David Outsmarts Mining Goliath

Rising Tide - Mining
A satirical ad the New South Wales Mining Council wants banned from the web

By invoking Australian copyright law, the New South Wales Minerals Council (NSWMC) twice succeeded in shutting down a website that satirized its "Life: Brought to you by mining" advertising campaign. However, the website of the spoofers, Rising Tide Newcastle, is now hosted overseas. Following protests that the mining industry was attempting to "silence" them, the environmentalists are enjoying more web traffic than their corporate rivals. NSWMC's chief executive, Nikki Williams, said the industry's campaign is about "establishing a fair voice for the mining industry." Associate lecturer in law at the Queensland University of Technology Peter Black argues, "This is clearly a situation that would be covered by the fair dealing defence of parody and satire. ... This is political speech that is being suppressed by our copyright regulations, which is something that should not happen." The NSWMC represents major mining companies, including subsidiaries of global corporations such as BHP-Billiton and Xstrata.