Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Mon 10th Apr, 2006

A letter to the office of the Honourable Julie Bishop, Minister for the Department for Education, Science and Training

Dear Office,

I address this email to 'Office' because you neither signed your name or used it in your email address. Nor, in fact, did you sign or print your name on the form letter you sent me. I find it difficult to believe that this is correct procedure - that an unattributed letter can issue forth from a Minister's office. Your form letter also cuts off abruptly, which either indicates that you were supposed to send me more than one page, or that your form letters are even more cut down than usual.

Overall I am extremely disappointed by your response. Your form letter does not address any of my concerns in the slightest. It reiterates the very claims from the Copyright Agency Limited that I believe have neither basis in fact nor social, moral or ethical justification. It is written in the laborious, roundabout style that Don Watson so ridicules in his book "Death Sentence" - long words, buzzwords, and the mouthing of bureaucratic phrases that have long since lost their meaning. It also shows clear evidence of a lack of proofreading. In short, it is no answer at all.

My concerns are simple: that the Copyright Agency Limited is attempting to charge for material for which it has no right to charge. It is doing this by proposing its own methods and its own standards for judging how much it can charge, and proposing its own schedule of fees for these services. It does not propose anywhere to show how it fairly distributes the funds it collects, which should be a requirement of any agency that is allowed by the government to take money from the public purse. In requesting this increase, it is morally bankrupt for attempting to profit from the effort of people it does not represent, and for taxing the education of our future generations. Far from being allowed to extend its scope, it should be placed under more scrutiny and asked to justify its current activities.

I don't expect an individual response. I do expect a response that tells me that my concerns are heard. I do expect a response which is signed, named and dated identifiably, so I know who is speaking with the Minister's voice. I do expect a response which uses simple, well-written language rather than bureaucratese. I do expect a response which is addresses my actual concerns, not a piece of something very like propaganda.


Paul Wayper

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