will pay 40%-70% more for a new game. Now, we will see casual mention on how it is all about shipping. Well guess again. PSN (PS4) was offering games on day one in a shop for $89, On Amazon it was $59 and guess what, the download in Australia was priced at $99.

How do these elements link?

There are two parts. First the quote by Julian Assange “The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states. This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies“. It is actually not that far a stretch, you only need to consider the legal disagreements between Apple and Samsung to see the dangers here.

After which the following claim is made “The leaked text shows that this agreement is more about corporate power than “free trade”. Investor-state dispute settlement is really a form of corporate sovereignty“. That part can be found here (at https://wikileaks.org/tpp-investment/WikiLeaks-TPP-Investment-Chapter/page-1.html).

Basically, in there you can find the issue “where foreign firms can ‘sue’ states and obtain taxpayer compensation for ‘expected future profits’“, this now reverts back to the earlier mention of games, movies and especially music. A false dimension of revenue has been maintained by corporate ‘baboons’, claiming ‘loss of revenue’. Relying on incomplete information from Napster, Kazaa and a few others players in the peer to peer networking solution. They basically went on the premise, one download means one sale lost. I believe that this was never a reality. People might download and listed, but would never have bought the bulk of it in the first case. That same premise of certain lacks is seen when we see the quote “Attorney-General George Brandis has signalled his intention to introduce more stringent copyright laws to crack down on online piracy“. In that regard the attorney general does not seem to strike too high on the academic scale of logic (on any given day for that matter). I posted an article on September 10th 2014 called ‘Changing topics?‘, in there the issue is better shown, you see it is not just about copyright, because that could have been dealt with quite easily. It was about Malcolm Turnbull’s anti-piracy forum. You see, if copyright was truly the issue, which would have been easy. But in that event the words ‘revenue‘ and ‘bandwidth‘ were very much skated around. Telstra was extremely cautious (and eager) to steer clear of that because in the case of Telstra, monitoring bandwidth, people actually stopping copying movies will cost Telstra billions! Now we see the consequence!

You see, America is figuring out that it cannot deal with its own ISP’s and they definitely cannot deal with the others like Telstra, Tele 2, Com Hem, KPN, TDC and a few others. They are doing it stepwise and the TPP will give them some options. Now back to that term that is laughingly referred to as ‘expected future profits‘.

One source states: “Losses to Video Game Makers Due to Piracy: $8.1 Billion“, based on what numbers? ISP’s state they cannot monitor. Then we get “Pirated Software Impact to Businesses: $63 Billion“. Again on what premise and how?

Well the first one gives us: “Video game piracy of hand-held games leads to the loss of about $8.1 Billion a year, as losses due to pirating of Sony PSP and Nintendo DS games between 2004 and 2009 lead to worldwide losses of nearly $42 Billion“. Here we see an interesting side. These are only two consoles. More important, these consoles have again and again limited legitimate access to games released in US and Japan again and again. So is this truly about piracy, or is the decision as seen here “Monster Hunter 3rd is the best-selling PSP game ever in Japan with 4,780,000 copies sold. Its PS3 HD remaster sold an excellent 500,000 copies as well, yet neither version is scheduled for an international release“. By the way, is the maker not guilty of discrimination? Let me be frank, I will not and have never condoned pirated games. I believe in getting a game and playing the original (I rarely buy games, so when I do, I will go for the VIP options that an original game brings). So, is this about piracy, or about segregation?

That part is harder to prove in the business case. The source “Business Software Alliance, “2011 BSA Global Software Piracy Study,” May 2012” is an issue. I cannot be certain how they got to $63 billion, but with so many illegal versions of Office, that number seems a lot more plausible. It is funny that there, US and China are the biggest transgressors representing a little less than one third of the entire lost stack. The UK is set at 1.9 billion and Australia less than a billion, yet how were these numbers achieved, through ‘rough’ estimation perhaps?

