Federal Attorney-General George Brandis has flatly refused to comment on a report that the new Coalition Government has signalled plans to restart long-running talks between the telecommunications and content industries to deal with the issue of Internet piracy, with the Liberal Senator declining to answer any question on the issue.

Only in Australia could the phrase “public briefing” mean that the meeting will be held behind closed doors, where journalists are not welcome.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has taken the extraordinary step of rescinding confirmations of attendance for journalists who had registered to attend a public briefing on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in Sydney today, stating that the meeting is “off-the-record”, and that journalists are not welcome.”

The new Coalition Federal Government has reportedly signalled plans to restart long-running talks between the telecommunications and content industries to deal with the issue of Internet piracy, despite the fact that a previous round of talks between the two sides under the previous Labor administration proved pointless.

Those of you who’ve been following the exploits of Freelancer.com chief executive and all-round celebrity Australian technologist Matt Barrie will no doubt be interested in the news that one of the other companies Barrie helped found, high-performance networking outfit Sensory Networks, has been bought by giant chipmaker Intel for about $20m.

Australia has dramatically extended its lead over other countries when it comes to the levels of Australians pirating popular US television shows, according to new statistics released overnight by TorrentFreak, with the limited availability of such content in Australia believed to be driving the trend.

National pay TV giant Foxtel has launched a new online service dubbed 'Presto', which will see consumers charged $24.99 per month to access "a regularly updating collection of great films", all streamed through the Internet, as opposed to its existing pay TV platform.

Understandably, new governments have an interest in putting their own stamp on policy, particularly in areas as critical to our future as research and innovation, but sometimes continuity and re-badging is preferable to scorched earth.

Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has flatly refused to take part in a live election interview on key technology issues in his portfolio, such as copyright reform, data retention, telecommunications surveillance and Internet piracy, stipulating instead that all questions on the issues must be submitted in writing.

Pay TV giant Foxtel has launched an Internet streaming version of its service that will allow those with certain smart TVs, gaming consoles or generic personal computers connected to their TVs to access a large chunk of the company's content through the public Internet, without the normal requirement to have a Foxtel cable or satellite connection.

The Federal Parliament committee examining IT price hikes in Australia has published an extensive report recommending a raft of drastic measures to deal with current practices in the area, which, the report says, are seeing Australians unfairly slugged with price increases of up to 50 percent on key technology goods and services.

Pay TV giant Foxtel this week blocked those Australians using non-Samsung Android and jailbroken Apple iOS devices from accessing its flagship mobile IPTV streaming app Go, in moves that seem destined to reinforce the company's reputation for setting strong restrictions on how customers can access its content.

Consumer watchdog Choice has issued a fiery statement accusing US content giants of giving Australians "a raw deal" when it comes to making television shows and films available in Australia, pointing out that Australians pay substantially more to access the same content and encouraging locals to use technical mechanisms to get around so-called "geo-blocking".

Greens Senator and Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam has introduced a wide-ranging amendment bill to Australia's copyright legislation which would see a range of "fair use" and "fair go" stipulations introduced, with the intention of delivering Australian consumers a fairer copyright situation than they currently enjoy.

Frustrated that you can't watch Netflix because you've got an Australian IP address? Can't log into Hulu? It's a common problem, and one that many Australians find frustrating. However, due to the magic goodness of the Internet, there are ways around these kinds of headaches.

At this point, most Australians who watch Arrested Development have probably resigned themselves to (ahem) obtaining the new season through Channel BitTorrent. But there is one organisation still maintaining the rage: Consumer advocacy group Choice, which has written to Netflix demanding to know what the hell is going on.

This day had to come. Ladies and gentlemen, the science fiction and fantasy worlds so beloved by IT geeks the world around have now gone mainstream. The Guardian's Australian edition reports this morning that Prime Minister Julia Gillard is a huge fan of Game of Thrones, the popular TV adaptation of George R. R. Martin's excellent A Song of Ice and Fire epic series. And what's even more interesting is that the Prime Minister is watching Game of Thrones completely legally.

The Pirate Party of Australia has described as "extortion as a business model" action by a Sydney-based law firm which has seen Australian ISPs issued with a series of letters requesting they hand over the details of users who have allegedly used peer to peer file sharing platforms to pirate content owned by the firm's clients.

The Sydney-based law firm which has issued a series of letters to major Australian ISPs seeking details of alleged Internet pirates has previously publicly argued that such a practice was not legally justifiable, and also that content owners such as movie studios should do more to make their content available online legally.

Pay TV giant Foxtel has confirmed reports that it will block the remaining seasons of HBO's popular Game of Thrones series from being offered in Australia hours after the show is released in the US, due to an exclusive deal with the show's producer HBO signed in October last year.

