Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre, University of New South Wales
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Time for a Break

This morning I emailed my House of Commons housemates with some news, that they in turn encouraged me to share with you: I am stepping down from the House of Commons for a while while I finish off my thesis. I'm about four months away from submitting my thesis (I think!!) and it's a very funny feeling - it feels like all of a sudden three years have passed and you have a limited amount of time left to deal with this thing that has dominated so much of your life. When I got back to work after the New Year it was interesting reading all the posts on other blogs about January 1 being 'Public Domain Day' - every day is public domain day for me at the moment.

I thought about writing a final post musing on copyright and the commons, but currently I'm working on my chapter on colonial copyright, and I'm looking forward to getting back to it. And if I was going to muse on any topic it would be that: colonial copyright, or historical copyright issues. When I started my PhD a little under a three years ago, I knew that my thesis would involve 'mapping Australia's copyright commons' - that is its (current) title after all - but it wasn't until I started looking at the various colonial statutes, and then the Copyright Act 1905 (Cth) that a number of distinctly Australian issues began to emerge. In the end, I think I've ended up writing about 10 percent of what I originally planned to, because so many different issues came up from these older statutes that are still relevant to, and have an impact on, the Australian public domain and the creations contained within that space today.

I won't go into the details of this now; with the upcoming Unlocking IP 2009 conference coming up, that is a more appropriate forum. So I'll finish off with a few thank my fellow housemates Abi Paramaguru, Ben Bildstein and Sophia Christou, who will fill you in on all the juicy copyright gossip during my absence; my supervisors, Kathy Bowrey and Graham Greenleaf; and to you, our wonderful readers, for your support and engagement with our blog.

I'll be back at the House of Commons in June, look forward to writing to you all then!

P.S. There is, of course, one exception to my blogging vacation: if the Federal Government responds to the Copyright Law Review Committee Crown Copyright report. Will we get to four years without a response...?


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