Pirate Party Australia has sent an email to the Attorney-General’s Department requesting greater access for the public to this Thursday’s piracy talks in Sydney.

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to you on behalf of Pirate Party Australia to raise concerns about the Piracy Talks to be held in Sydney this Thursday.

Due to the secrecy surrounding the negotiations so far, we are concerned that the agreement will be unbalanced in favor of rights holders and old media at the expense of consumers. Our attempts at finding out details through a Freedom of Information request was met with many pages completely blacked out, exacerbating our fears that consumers’ rights will be trampled on.

Whilst including ACCAN as the consumer representative is a step in the right direction in addressing concerns that consumers will be represented, we can’t help but feel that they are a poor choice. Their Chairperson is Michael Fraser who has also just been named Chairperson of the Australian Copyright Council. He is not a representative of consumer interests and it is hard to see an organisation that he leads will be an impartial and fair advocate for consumers.

To rectify this imbalance we request that these discussions be opened up to transparent public participation. Whilst organising public participation would be difficult for the meeting planned Thursday, we would be able to send a representative to carry out this function as some representation on behalf of the public would provide a better outcome for Australian consumers than the currently proposed limited representation.

Regards,

Simon Frew
Deputy President
Pirate Party Australia


Update (5 Jun, 7.36pm): we received a nameless response from the Attorney-General’s Department:

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Frew,

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately it will not be possible to accommodate additional requests to attend the roundtable personally.

Please be assured that arrangements for the roundtable discussion to be held on 7 June 2012 specifically include a number of participants from several consumer representative bodies.

Attorney-General’s Department

Somehow, it is difficult to believe their ‘assurances’ from such a generic response.


Update (6 Jun, 1.25pm): Simon followed up their email with the following:

Thankyou for your reply.

We were wondering if it would be possible to find out which other consumer organisations are attending as we would like to liase with them regarding any proposals affecting consumers?

Regards,

Simon Frew
Deputy President
Pirate Party Australia

This was the AGD’s response:

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Frew,

Thank you for your email. The consumer organisations attending are: The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN); and The Internet Society of Australia (ISOC-AU).

Attorney-General’s Department

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