Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre, University of New South Wales
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Monday, March 30, 2009


What's Coming Up At the UIP 2009 Conference

It's got to be something good to get me out of my current thesis hibernation and this definitely is - here are a few more details on the upcoming Unlocking IP conference!

Unlocking IP 2009 Conference –
National and global dimensions of the copyright public domain

16-17 April 2009 - UNSW Sydney

UNSW's Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre invites you to register now for an international conference from the 'Unlocking IP' ARC research project, which investigates how Australia's digital commons, both the public domain and public rights created by open content and open software licensing, can be expanded and protected. It focuses on 'self help' actions within the existing statutory context, in Australia's distinct legal and cultural context, and on comprehensiveness - we offer preliminary results from the first survey of Australia's digital commons, with data from National Library of Australia.

The conference includes reports and case studies from the front line, where new models for sharing and trading intellectual property meet the reality of business, government and educational demands, new technological opportunities and lessons learned from implementation of licences like Creative Commons and Free for Education. Book publishing under hybrid business models at Sydney University Press, online user generated content using Wikimedia, and international initiatives like the US' and China's IP abuse rule are featured, alongside detailed analysis of emerging legal and policy directions.

A highlight of the conference will be the launch of the 2009 Consumers International IP Watchlist. Arising from the CI Access to Knowledge project, the list identifies countries whose IP policies and practices are harmful to consumers. It is used as a counterbalance to the United States' "Special 301" Report, which is an annual report highlighting countries that supposedly do not provide strong enough protection for the interests of US intellectual property owners.

The venue is Law Faculty of UNSW, Kensington Sydney, close to beaches, parks and Sydney CBD.

Details of speakers and the program are here.
Register here!

See you there!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Conference: International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property

From Professor Kathy Bowrey:

Forthcoming ISHTIP Conferences

First Annual ISHTIP Workshop:
The Construction of Immateriality
Practices of Appropriation and the Genealogy of Intellectual Property
Bocconi University,
Milan Italy
26-27 June 2009

Call for Papers is here and Conference Information here


Thursday, March 19, 2009


Unlocking IP Conference - Registrations Now Open

Sophia blogged earlier about the upcoming Unlocking IP Conference 2009.

The registration form and draft program is now available.

Hope to see you there!

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Monday, March 02, 2009


Unlocking IP 2009 Conference: "National and Global Dimensions of the Public Domain"

The UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre will be hosting the 3rd ‘Unlocking IP’ Conference at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, from 16-17 April 2009.

A registration form will be available here shortly.

The Conference will include both invited and submitted presentations. We invite proposals for papers relevant to the theme of the Conference. Please refer to the Conference Call for Papers page for details. The deadline for submission of full papers or extended abstracts is March 4, 2009.

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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 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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Thursday, October 30, 2008


Open Education Workshop 2008

(Via Pia)

The Australian Service for Knowledge of Open Source Software (ASK-OSS) supported by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training, is hosting a workshop to explore Open Education in teaching, learning and research across schools and universities. We invite you to participate in this strategic event where you will discover Open Education initiatives around the world, as well as help contribute to the direction of Open Education in Australia for 2009 and beyond.

Speakers include:
When: 21st of November, 2008 - 8:30am to 5pm
Where: MGSM, Macquarie University, Sydney
Cost: Free
Registration & Information see:

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008


iSummit Therefore I Blog

Over at the Creative Commons blog I saw that the schedule for this year's iCommons iSummit, held in Sapporo, Japan, from 29 July - 31 August has now been released. For some of the days there are still a few details to be filled in, but the speaker list is definitely impressive - Lawrence Lessig, Yochai Benkler, Joi Ito and Jimmy Wales.

Representatives from Australia include members of the Creative Commons Australia team, Delia Browne and our very own Ben Bildstein. Ben will be presenting on quantification of the digital commons, and if you've been following Ben's work about quantification here at the House of Commons, then you won't want to miss his presentation (read more about it here).