Oh, dear. It appears as though Australia's new Federal Attorney-General is at least as arrogant as the previous two. An article in the Daily Telegraph published late last week tells us that Mark Dreyfus, who replaced Nicola Roxon in the portfolio in February, refused to turn off his mobile phone in a recent flight and was subsequently met by the AFP when the plane landed.

US Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich has published an impassioned statement appealing to Australians to stop breaching the copyright of US cable giant HBO by illegally downloading its popular Game of Thrones television show in record numbers.

The ABC’s 50-year TV partnership with the BBC is at breaking point after a landmark deal between the British broadcaster and pay TV provider Foxtel was announced last week.

Australia’s tight domain name policies may have prevented opportunistic cybersquatters from cashing in on local disasters, but this week’s Boston Marathon bombing and Waco fertiliser explosion have had less luck avoiding cybesquatters, analysis by a local domain-name specialist has revealed.

Struggling Australian streaming-media provider Quickflix has taken a punt on the hugely popular HBO series Game of Thrones, securing an electronic distribution deal that will allow online users to watch the series even if they aren’t Quickflix customers.

Personally, I have been somewhat stunned about the incredibly vitriolic reaction which so many readers have responded with, after our article yesterday reporting that Australia, on a per-capita basis, pirates Game of Thrones more than any country in the world.

Netflix's remake of the popular British TV series House of Cards is set to debut in Australia on the on-demand platforms of local pay TV giant Foxtel, the company revealed this morning, as debate continues to swirl about the timeliness of US content releases in Australia.

Analysis by file-sharing news site TorrentFreak has shown that Australia continues to be the world's most enthusiastic nation globally in terms of illegally downloading HBO's hit TV series Game of Thrones, despite the fact that the series was made available legally, cheaply and in high quality in Australia shortly after it was broadcast in the US.

We know online piracy exists; we know governments want to stop it – but what are the options?

The case of Aaron Swartz highlights the need for a reconsideration of punitive and excessive intellectual property enforcement provisions in trade agreements.

Australia's peak music industry organisation has claimed that the rollout of the National Broadband Network could have "disastrous results" for the local music industry due to the lack of "graduated response" or "site blocking" processes to stop the "serious problem" of Internet-based piracy of music.

In this brief video filmed at a doorstop press conference last week, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy -- a Senator for Victoria -- gives his reaction to the news that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has made an application to register the Wikileaks Party in Australia and will seek election in September as a Senator for Victoria.

The fact is that electoral victory for Julian Assange later this year would be one of those rare political miracles that make life as a citizen worth living. In a country weighed down by sub-standard politicians, sub-standard journalists and sub-standard freedom of information laws, the political triumph would be great. It would breathe badly-needed life into Australian democracy.

Online streaming of radio broadcasts may be a thing of the past after the Full Federal Court yesterday handed down a ruling that will result in radio stations paying higher royalties to the recording industry.

Thought it was only Australia’s major political parties which had ferocious internal political struggles? Think again. According to a lengthy blog post by Pirate Party Australia press officer Mozart Palmer, the local division of the Pirate Party is having branglings so bad with its European parent that some think it should secede altogether.

In what we'd have to say was one of the more curious funding decisions of the year, it appears as though Australia's peak research agency the CSIRO has decided that the division which made it the most money over the past few years -- the one which sued many major global technology vendors over its patented wireless innovations -- has too much fat and should be trimmed down to keep costs low.

news: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has hailed knowledge and the technologies used to create and share it as being the key factor determining Australia's future economic success -- even beyond the resources sector -- as she met with key figures from Australia's technology sector and set in place key 'Digital Economy' strategies for the nation's future.

The issue of whether the Python-iView app infringes copyright, particularly it’s download feature, hinges on a number of specific sections of the Copyright Act and a concept of “vigilante interoperability”.

Imagine a world where you can only consume culture from government-approved sources, months after its widely publicised release overseas, in low definition, with long term lease agreements where you can never purchase a copy to own, only to borrow and use within a specific set of technologically locked parameters. Where the freedom to share or own copies of cultural works has finally been stamped out and middlemen are free to charge what they like for mediocre services and innovation is locked in a box then dropped into an ocean abyss.

The ABC has found itself caught up in a copyright debate after it forced the removal of an application that enabled people to download and watch programs offered on its iview service.

A legal decision which forced Optus to shut down its time shifting service TV Now may eventually lead to reform of existing copyright law to cater for cloud technology.

The High Court has knocked back Optus' request to appeal its lost case against sporting groups the NRL, AFL and rival telco Telstra over Optus' TV Now cloud TV recording service, spelling the end of the ongoing legal action on the issue.

