Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Australian Schools To Be CHARGED TO USE THE INTERNET?!?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006
The Australian Copyright Agency seems to be determined to make sure students don't get a decent education by trying to charge schools to use the internet:
Schools have warned they will have to turn off the internet if a move by the nation's copyright collection society forces them to pay a fee every time a teacher instructs students to browse a website. Teachers said students in rural areas would bear the brunt of cuts if the Copyright Agency was successful in adding internet browsing charges to the $31 million in photocopying fees it rakes in from schools. [...] Negotiations between the Ministerial Council on Education Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, representing the schools, and the agency have broken down over plans to change the scheme to include a question in the survey on whether teachers direct students to use the internet. "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. "We couldn't afford it; it would not be sustainable. How on earth are we going to deliver education in the 21st century? How are taxpayers going to afford this."

Cory Doctorow's take:
This is a way to transfer Australia's tax dollars from its education system to its copyright sector.

My take: Leave the schools alone!!!

[Cross-posted from my Edublog]

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1 Comments:

At 3/02/2006 06:52:00 am, Anonymous Bron said...

The aspect of this that really doesn't make sense is the notion of collecting fees for access to things that have no charge.

I'm a huge supporter of copyright, but we are talking about *access* to material which is published in a format to make it freely available for access. Copyright should only apply if material is then copied and used in another way.

I suspect that somebody in the copyright agency just doesn't get it.

 

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