Now we get to the monkey’s banana moment “Losses due to Music Piracy: $12.5 Billion“, which is stated “According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)“, yes, they wanted the number to be as high as possible, because it made bad productions and louse representatives look a little better. In addition, some of these numbers cannot be decently vouched for in any way, shape or form. It boils down to well over 500 million CD’s, in a numbers game that number on a population of 7 billion seems small, but here is the kicker, that same source had the following, which I found illuminating: “In a survey of over 6,000 people in Finland between the ages of 7 to 84, researchers found that on average each person who downloaded pirated content online had about 2,900 pirated music files and 90 pirated movie files. The researchers who conducted the study believes that downloaders have more music files is due to the ease of downloading pirated music. According to the study, downloading movie files require faster internet speeds, more digital storage space, as well as a higher technological ability to playback movies“.

The term ‘each person’ now becomes really interesting, because 90 movies boils down to 360 Gb, and 2900 songs come to an rough (very rough) estimation of 14.5 Gb. A person downloading that much would be visible on the ISP counter. You see, you buy bandwidth monthly and downloading this much, as well as watching online and perhaps stuff they no longer have, you are looking at $80 a month, however, only 6 years ago, I paid $70 for 25Gb. you see how the picture changes? That is centre here. By the way, if you think that 25 Gb is little, consider that I have only hit that maximum once during my entire contract with my ISP and that was because on a Friday my system decided to update Windows 7, Office 2013 and my Adobe Master collection, which was quite the resource drain that evening.

Your online presence is now a danger in more than one way. In the first more and more ‘providers’ are forcing us to save on the cloud, forcing us using bandwidth. Now, I understand the first download, but many systems are now gearing towards less memory and more reliant on cloud drives. Which was my issue with the Microsoft Xbox One even before that system was launched.  Are those not streamed services? More important, my issue there was that once a service is disconnected, would we just lose it all overnight? Consider your movie and TV series collection. What happens when your old versions of Star Trek, Dexter and Game of Thrones are discontinued?

In addition, if online presence is essential for our services to run, how will that be monitored? I only need to refer to the Sony hack, to give you a first fright that certain owned items could be lost by a mere scripted command. Again, a situation the consumer is not ready and not prepared for. Now, in the case of PlayStation Home, there is some understanding that certain services will be lost, could a local copy have solved it? (I am asking, not telling). There are unresolved issues, mainly because the new technologies move so fast and to be quite honest, some considerations are new, we never had to make them before. We the consumer must accept that some parts are lost to us at some point. Yes, I loved HERO on the Atari 2600, but to expect that game to function 30 years later is not that realistic either. In that regard, we have attached to software (especially games) to the same extent we hold onto a book. They are not the same, which is a simple reality.

But the dangers of online remain, or do they? In that regard, the issues I raise are mostly about time. We see the failing of a game and losing out on what we spend within a year totally unacceptable, yet in that same notion, we should find peace in the notion that nothing lasts, it is all a mere matter of time. Yet, there we see a partial solution, we cannot realistically expect the provider to give ‘eternal’ support, but is a local version (no servers) after a while, or before the service is pulled a possible solution? That I have yet to see and it is not that far-fetched, because in the end, with the amounts of products and the change of IP, that part is slowly but certainly becoming an essential step to consider, especially in light for the business model of any software corporation. Consider you the player with your game of Halo, or Gears of War. I reckon that at some point, you will accept that online mode falls away, but how would you feel is the single player option falls away too, especially if you still have the console or PC to run it on?

A gaming dimension that will fall away at some point, but are we ready to let go of those moments? Now consider that your console/PC can no longer link to the service, even though you have the original disc. In the new DRM, it is entirely possible that no online verification means no playing the game. This is the certainty that we face and the TPP will push us there a lot faster than you realise. Should you doubt any of the last part, then consider the site gog.com. It holds some of the most brilliant games ever created (sold at very low prices), people still revere these games and many of them (especially the original dungeon keeper) will find a place in the heart of gamers. Moreover, several of these would make fine console games when adapted (higher graphics in most cases). I believe that the MSDOS Dungeon Keeper could be a hit 3DS game (like many other games on that site), even today.

