If you have an interest in copyright chances are that you, like us, have spent much of today getting excited by the two big copyright cases that were just handed down by the Australian courts.
For anyone who missed it, Judge Cowdroy of the Federal Court has handed down a decision that Australia’s third biggest ISP, iiNet, is not responsible for authorising copyright infringements undertaken by Bittorrenting clients. The decision is very long, but it is also well written and thorough, and we’re impressed with Cowdroy J’s common sense approach, with statements like “There does not appear to be any way to infringe the applicants’ copyright from the mere use of the internet” and “The law recognises no positive obligation on any person to protect the copyright of another.”
At the same time Jacobson J, also of the Federal Court, has found that Men at Work are liable for copyright infringement for reusing two lines of Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree in Land Downunder.
But in all this big-name copyright excitement its very easy to miss another important piece of copyright news – the Victorian Government has just committed to using Creative Commons as the default licensing system for all its public sector information. This is the strongest commitment to CC of any Australian government – so strong, in fact, that it deserves its own post.
Definitely a good day to be a free culture advocate in Oz.