Is it legal to record television over the internet, using devices such as Slingbox?
Devices like Slingbox appear to work by copying and transmitting a television broadcast from one place to another, which would ordinarily infringe copyright, unless an exception exists. Australian exceptions to copyright infringement for time-shifting television are quite narrowly drawn – they generally permit only recording to a particular medium, and don’t allow people to make further copies or
communications of the recording. Without providing detailed legal advice, it would appear that this technology does not fit within Australia’s narrow exceptions, and would probably not be legal to use here. See the Australian Copyright Council’s fact sheet on time-shifting for more information.
Do defamation laws apply to information published on the Internet?
Yes. See EFA’s page: Defamation Laws & the Internet.
What type of material is illegal to publish or host online in Australia?
Internet Service Providers and Internet Content Hosts: Commonwealth Internet censorship legislation (the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Online Services) Act 1999) applies to content hosted by Internet Service Providers and Internet Content Hosts. For information, see the Internet Censorship in Australia section of EFA’s site and the Australian Net Censorship Laws section of the libertus.net web site which includes answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Commonwealth law. Content creators/providers and Internet users: Censorship legislation applicable to content creators/providers and Internet users exists in some States and Territories and some other States may have proposed laws pending from time to time. For information, see the Internet Censorship in Australia section of EFA’s site and the State/Territory laws section of the libertus.net site which includes information on how to find out about a specific State/Territory’s Internet censorship laws. Other laws: Various States/Territories and the Commonwealth have laws of general application that are or may be applicable to making available/publishing information online (that is, in addition to laws specifically directed to “Internet censorship”). These include, but are not necessarily limited to, laws concerning “indecent or obscene” articles/publications, Crimes Acts/Criminal Codes, defamation laws, Fair Trading/Trade Practices Acts, Privacy Acts. These laws are beyond the scope of this section and are briefly mentioned here to avoid potential perceptions that no laws other than censorship/classification laws apply to content on the Internet.
What type of material is illegal to view, access, download, possess in Australia?
The answer to this type of question depends on which Australian State or Territory you live in and the current law in that jurisdiction. EFA does not necessarily have time to keep track of the law in the eight Australian State/Territories and, in any case, answering the question is not something that can be done quickly or easily. Information on how to find out about a specific State/Territory’s Internet censorship laws for yourself is available on the State/Territory laws section of the libertus.net web site.
Does EFA publish a newsletter?
EFA sends regular newsletters to active members and also sends regular news updates to anyone that wishes to receive them. You can sign up to receive these updates on our news page, or follow our RSS feed.
We also operate a number of public discussion lists.
We are also very active on social media. You can follow us on:
I'd like to volunteer to help EFA, what can I do to help?
Please see our Engage with and Support EFA page for information about volunteering for EFA and other ways to engage with us.
Are donations to EFA tax deductible?
No. At this time EFA’s business structure does not allow it to accept tax deductible gifts.
May I link to information on EFA's site from my own site?
You do not need permission from EFA to link to any of EFA’s pages, provided that clicking on the link on your site does not result in the text/content on EFA’s page being framed/displayed on your site (e.g. under a banner heading) in a way that could give readers the impression the text/content is on your site rather than on EFA’s site. If you are intending to link in a manner that results in text/content on EFA’s page being framed/displayed under a banner or beside a side bar on your site, you should advise EFA of this intention and ask for permission to link which may or may not be granted depending on the purpose and circumstances.
Can you give me legal advice about...?
EFA is a non-profit, primarily volunteer organisation principally involved in advocacy and educational activities concerning online freedoms and rights. EFA’s work and activities are funded by membership subscriptions and donations. EFA is not a legal service or law firm and hence is not able to provide legal advice. However, EFA may provide information of an educational nature concerning laws affecting online users, publishers and content hosts and also may be able to assist in other ways relative to a particular case. Persons intending to contact EFA seeking general information on laws are requested to firstly refer to the following three questions which provide answers to the enquiries most frequently directed to EFA.
I bought/tried to buy goods or services via a web site and now I have a problem/complaint about the seller. Can you help me?
No. EFA does not provide a complaints handling or dispute resolution service. We are aware that the web site at http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/815215 provides a search facility which claims to enable consumers to find details of organisations that offer such services, and presents EFA’s name in response to some searches. However, as the page on that site about EFA states: “EFA does not provide complaints handling or dispute resolution services”. EFA contacted the providers of that site in October 2005 and asked them to make changes so that it does not provide EFA’s contact details in response to a search for complaints handling organisations. However, as at 21 December 2005, that had not been done.