Australian IT: The Australian Copyright Agency is looking to charge schools extra to access digital content (on the web, internet etc)...it currently charges $10 per student per year for photocopying. The justification? Best left in the words of the agency:
"At the hearing there was one activity in particular under debate known as “tell students to view” - where teachers instruct their students to view and use digital material...For example, a student may visit a website under their teacher's instruction and as a result they might then print, save or download a copyright-protected article or research paper."
That's true...except that the schools already pay a blanket fee to cover materials their students access whether or not the students actually photocopy anything. There is no difference in terms of usage of photocopying a story from a newspaper or printing it off the online version. And if the sites didn't want the articles printed they wouldn't make printer-friendly versions, would they?
This is clearly an attempt to extort more money on a dodgy premise.
On a related note, it's a prime example of the recent Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the US, where Australia agreed to get all the bad parts of US intellectual property law and none of the good parts, like Fair Use. John Howard sucks, and we all know who he sucks...