Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre, University of New South Wales
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Friday, January 30, 2009


Should we change the law? or the prople?

Via Jessica Coates, I quote directly:
Those interested in digital copyright policy might be interested in the UK's Department of Culture, Media and Sport's 'Digital Britain' Interim Report, which was released this week.

Section 3.2 seems particularly relevant:

'There is a clear and unambiguous distinction between the legal and illegal sharing of content which we must urgently address. But, we need to do so in a way that recognises that when there is very widespread behaviour and social acceptability of such behaviour that is at odds with the rules, then the rules, the business models that the rules have underpinned and the behaviour itself may all need to change.'

It also recommends the creation of a Rights Agency to:

'bring industry together to agree how to provide incentives for legal use of copyright material; work together to prevent unlawful use by consumers which infringes civil copyright law; and enable technical copyright-support solutions that work for both consumers and content creators. The Government also welcomes other suggestions on how these objectives should be achieved.'
I like the idea that the Government might not just be about maintaining the status quo. I often feel that the 'majority opinion' concept is ignored (not only in the field of copyright).

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Thursday, January 22, 2009



I'm still at, attending the talk "Seven things lawyers don't understand software." It's good, but not quite as entertaining as the previous talk, where the speaker was dressed in a Star Trek uniform, and made an absolutely brilliant analogy between Klingon culture and Perl, and talked about a Perl module (called autodie) that aims to bring Klingon culture to Perl.

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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...?


Monday, January 19, 2009 2009

I'm at at the University of Tasmania (my old uni), sitting next to Nic Suzor (who will give a talk on gaming+law later in the week), and listening to Pia Waugh talk about how to run an open source business.

And of course, being LCA, they have free (as in free beer) wireless.

I'll blog more, but possibly not today. I had to get up at 4:20am this morning, to drive my partner to the airport, and despite the two coffees I've had, my head's not entirely together right now.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Creative Commons Asia Pacific Conference 2009

The 2009 Creative Commons Asia Pacific Conference will be hosted by the Arellano University School of Law, Manila, on the 5-6 February 2009.

Visit the Philippine Commons website for further information about the Conference, as well as other local CC developments and events.

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