Australian copyright office as greedy as American big business

A nice little show of greed, as ripped from boingboing.

Australian schools may have to pay a copyright fee every time a student is told to look at the web, if a plan from the national collecting society is successful. The Copyright Agency pays Australian authors for the photocopying that takes place on schools by randomly sampling the schools annually, collecting $31 million in fees and dispersing them to authors.

Now they say that they deserve to collect for the use of the Web. Despite the fact that there’s an implied license to read Web pages that goes along with publishing them (who puts up a web-page without expecting it to be read?) and despite the fact that the vast majority of pages online weren’t created by Australians, and despite the fact that the vast majority of pages created by Australians weren’t created by professional authors, the agency proposes that it should be able to collect a tax on behalf of all those authors in the world in order to line the pockets of its few lucky members.

And the unfortunate but realistic response from a school representative.

“If it turned out we’d have to pay them, we’d turn the internet off in schools,” the council’s national copyright director Delia Browne said.

[tags]Australian copyright, greed[/tags]