[LINK] Righting the Copyright Imbalance

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Fri Mar 4 09:46:52 AEDT 2011

Greetings from "Policy Form: Righting the Copyright Imbalance", at the
National Library of Australia, in Canberra:

This is a one day event organised by the Australian Digital Alliance,
which is in effect a lobby group of libraries and educational
institutions worried that publishers will limit their access to digital
materials: <http://www.digital.org.au/who/who.htm>.

The ANU is a member of the ADA, so I took the opportunity to come along
and find out about the issues, but I don't know if the ANU has a
position, nor am I here to put that position.

The title of the forum is ‘righting the imbalance of copyright law’,
which clearly pits the ADA's position. There is Background Information
for the forum and a list of ADA Submissions with details. The first
speaker is Helen Daniels from the Attorney-General's Department. She has
set the scene by mentioning the numerous international copyright
agreements which limit what Australia can do. There are also legal
disputes under-way which might require legislative intervention. There
are also Australian Government initiatives still being bedding in, such
as the decision to release government documents under a Creative Commons

I am not a lawyer, nor a copyright specialist, more someone who helped
create the problem by fostering use of electronic publishing. It is
interesting to see how some of the consequences of this technology,
which has been under development for decades, are still being worked out.

At question time the issue of the government use of creative commons was
raised. In my view there is a problem for the government caused by the
Attorney General's Department failure to finalise guidelines on its use: 

This is of interest as I am running a course for public sevants on how
to implement such policies: <http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7420/>.
In the absence of clear guidelines, I will have to get the students to
write them.

I will make further postings as the day progresses:

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science, The
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/
Visiting Scientist, CSIRO ICT Centre: http://bit.ly/csiro_ict_canberra

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