Google: If We Were Australian, We'd Have Shut Down By Now

So here's a thought about fair use: Google says if it had been invented in Australia, it would have been shut down because our copyright laws are so antiquated.

Speaking at an Australian Digital Alliance event discussing fair use in Canberra today, Google Australia's public policy manager Damian Kassabgi said that the lack of a fair use clause in Australian copyright law would have been a big problem if Google had been created in Australia.

"Because of fair use, Google is allowed to exist in the US," he said. "If Google as a search engine was to have been invented in Australia, it is possible in the early years it would have been shut down because Australia didn't have a fair use clause."

Google itself certainly isn't guiltless when it comes to copyright issues: content creators complain about their work being endlessly replicated on YouTube, and its ongoing scheme to scan books has run into legal challenges. Nonetheless, in an era where it's become clear manufacturing isn't going to cut it as an industry in Australia and we need to become more engaged as a knowledge economy, it seems a pity that the introduction of the Fair Use clauses recommended by the ALRC is very unlikely to be implemented.



    As much as I agree you could probably say the same about it being American. I mean if YouTube didn't have that grace period where nobody really thought about it enough to realise they could attack it I think it would have been dead in the water in pretty much any country. If Google were suffering the same level of scrutiny when it launched as it does today any sane person would have abandoned it.

    I would actually argue that Manufacturing is going to make a resurgence here when our housing bubble bursts (current debt of over 1 trillion dollars in loans). Combined with the fact that metals have not gone back to pre-GFC prices (Uranium was in a massive bubble pre-GFC (so no ROXBY DOWNS expansion)) and we have the perfect storm for the Australian dollar to drop off a cliff.

    Last edited 14/02/14 11:38 am

      What does this have to do with the article?

        Did you read the article? It clearly mentions manufacturing failing as a reason to develop digital business here, djmc above is simply disputing that and it's a valid comment. Failed reading comprehension at school I guess.

          NEVER read the articles before commenting. It's bad form.

    Where is the title quote coming from? I thought this was a tech site not tabloid journalism.

    I cant share this article without source references or even accurate reporting.

    Last edited 14/02/14 12:02 pm

      Angus was paraphrasing the quote in the third paragraph... The title 'quote' wasn't in quotation marks, indicating it wasn't a direct quote in the first place. That's hardly 'tabloid journalism'.

      Last edited 14/02/14 12:22 pm

        The quote says it is possible. Not even likely, to absolute?

    Wait, is it the search side that they need fair use for, or is it the stuff they keep getting sued for? (ie, when they hacked wifi, started scanning books - yes, that one went their way, when they used a proprietary programming language/sdk..)

    I'm assuming they mean search, but by thunder, if they weren't big enough to afford good lawyers, most of what they do would have had them shut down by now.

      They would need it for search since they essentially copy the page so they can do lookups on the info and then send parts of it to the user performing the search (there's always a bit of relevant text with the link).

      When did they ever hack wifi?
      They recorded SSIDs along with GPS coordinates. If the wifi was open then they did record other data, however, that's hardly "hacking".

        Whilst encrypting your network traffic is common sense for people in IT, it's still technically black-hat hacking if you're recording unencrypted traffic.

      I did a paper on it once. Basically because our fair use clause only excludes isp's, when Google search copies the small amount of info or thumbnail, it is infringing copyright under our law, because our law is dumb.

    Google couldn't of even started in Australia, doesn't our tax system totally rip anyone trying to give stock options as payment a new one? Isn't that why Australians go to the USA to begin their startups?

    Classic coming from Google, who make money from using other peoples work for nothing.

    About time google started paying their tax in Australia.
    They cheat at everything.
    At the moment you and I are paying their tax.
    We have to pay more because they don't.

      I might have missed that part of the article...

      Where were they discussing tax?

        My apology Wraith it is not part of the article.
        My reasoning behind the comment.
        A company that operates here in Oz should be legitimate without the loop holes before they sprout off about laws here.
        google does not pay its fair share of tax, it should not have a voice.
        You, I and all Aussies pay extra tax because they don't.

    "Fair use" in the corporate slang means "Not fair use"

    What the? I did research a few years back regarding this and I thought I did see some kind of Fair Use language in Australian law. I guess my sources were faulty??

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