Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre, University of New South Wales
Unlocking IP  |  About this blog  |  Contact us  |  Disclaimer  |  Copyright & licencsing  |  Privacy

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


What You Need To Know Now About IP Right Now

Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day to analyse the Australian public domain and keep you, our loyal readers, informed about all the developments in Australian IP policy and scholarship. This is particularly the last case over the last week when Australia has just had a Federal election that has brought about a complete change of government. So, without further adieu, here is a list of resources and developments that you might be interested in:
  1. The launch of Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand licences - see more on the CC-ANZ website here and CC-AU Jessica Coates's blogpost about the launch here.

  2. The launch of "Legal Aspects of Web 2.0 Activities: Management of Legal Risk Associated with Use of YouTube, MySpace and Second Life", a report written by QUT researchers Jessica Coates, Nic Suzor and Dr Anne Fitzgerald. The report can be accessed here and more information found on the CC-AU website here. The report considers generals issues created by these social networking sites but also specific issues created in each case.
  3. As per my earlier post on this case, the High Court has granted special leave to appeal in the case of Copyright Agency Limited v State of New South Wales (see it confirmed on the HCA website here and at AustLII here.) The appeal is concerned with the issue of the implied licence considered by in the Federal Court decision.

Expect more updates over the next few days.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Simpsons Movie Uploader Fined

This just in: Jose Duarte, who filmed The Simpsons Movie on his mobile phone and uploaded it onto the Internet, has been convicted and fined $1000 by Magistrate Pat O'Shane at the Downing Centre Local Court (See Housemate Abi's previous post on the case here). According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Duarte's lawyer argued that his client "had 'the sophistication of a dead fish', when it came to uploading the footage on to the internet." Indeed. Commonwealth lawyers argued, however, that "the potential costs for the film's owners was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars".

It doesn't appear that anything detailed, beyond the report in the Sydney Morning Herald, is up on the Internet about this case yet. More to come as more details emerge.

Labels: , ,


Review into Access of UK National Archives

This is one for any international readers...or, more, specifically, UK readers. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that a review will be conducted into the United Kingdom National Archives. The review will consider the appropriateness of the time when records become available (this is 30 years after 'an event', which is the same here in Australia) and whether this period should be decreased. More can be found at the National Archives news page here.

Archival research is sometimes overlooked in scholarship, but it's clear that there is a wealth of information in these vaults (I personally imagine them to look something like the Hall of Prophecies from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, although with books in place of orbs). I've been spending a lot of time on archival websites lately - the National Archives of Australia has a fantastic feature called RecordSearch that allows you to find archival documents and narrow down your search. The UK National Archives also has an excellent website - I started off planning to research Crown copyright in the UK and ended up reading perhaps a bit more than I should have about records concerning Jack the Ripper. Not for the faint-hearted researcher. Archival research is therefore a bit like spending a few hours of Wikipedia: you end up far, far away from where you started.

Benedict Atkinson's new book The True History of Copyright (review coming!) contains a lot of archival research and my own work will include this type of research. It's interesting that even though we have truly entered the age of 'digital copyright' there is still so much that we can learn from materials about history and policy from 100 years ago. Accessing and considering these types of materials can broaden both discussions about issues and the commons as well: yet another way for dwarves to stand on the shoulders of giants!

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 08, 2007


This Is What It Sounds Like When Doves Cry?

There's a new song out on the airwaves by UK electro-pop act Groove Armada where a girl, after breaking up with her boyfriend, is out driving and sings that she's got "Prince singing hot things at me, I know every line." (The song is "Song 4 Mutya") However, Prince fans may find themselves singing a different tune soon.

According to a report in today's online Sydney Morning Herald, Prince "has threatened to sue thousands of his biggest fans for breach of copyright, provoking an angry backlash and claims of censorship." (See the report here) Targeted items include photos, CD covers and lyrics (our title is clearly for the purposes of parody and satire, just so we're clear). This follows the singer's decision last year to hire an Internet company to seek the removal of 2000 videos featuring his songs from YouTube, including one of a baby dancing to his track Let's Go Crazy (obviously inspired by the Dancing Baby from Ally McBeal, I'm sure). However, it's also noted that Prince has done a few things in recent years with the aim of removing the middleman and bringing himself closer to fans, including distributing his CDs with newspapers. So it seems the digital revolution is still causing major problems in the music industry.

Author's Note: This is a bit of a different post - just about copyright and not so much about the commons! We apologise for our lack of posting lately and regular non-Prince related posts will appear soon!

Labels: ,


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?