Gaming is not about the latest game (decent graphics and sound aside) it is about joy and the games on that site are most pure joy to play.

Now you might all think that this is about games and many of you readers do not care about games, but now consider that same step when you look at your Office 365 account and the fact that you are pushed away from a version that works perfect for you (like the nightmare Office 2007 users faced in the past). There is an abundance of programs that offer a similar scary outlook.

Now translate this to collections you do care about. Your music, your TV shows, perhaps even your digital books. Do not take the word of those stating that it will not happen, because it will, it has happened in the past, it is happening now and it will happen in the future. The DVD and book on your shelf are a touchable item, that part is (if you treat them properly) secure, something online can be lost by merely removing a server or damaging its data. If someone states that this can never happen, then look at Sony, they experienced that event first hand.

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The real issue here!

Last night, just as I was about to break my own record in snoring, a message appeared on my screen. As I tend to be more curious then is good for me, I took a look. It was the article at http://advanced-television.com/2014/06/16/australian-media-chief-lambasts-google-over-movie-piracy/.

So this morning, as the dream of being with a ginger haired girl with a passion for playing Diablo 3 fades away, I decided to have a go at this article (we must keep a priority for interesting dreams first).

The title itself is interesting ‘Australian media chief lambasts Google over movie piracy‘, being honest here, using the word ‘criticising‘ instead of ‘lambasts‘ would have made the article every bit as ‘strong’ but would have implied less posturing, because that is what seems to be happening here.

The quote “Our Attorney-General George Brandis is attempting to reform our copyright law. Meanwhile Google, one of the multi-national companies attempting to avoid paying tax here, is lobbying in Canberra to stop this, by putting forward the following six fundamentally misconceived arguments” is also interesting, for reasons I will return to later.

The six points are given and the points made are to some regards highly hilarious. In point one we see: ‘piracy legislation would have little effect‘ and ‘they would no more illegally download than go into a department store and steal a book or a DVD‘. Is it really? Then why is Game of thrones the most pirated series in internet history? People can buy the series on DVD and Blu-Ray. Google’s point seems to be made by the comment ‘It may be the most pirated show, but it can break sales records too!‘ which was in a Yahoo article. Forbes gives us another part of this equation (at http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2014/04/15/game-of-thrones-sets-piracy-world-record-but-does-hbo-care/). The episode in question was downloaded 1.5 million times (a number that will be important soon). What we can say for certain is that according to figures almost 200,000 copies of series three were sold in week one, breaking records for well over a decade in place. So, almost 20% end up buying the discs (implying 80% will not).

I think that the Google argument has been seriously debunked at this point.

The second point is about legislation being for big business. Not only is this incorrect as the response showed, more important, legislation would oppose big business as will be shown soon enough and it would also hurt Google. This is closely followed with statement three where we see a reference to impeding ‘new’ business models. Actually it is impeding a very old model, but I will get to that. The response using the quote from Steve Jobs ’from the earliest days at Apple, I realised that we thrived when we created intellectual property. If people copied or stole our software we’d be out of business‘ is indeed true, yet, the one part no one answers (only implies) is in regards to the application of the Intellectual Property.

The fourth issue is a strong one and as I see it both are dancing around the issue here. It is not as Google suggested ‘an availability and pricing problem’, but the reference towards the music industry is also not correct as I see it. For a long time it had been about ‘availability and pricing‘ as Google correctly stated, but more important it had been for a long time around overheads. The gaming industry in Australia is proof of that. In Australia we pay on average 60%-100% more than in the US and in return we also get a lot less for it. How often do we see games that truly offer exclusive options that are NOT available in the US? That list is a very long one for most of the NON-US nations and it used to be the same for music in non-US nations. So it was often not about pricing, but about a lack of global fairness in pricing.