And that's enough of a shameless plug for one day...

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Creating an Australasian Commons, Part One

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to get up to Brisbane for the day for the 'Building an Australasian Commons' conference, held at the State Library of Queensland and run by the unstoppable Creative Commons Australia team. This is only one post that I will be doing about the events of the day, but I wanted to share some videos that Dr. Tama Leaver, a lecturer at the University of Western Australia, was kind enough to share with us. These two videos were created by students as part of one of Dr. Leaver's communications courses. I think both videos are fantastic and I encourage readers to take a look!

uwacomm2203, 'Citizen Journalism v Traditional Journalism', licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike licence.

citizenjournal, 'Something Old, Something New', licensed under a Creative Commons Attribition-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike licence.

I don't think I've laughed so hard since Justice Kirby mentioned Paris Hilton in the High Court.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Conferences in Brisbane

Two upcoming conferences taking place in Brisbane this month (particularly good news for those wanting to escape the winter further south):

'Building an Australasian Commons'
, Creative Commons Australia
Tuesday 24 June 2008
8.30am-5pm @ State Library of Queensland, South Brisbane - and free!

'Creating Value: Between Commerce and Commons', ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
25-27 June 2008
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007


"The Proposed OO XML ISO Standard and Australia" Symposium

The Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre will be hosting a symposium on the proposed OO XML ISO standard and Australia. The event is free and we hope to see you there!
Speakers: A range of technical, legal and content experts from Australia and the region
Friday 14 December 2007
Time: 8:30-1:00 (technical), 2:00-4:30 (legal) (catering provided)
Venue: Room 101, level 1, new Law Building, UNSW lower campus
This symposium to explore issues raised by the proposed OOXML (Microsoft Office Open XML) document format standard from Microsoft, to assist consideration of the Australian response to the proposal through Standards Australia. Expert commentators from a range of perspectives will present written and oral summaries of the issues, and there will be detailed discussion of the most significant of these. There is proposed informal participation from Standards Australia, and experts associated with them. There are two sessions, Technical and Legal; there will be a preliminary 'Background Paper' on the Legal area, and a list of 'top 10 topics' for the Technical. The web page will also be updated with more detail and further resources close to the day.

Entry for this OOXML Symposium is free, but places are limited. To reserve a place, it is essential to RSVP to, indicating if you are coming for AM, PM or both sessions, if you need lunch, and the nature of your interest in the proposed standard.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Consumer Voices in IP

On Monday Housemate Abi and I attended the "Increasing Consumers Voice in Intellectual Property Policy" Consumers International World Congress Side Event at the Vibe Hotel in North Sydney (see Abi's previous post with the details here.) Speakers were there from all parts of the globe, including the United Kingdom, Thailand, Chile, Indonesia and the Netherlands. You can read more about the day here at the CHOICE Voice blog on the World Congress and there are links to many of the Powerpoint presentations delivered on the day.

The presentations were fascinating - when I think about consumer issues in intellectual property law, my mind instantly jumps to whether we can legally use our digital technologies in the ways that we want to - but the many issues covered at this event served as a reminder that intellectual property laws affect consumers in very different ways around the world.

Two particular presentations stand out in my mind as illustrative of this. First, Dr. Jiraporn Limpananont from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), delivered an excellent presentation on access to medicines and campaigning against drug patents in Thailand. The public were incredibly involved in these campaigns and Dr. Limpananont's presentation features photographs of the many community demonstrations aimed at reforming this system. (See the presentation here).

Second, Indrani Thuraisingham from the Kuala Lumpur branch of Consumers International discussed the issues of DRM in academic journals. CIKL purchased a number of academic journal articles and ebooks online and studied the access, use and download restrictions that came with each, with very interesting - and startling - results. With the average price of an article being $US25, this equated to:
(From Ms. Thuraisingham's slide show, available here)

Take a look at the presentations available on the CHOICE Voice site - many of the presentations contain similarly startling statistics, with the overall theme being that there needs to be a definite increase in consumer voices in intellectual property. Those with a voice that can be heard need to speak up!

