22 June 2011

Access Ministries tries to shutdown Mike Stuchbery


I've been very impressed how Mike Stuchbery has taken on the rather odious state supported  Access Ministries.

He was sent a letter from a lawyer about his deconstruction of another strange Access comic.
This is almost certainly what all the fuss is about

Today on his tumblr


It’s been an interesting week. On Friday I received a letter from Moore’s Legal, regarding my posting of Access Ministries’ ‘Man Hunters’ graphic novel. I had posted it online to highlight what I thought was not suitable for ue with children, due to the violence, sexism and racism that filled the pages. You can find the letter here. Advice from colleagues and the pleading of my fiancee led to me removing the PDF and several images sourced from the comic that I had used for the purposes of criticising the text.

Today I logged on to Wordpress to find that my ability to post on my blog, ‘Mike Stuchbery’ had been disabled. This is presumably as a result of a DMCA notice served against Wordpress. I cannot post until Wordpress contacts me - which may be some time. In the meantime I’ve taken to Twitter, Facebook & Tumblr to continue the dialogue regarding Access Ministries, SRI and the influence of evangelicals in our public schools.

It’s clear that Access are playing hardball. I think I can guess why. This has nothing to do with copyright. It’s just the cheapiest and easiest route through which to try to shut me up. it’s certainly easier to prove than defamation or similar, and less costly. I’m certainly not making any money from their works. It’s all about flexing their muscle and making an example of someone amongst the clamour of opposition to the current SRI system. They don’t their material to see the public arena, not after the ‘bullying comic’ fiasco that made the frontpages of the Age. They’re frightened of the spotlight turned across their simplistic, unconsidered, culturally-insenstive and inappropriate curriculum materials.

I’ll be back posting on the blog soon. I’m getting advice on the best hosting that won’t be so quick to fold if Access decide to maintain the attempts to gag and silence me. In the meantime, keep the discussion flowing and keep calling on the Education Minister to provide the best outcome for kids.

Australia and the US have provisions for fair use or fair dealing in their copyright laws, and Mike has certainly been on the side of Review and Criticism. As ACCESS are keen to get their materials in front of Victorian children, they really do need to come under the tightest scrutiny

In Australia, the grounds for fair dealing are:

Research and study (section 40 Copyright Act 1968 (Cth))

Review and criticism (s41)

"Reporting the news" (s42)

Legal advice (although the federal Crown is deemed to own copyright in federal statutes, and the Crown in each State in state statutes). (s43)

Parody and Satire (with some exceptions) (s41A)

"What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist." — Salman Rushdie

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