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Sunday, October 29, 2006 


There has been much debate on SBS's inclusion of sedition in its Licensing Agreement. Obviously, since it's a new law, the previous SBS Agreement didn't offer a producer indemnity against sedition. The new agreement indemnifies producers against a charge of sedition (which means SBS will pay the cost of defending such a charge), but it requires the producers to undertake that they are not aware of any seditious material and that they are not deliberately putting seditious material to air.

From SBS's point of view it is doing its best to protect film-makers while it complies with the new law. The problem is that they must include sedition in the clause at all.

The Government is unlikely to charge an artist with sedition (imagine the publicity). They won't have to; anything that could be construed as seditious will likely have been eliminated by zealous lawyers long before it goes to air or to print. And with the bathwater goes the baby.

Our call to the Attorney General remains the same: Remove the sedition provisions which represent a real and palpable threat to the democracy that sustains our way of life.

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