Blue Sky: Future Directions in Copyright Law
The team at ccAustralia and the Editorial Board and team at PLATFORM: Journal of Media and Communication are very pleased to announce the publication of the “Yes, we are open!” special edition issue. Guest edited by ccAustralia staffer Elliott Bledsoe, and former staffer Jessica Coates, this issue presents submissions by postgraduate students around the world working in media studies or related fields which critically examine the legal, social and technical parameters of open source, open content and open access.
Jess and I received a number of really interesting submission exploring the question we posed in the abstract: why open? We open the issue with an interview with Esther Wojcicki, Vice-Chair of Creative Commons, to discuss the importance of teaching ‘open’ in schools. Rachel Cobcroft follows with an reflection on the development of the international Creative Commons Case Studies initiative. Cobcroft’s piece examines the progress of open content licensing; identifies models of implementation and licensing trends across industry sectors as diverse as music, government, wikis and fashion; and, perhaps most importantly, explores individual motivations for the adoption of open philosophies.
Due to recent flooding in Brisbane City, the Creative Commons Australia office and our sister projects in the QUT Law School Intellectual Property: Knowledge, Culture and Economy research program have moved to temporary offices. The period of this relocation is undetermined at this stage. During this period we encourage people to contact us by email as our phone systems are currently offline. Our contact details are available here. We apologise for any inconvenience and hope to return to normal operations soon.
Starting with a very basic premise—’What will cars be like in the future?’—car manufacturer Fiat began the Fiat Mio project to capture the many different answers to that question. The project sought to conceptualise and ultimately manufacture a concept vehicle that was informed by the crowd.
A good designer tries to realise the wishes of everyone, and with this concept car we were truly working on everybody’s behalf. The group of designers working in the Fiat Mio house were totally open. There was transparency about every decision, which were all communicated online and commented on. This is completely different to the usual design process, which is entirely hidden and secretive.
Fassbender is also featured discussing Fiat’s rationale for the project in this video from Fiat’s YouTube channel:
The Centre for Policy Development has just release its first book, More Than Luck: Ideas Australia Needs Now (ISBN 978-0-9808356-0-1). Edited by Mark Davis, author of Land of Plenty, and CPD’s Executive Director Miriam Lyons, the volume is “both a collection of ideas for citizens who want real change and a to-do list for politicians looking to base public policies on the kind of future Australia needs.” Featuring ideas from a variety of established and emerging thinkers, it touches on everything: from human rights to taxation, work/life balance to sustainable city planning, and even calls for the end of union and corporate political donations and the Australia Council for the Arts.
The book features authors including Prof Larissa Behrendt, Phil Lynch, Prof Marian Sawer AO, Prof Lee Godden and Chris Bonnor AM, mixed in with CPD Fellows including Eva Cox AO, Prof John Quiggin, Ian Dunlop, Fiona Armstrong, Marcus Westbury and Ben Eltham, who put forward bold new ideas to take Australia forward. More Than Luck is not just ideas Australia needs now, but ideas Australia needs to know!
The Atlas of Living Australia is a new Australian Government collaborative initiative led by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Acting as a portal, the Atlas facilitates users to explore, combine and analyse information and data on Australian plants and animals. It includes authoritative species lists and classifications, mapping and identification tools, images, literature and occurrence records contributed by a number of data providers.
To help support that aim, the Atlas encourages contributing data providers to license their contributions under a Creative Commons licence. Specifically, because the Atlas wants to ensure content is open for downstream use, the Atlas does not support licensing under either of the two No Derivative Works licences.
YouCommNews, Australia’s first croudsourced/funded news site, has published its first people-powered story today. “In search of non-toxic housing for health’s sake“, (pitched and) written by Toula Mantis, chronicles Katherine McIntosh’s extreme case of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. With funding received from 17 people (totaling $878), Mantis was able to research and write an article about McIntosh’s chemical sensitivities. It also made possible the production of a complimentary video that accompanies the story.
Running on platform developed by US crowd news service Spot.us, YouCommNews aims to introduce the concept to Australia. The project hopes to engage members of the public in a more active role in the reporting process. This investment is multifaceted; including an investment in the content, by aligning with and financially supporting a pitch and by suggesting story ideas they would like to see reported on.
It’s only been 8 days since the Australian Government launched the new Office of the Australian Information Commissioner but the new agency that encompasses the existing functions of the Privacy Commissioner and the new appointments of Australian Information Commissioner and Freedom of Information Commissioner is continuing to steer the discussion of access to Australian public sector information in the right direction with the release of their first issues paper, Towards an Australian Government Information Policy. Opening with a reminder that “information is a valuable and powerful resource and is at the heart of government,” the paper synthesises much of the policy work that has happened in this area in the past few years and serves to orientate where the new OAIC fits into Federal Government information management processes. It also signals areas of recommendation where the OAIC is seeking public commentary.
TechnoLlama is reporting that a Belgian court upheld a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works licence. Quoting Professor Séverine Dussollier of the University of Namur, TechnoLlama says:
A Belgian court today has applied the CC license to a copyright infringement suit. I attach the judgement (in French). The facts were simple, a music band had posted on its website some music under a CC license Non commercial – No derivative works. A theater adapted the music to make an advertisement for their theatrical season. The ad was broadcast on the national radio several times (with no attribution).
The band refused the damages that the theater proposed (1500 €) and decided to sue for copyright infringement.
The court acknowledged the licensing under the CC license and the fact that the theater did not respect any of the license features:
- no attribution was made
- the music was slightly modified for the ad
- the advertisement, even for a theater was a commercial use prohibited by the license.
For all those people in Canberra who expressed interest in a CC Roadshow in the nation’s capital, you will be happy to know that we have slated a roadshow for early next year. In the mean time, IP Australia and ccAustralia are hosting a Science Commons seminar with John Wilbanks from Science Commons and ccAustralia’s Professor Brian Fitzgerald. Details after the cut.