Following the ABC’s announcement that they will be streaming timely content from the new series of Dr Who, I applaud the broadcaster for moving with public demand and technological advancements.

New laws are not the answer. Rather, we need to look at education, technical mechanisms, licensing solutions and responsibility of ISPs and search engines to find a workable balance between the right to own and creative content and the ability of users (and intermediaries) to access and reuse such content.

There appears to be an assumption within the broader intellectual property industries that members of Pirate Parties are just whiny brats who “want everything for free.” They consider us uneducated idiots who have not really given any thought into what we advocate. I find this odd.

Finnish mobile manufacturer Nokia has revealed plans to close an Australian development facility which was one of the main global software groups working on the Qt application development toolkit which Nokia acquired with its 2008 buy of Norwegian company Trolltech.

Pirate Party Australia failed a recent attempt to register their Australian Capital Territory branch. But media reports about the issue don't tell the whole story.

For the second time in two years, Australia's division of the Pirate Party has failed key registration requirements determining its elegibility to contest major elections, with the group noting this week that it had fallen short of required numbers for the Australian Capital Territory's upcoming poll.

National broadband provider iiNet has renewed its public attack on the content industry, using a high-profile report published in February to push the argument that the overall global content ecosystem is booming and that content providers should stop trying to stop Internet piracy and instead focus on new business models.

The Australian Greens have issued a broad statement warning Australians that their Internet freedom is being steadily 'eroded', with a wide swathe of government initiatives in areas ranging from surveillance to data retention, to the freedom of expression and privacy set to affect the nation over the coming years.

National broadband provider iiNet has fired a full barrage of vitriol at the content industry on the morning on which closed door talks held by the Government on the issue are due to re-commence, arguing in a highly public blog post that discussing a path forward with content industry groups was like "talking to a brick wall".

A substantial conflict of interest issue has arisen regarding the participation by the sole consumer group invited to attend the Government's secret Internet piracy talks, with the group's chairman attending the meetings also currently leading the peak national organisation devoted to advocating copyright on behalf of creative professionals.

The Federal Government has invited the nation's leading telecommunications consumer groups to participate in the latest round of the closed door talks it is holding on the issue of Internet piracy, reversing a previous ban on consumer representatives attending such talks.

Australian author John Birmingham dumps eBook DRM.

We should think carefully about the inevitable alarmist claims regarding FYX and be wary about movie industry calls for new laws that protect their interests at the expense of Australian consumers.

Australia is the nation which most pirates the popular HBO television series Game of Thrones, new analysis released this week has shown, with time delays and cable TV lock-in being the primary culprits believed to be behind the nation's copyright infringing habits.

AFL chief Andrew Demetriou has reportedly blown his stack over Optus' appeal in the ongoing legal drama over the telco's TV Now Internet TV recording system, labelling the company "a disgusting organisation" which was undermining the rights of sports companies.

The Greens have demanded that Australia's Government cancel its participation in the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement international treaty in the wake of an expected imminent rejection of the proposal by the European Union and significant and ongoing global protests against a number of its terms expected to harm Internet freedom.

The full bench of the Federal Court has ruled that Optus's TV Now online television recording service is in breach of the Copyright Act, in the next stage of a closely watched lawsuit seeing the National Rugby League (and eventually the AFL and Telstra) pitted against the telco for its attempt to make TV broadcasts more readily available to customers online.

In the wake of iiNet's victory in its Internet piracy High Court case, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for the content industry to start releasing all of its content globally through on- and offline platforms simultaneously upon launch, in an effort to meet the demands of consumers and make piracy irrelevant.

An internal Government review has backed a decision by the Federal Attorney-General's Department to censor almost all information about the secret Internet piracy meetings the department has held with the content and ISP industries over the past six months.

In what is being billed as iiNet versus Hollywood, the Australian internet service provider has come out an apparent winner after the High Court dismissed a copyright infringement case brought by industry movie studios. Nicolas Suzor, lecturer, Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology, explains the decision and what it means.

The Federal Government should ignore the pathetic demands of the film and TV industry for new legislation to "exterminate" Internet piracy and fix the blatantly obvious problems with its commercial model, following its latest loss in Australia's High Court. Australia's copyright law works well as it stands, and does not need changing.

The Australian Government's hands are currently tied when it comes to the fate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said last night, with the maverick Internet publisher's Australian citizenship mattering little in the scheme of Swedish legal process unless a formal extradition request was made to shift him out of the European Union.

An extremely harsh war of words between Australian and international technologists has erupted over a controversial new article published in the United States documenting evidence that Australia's peak research body's $430 million patent claim over 802.11 Wi-Fi technology might have been constructed on shaky ground.

The Australian Parliament should reject ACTA because of its impact on human rights – particularly taking into account health care, access to medicines, and development.

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