Politics and Law

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ACCC takes Valve to court over breaches of the Australian Consumer Law

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The ACCC has announced that it will take Valve to the Federal Court over its games refund policy on Steam, saying that it misrepresented or made false claims “regarding the application of the consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law.” According to the ACCC, Valve is alleged to have made claims that customers were not entitled to refunds in any circumstance; that it was not in any obligation to refund, […]

Melbourne’s City Loop to get 3G coverage by end of year, 4G next year

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The Victorian Government has announced today that Melbourne’s City Loop tunnel – which contains the Flagstaff, Melbourne Central and Parliament underground stations – will get full 3G coverage by the end of the year, and will be upgraded to 4G by next year. “It is frustrating when people coming into the City Loop drop off … in the 21st century we need full connectivity throughout our transport system,” Premier Dennis […]

Samsung sues Korean newspaper over negative report

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Samsung is no stranger to threatening the tech media – remember, they threatened to leave two bloggers in Berlin because they refused to promote their products at IFA in 2012. Well, the South Korean company is now suing a Korean newspaper, the Electronic Times, after it wrote a negative news article about the Galaxy S5. The article, published on March 17, claimed that Samsung was having issues with producing the six lenses […]

So, who are the Wikileaks Party preferencing in the WA Senate Election?

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Western Australians are going back to the polls on April 5 to pick their six state senators again, after the Australian Electoral Commission lost 1370 ballot papers during a recount. Given the last election was decided purely on preferences, we decided to have a look at one party’s group voting ticket if you decide to vote “above the line” – the Wikileaks Party. Why choose them? If you remember last […]

Online creators might not know what ‘fair use’ really means – research

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The internet has fostered a remix culture for my generation – where people make use of existing copyrighted content to produce their own works. From remixes of songs, fan fiction and art of Sherlock, to even mashups of movie trailers – all of them exist because of the ‘fair use’ provision in the American copyright regime. However, a new report by Georgia Tech – titled Remixers’ Understandings of Fair Use Online – has […]

“Controversial” report recommends that Australia reforms copyright law, adopt fair use provisions

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Described as “controversial” by the Attorney-General Senator George Brandis, the Government has finally made public the Australian Law Reform Commission’s report on digital copyright. And not surprisingly, the report recommends that Australia’s copyright laws should include fair use provisions. Fair use allows anyone to sample or transform copyrighted works without the need to get explicit permission from the copyright owner, as long as you don’t take revenue from or harm […]

Copyright law is broken: You may be inadvertently breaking the law

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You may not know this, but you may be inadvertently breaking the law – according to a brand new video by a group called the Creationistas. Your funny meme that you have created to share with your friends, making a cosplay costume of your favourite character, and even creating a search engine. All of these things are breaking copyright law. And to see how crazy Australian copyright laws are – you […]

MPAA: Melbourne’s Caribbean Gardens is a “notorious market” of piracy

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The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has singled out Melbourne’s Caribbean Gardens as one of the world’s most notorious physical markets of piracy in its latest submission to Office of the US Trade Representative. And yes, you read that right. In its submission, acquired by TorrentFreak, the MPAA notes: Caribbean Gardens and Markets is Australia’s largest undercover market at over 10,000 sqm, operating every Wednesday and Sunday. There are between 10-20 […]

Wikileaks attacks Australian supporters, labelling them a “front group”

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In a bizarre move, Wikileaks has turned against one of its support groups in Australia, the Wikileaks Australian Citizens Alliance (WACA). In a tweet on Tuesday, the organisation labelled the group as a “front group”, despite being formed – according to WACA – as a “response to the Australian Government’s hostility towards Wikileaks”. The organisation also demanded they cease using Wikileaks’ name and logo in their materials and name, citing they […]

Russia’s Pirate Party offers to host NASA website while US Govt in shutdown

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One of the biggest losers out of the entire US government shutdown has been NASA, with 97 percent of their staff on unpaid leave and their website taken down – much to the annoyance of those wanting updates of the Mars Rover Curiosity or images from space. However, there might be help on its way, with the Russian Pirate Party saying they are willing to host NASA’s website until the Congress gets […]

Greens’ Scott Ludlam loses WA Senate seat

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Scott Ludlam, the Greens senator for Western Australia, has lost his seat in a close election count due to preferences – which also saw Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party gaining a third seat in the Senate and Labor just scraping in with two Senate seats in the state. According to the Australian Electoral Commission, there will be three Liberal senators (David Johnston, Michaelia Cash, and Linda Reynolds), two Labor senators […]

China to lift block on Facebook and Twitter – but only in a small part of Shanghai

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Image: tengri555/Flickr (Creative Commons) The Chinese Government is reportedly planning to lift the block on foreign websites it considers politically sensitive – like Facebook, Twitter and the New York Times – but only for those living within the proposed Shanghai Free-Trade Zone, according to anonymous government sources talking to the South China Morning Post. Both Facebook and Twitter have been blocked from the country since 2009, while the New York […]

Julian Assange bid for Senate seat fails – one percent of Victorians voted for him

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Despite a strong start, it is looking likely that Julian Assange has lost his bid in securing a Senate seat in Victoria. With more than 60 percent of the total number of ballots counted, Julian Assange managed to secure 1.18 percent of the vote (at the time of writing). While it is a great start for the Wikileaks Party, it won’t win a seat in the Senate because of preferences. […]

Liberals announce they will implement UK-style internet filter, say it was an “error” (despite selling it hours ago)

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UPDATE: Just less than 72 hours before the election, the Coalition quietly announced that they plan to bring in a UK-style internet filtering program – meaning that ISPs will turn on internet filters by default, though users can opt-out of the program by calling their ISPs. However, communications spokesperson Malcolm Turnbull has said that this was apparently posted in error. “The Coalition will work with internet service providers (which provide fixed […]

Wikileaks Party Senate candidate: NSW preferences a “poor judgement call”, not admin error

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Gerry Georgatos, the number one Senate candidate for the Wikileaks Party in Western Australia, has said that the Wikileaks Party’s New South Wales preferences fiasco was a “poor judgement call” and not an administrative error. “It was not an administrative error, it was a poor judgement call. I’m not [going to come out] here and bullshit the audience,” he told the Indymedia programme (24 minutes into the programme) on Perth’s RTR yesterday. His […]