The Australian government often engages in public consultation on a variety of matters. This is a good thing, because it provides an opportunity for us to participate in our governance. One such recent consultation was from the Attorney-General’s Department on Online Copyright Infringement. I quote:
On 30 July 2014, the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis, and the Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull MP released a discussion paper on online copyright infringement.
Submissions were sought from interested organisations and individuals on the questions outlined in the discussion paper and on other possible approaches to address this issue.
Submissions were accepted via email, and there was even a handy online form where you could just punch in your answers to the questions provided. The original statement on publishing submissions read:
Submissions received may be made public on this website unless otherwise specified. Submitters should indicate whether any part of the content should not be disclosed to the public. Where confidentiality is requested, submitters are encouraged to provide a public version that can be made available.
This has since been changed to:
Submissions received from peak industry groups, companies, academics and non-government organisations that have not requested confidentiality are being progressively published on the Online copyright infringement—submissions page.
As someone who in a fit of inspiration late one night (well, a fit of some sort, but I’ll call it inspiration), put in an individual submission I am deeply disappointed that submissions from individuals are apparently not being published. Geordie Guy has since put in a Freedom of Information request for all individual submissions, but honestly the AGD should be publishing these. It was after all a public consultation.
For the record then, here’s my submission: