PAX Pirata: Creativity, Copyright, Conflict & Collaboration

Australia has a reputation for one of the highest rates of piracy in the world. There are reasons for this, like regions on DVDs and blurays, and delayed releases for everything from TV onwards. We’re also renowned for pirating books, which is partially because our books can cost double to six times the price of a book in the US even when exchange rates aren’t too divergent. And don’t get me started on Adobe, whose price for a personal package is currently $791.88 + GST (10% tax) for a one-year lease. Then there are games…

This PAX Pirata panel consists of game developers, lawyers and a political musician (or a musical politician) talking about pirating and copyright. Brigid Dixon is passionate about protecting copyright so creators can pay their bills (you know, luxuries like food and a roof over their heads) and also so they can continue to create. Simon Frew is passionate about a sharing economy, so much so that he uploaded his own musical album to a torrenting website.

Yours truly also asks a question about the balance between protecting creators’ earnings so they’re not on social security and allowing cultural appropriation.

The podcast is at the top of the page and the video is below.

Pax Pirata Panel Featuring (right to left):

  • Simon Frew is a musician and the president of the Pirate Party. (The Pirate Party is a real Australian political party, as real as Trump — MORE real than Trump! And he’s not a Pastafarian… I think. At least I don’t recall any references to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. For those who do not live in Australia or New Zealand, you’re missing out.) Simon uploaded his own music so it could be torrented.
  • Jennifer Scheurle is a game designer. This kick-ass chick knows gaming and understands how pirating and copyright work for and against the industry.
  • Morgan Jaffit is a game developer dude with a varied career. Also knows his shit.
  • Ben McGinnes is a writer/author, publisher and political junkie who claims to be a semi-professional geek.
  • Paul Noonan is a lawyer-type dude whose practice covers information technology, intellectual property, general procurement, and entertainment law.
  • Brigid Dixon is another lawyer-type. She worked on the Dallas Buyers Club pirating case so she knows the law in Australia pretty well. Brigid currently works for the Mushroom Group, which is, apparently, a real thing.


PAX pirata 2016