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Increasing Consumers Voice in Intellectual Property Policy - A Consumers International World Congress Side Event

(Via Choice)
9:00am - 5:00pm, October 29, 2007 (North Sydney)

Consumers' rights to use intellectual property are increasingly under threat. Policy is made at an international level - how can national consumer organisations work better to strengthen their voice on the global stage? This interactive one-day forum will introduce current campaigns and brainstorm ideas for action to reassert consumer rights.

Speakers include:
The full program is available here.

Presented by: Consumers International, Choice, Consumers Union, Consumentenbond, Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD).

Registration in advance is required. General attendance: $65. Students/Academics/Employees of NGOs: $25. Please contact Lizzie Ball (CHOICE) at or +61.2.95773372. Registration fee includes Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea

For more information about the Consumers International World Conference 2007 see this page.

The Unlocking IP team will be there. Hope to see you there too!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Legal Framework for e-Research Conference 2007

[This is a guest post, written by Scott Kiel-Chisholm, Project Manager on the OAK Law project and Legal Framework for e-Research project -- Abi]

Wednesday 11 July – Thursday 12 July @ Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa, Gold Coast, Queensland.

The conference promises to be an exciting and engaging forum for researchers, technologists, and educators with interests and expertise in e-Research who recognise the need to remain current in this rapidly advancing field.

With vast change to the global research sector due to advances in information and communications technology (ICT) e-Research now supports all disciplines from the sciences to humanities.

This conference will examine legal issues facing e-Research both in Australia and internationally such as contractual frameworks, data ownership/access/reuse, privacy, Science Commons and IP licensing. It will provide insights into new ways of thinking about research management in the expanding e-Research environment.

International Keynote Speakers will include:

For more information and online registration go to

The Legal Framework for e-Research project is funded by the Australian Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), under the Research Information Infrastructure Framework of Australian Higher Education, as part of the Commonwealth Government’s Backing Australia’s Ability – An Innovation Action Plan for the Future (BAA) report.

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Monday, April 02, 2007


"Creating Commons": SCRIPT-ed Special Issue

The House of Commons is very pleased to announce that a special issue of the University of Edinburgh's online, open access law and technology journal, SCRIPT-ed, has just been released, featuring articles from the 2006 Unlocking IP "Creating Commons" conference that was held here at the University of New South Wales. The special issue can be found here.

A big "thank you" must go to the SCRIPT-ed team for their hard work in putting this journal edition together!

(Note: Don't miss out on "Finding and Quantifying Australia’s Online Commons" and "Simplification and Consistency in Australian Public Rights Licences" written by housemates Ben and Catherine and included in this special issue!! -- Abi)

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Friday, March 02, 2007


Upcoming Copyright and Commons Events

It's been quiet at the House of Commons for the last week but Abi, Ben and I have been busy working on projects that we'll be able to let you know more about in the coming weeks. For now, here's a couple of events that both Australian and international readers may be interested in:

First, the UNSW Centre for Continuing Legal Education is holding an 'Intellectual Property - Digital Copyright Update' seminar on Tuesday, 13 March, from 8.45 am - 1pm in Sydney. The Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre's own co-director (and House of Commons regular) David Vaile will be chairing the event. Topics everyone's favourite piece of 200-page legislation - the Copyright Amendment Act 2006; online copyright liability following the Cooper decision; and Sony v Stevens and TPMs. Register here.

Second, the University of Western Ontario is hosting two copyright and commons related conferences on 9 and 10 April 2007. The first conference is "Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) as Democratic Principle" and scheduled speakers include the free software guru himself, Richard Stallman and Unlocking IP investigator Brian Fitzgerald. The second conference is "Digital Copyright in a User Generated World", which includes talks on open access, virtual worlds, blogs and copyright reform. Find out more here.

So many copyright events, so much copyright legislation, so little time...

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