04 March 2006

Tying the Kangaroo Down

If any proof were needed that some people still don't really get the Internet, this article is surely it. Apparently Australia's copyright collection agency wants schools to pay a "browsing fee" every time a teacher tells students to browse a Web site.


So, don't tell me: the idea is to ensure that students don't use the Web, and that they grow up less skilled in the key enabling technology of the early twenty-first century, that they learn less, etc. etc. etc.?

Of course, the fact that more and more content is freely available under Creative Commons licences, or is simply in the public domain, doesn't enter into the so-called "minds" of those at the copyright collection office. Nor does the fact that by making this call they not only demonstrate their extraordinary obtuseness, but also handily underline why copyright collection agencies are actually rather irrelevant these days. And that rather than waste schools' time and money paying "browsing fees", Australia might perhaps do better to close down said irrelevant, clueless copyright office, and save some money instead?

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