Issue 5 is made by both sides; it is so moreover for the reasons we will see soon enough. It is not because of the hypocritical ‘US view’ that opposes certain issues and views we see too often and not because of, and I quote ‘advertising models that almost totally promote pornography, gambling and scams‘. It is however because these markets represent billions in dollars of revenue, and many of these places will pay their taxes as (and if) applicable. One does not bite the hand that feeds the IRS ever!

The last one is the bomb as they say it. The mention of ‘Google says the proposed three strikes policy is too Draconian‘. Is that really so? We should all take a look at the Google approach of people getting banned on AdSense. I can tell you now, there was no strike two (or three for that matter), the quote I read “I’m really disappointed on Google support on this matter, there are no email addresses or real people to talk to” shows an approach even more Draconian then their view of Draconian as one might say. There could be valid reasons on some banning, but the issues I saw were not in that direction and in this instance Google is preaching a ‘pot calling the kettle black approach’.

So six issues of fun and frolic, but where is this going to?

In my view both are dancing around the options. It is my view that Attorney-General George Brandis had put his hand in a Hornet’s nest to say the least and now he is dancing with other people in some version of musical chairs. The powers behind all this do not want the change that some legally want. It is my view that Graham Burke, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of Australian media group Village Roadshow does know what is actually going on, but he is not willing to say it out loud, even though he is representing those artists and people behind the entertainment industry. I had raised similar issues before. I did so on January 3rd 2014 in my article ‘FACT on piracy?‘ In my view going after certain groups was just plain stupid, for obvious reasons, yet there is another side to all this. You see, the Attorney-General realised that the consequences if pursued would be dire indeed. Even though Mr Burke does not want to hear this argument (for obvious reasons), but the people in charge do not care that The Castle, Red Dog and Muriel’s Wedding were downloaded 50,000 or even 100,000 times. Even if 10% would buy it (that is a strong if here), it amounts to $50K or even at the most $250K, which would be a decent part for the artists as they are entitled to part of this. You see, the Hornet’s nest is the consequence for companies like Telstra, Vodafone, iiNet and Optus. It is that part no one wants to touch. Australia has roughly a little over 80% online. If we use the numbers of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, then we are looking at a little over 12 million connections. Should we accept the statements at http://www.news.com.au/technology/third-of-australians-admits-they-download-movies-illegally/story-e6frfro0-1225786870239, which now seem to imply that 4 million people download movies illegally. If this is stopped then these 4 million people would decrease their broadband plan, by $40 and up to $80 a month. This is the real number! These Telco’s would now collectively miss out on $160,000,000 to $320,000,000 EVERY MONTH! If managers at some of these telco’s are rated on their value, how long until they are out on the street when they end up having to tell their stakeholders the following: “the good news: movie piracy is no more, the bad news: you miss out on a quarter of a billion in revenue every month from now on!
It should be quite the show and I will sell tickets and popcorn when it happens.

This is at the centre of it all. From my point of view Mr Burke knows it, Mr Brandis knows it and Google, who has every profit with large broadband usage, knows it too. I think it is time for this sanctimonious posturing to stop. The internet is bandwidth and the more we need, the more we get charged. It is the cost of doing business and morality falters where profit takes a centre seat. Google has a vested interest in all this. If we look at http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/12/12/googles-youtube-ad-revenues-may-hit-5-6-billion-in-2013/, we see that Google is set at the centre of a large web of connections. If Google’s value is partially dependent on bandwidth usage (as it has been implied often enough), then laws that could cut down massively on usage are definitely not in Google’s best interest. Australia, is less likely any more than a blip on the global radar (which makes the current efforts shown by Google interesting as well). Yet, if Australian laws are successful, it could start a change in other common law nations and that would scare Google a lot.

So, we see the players, but in my view, the real issues are for now hidden from view by all players, because the loss for the collected companies in Australia is too large to contemplate and they do tell certain people what is not acceptable, those getting told tend to listen to the few that can destroy their future.

 

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