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Aussies can haz fair use?

Hello Australian fangirls and fandom communities, I know I said I had no time for you but the funny thing about my work is how often fan culture and remix comes up. Like this time:

Attorney-General's speech at the 15th Biennial Copyright Conference last week:

Australian Law Reform Commission Reference
Earlier this year I said that I intended to provide the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) with a reference on copyright. Today, I am pleased to provide more information about the terms of reference for this inquiry.

The inquiry will seek a review of whether the exceptions in the Copyright Act are adequate and appropriate in the digital environment. Currently the Copyright Act has general exceptions to the rules regarding infringement of copyright. These include: fair dealing, the 10 per cent rule and private copying when format-shifting, time-shifting or for special purposes.

There are also specific exceptions such as allowing the making of a copy of a computer program resulting from the process of normal use of the program or for back-up purposes. However, in a fast changing, technologically driven world it is vital for us to see whether existing statute is appropriate and whether it can be improved.

My Department is in the process of finalising proposed terms of reference in consultation with the Australian Law Reform Commission. I intend to invite stakeholders to submit comments on the proposed terms before they are finalised and anticipate releasing them for comment before the end of the year.


If you want fair use instead of fair dealing meaning you have that much more scope to (legally) play around and remix and create fan-art/fics/vids, keep an eye out for this and send something in.

TIL - LJ T&C WTF

So, being the complete internet/IP law nerd that I am, I decided to wander over and read the LiveJournal Terms & Conditions. And I have made a shocking discovery.

LJ's Terms of Service does not contain an explicit "users/authors grant this website a world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, etc. licence to use your content and host/communicate it on this website" clause. This is a clause that I expect EVERY social media/sharing website to have, and in fact have found with Facebook (clause 2(1)), Yahoo! Flickr (clause 9(a)), MySpace (clause 6.1), Google (clause 11), and WordPress (clause 2).

The most LJ has is an acknowledgement that users/authors "retains all patent, trademarks, and copyrights to all posted Content, and is fully responsible for protecting said rights" (clause XIII, 'No control or liability for user-Generated Content on the Service'). That's great, but without an express licence clause LJ is essentially relying on an implied licence to host, publish and communicate the content I and every other author posts to LJ.

The closest thing to a written licence in the LJ T&Cs might be this:

XIII JOURNAL CONTENT
"No Control or Liability for User-Generated Content on the Service: By posting Content to LiveJournal, you hereby acknowledge and agree that you have all rights necessary to post such Content (and for LiveJournal to serve such Content) without violation of any laws or regulations, and/or intellectual property or other rights of third parties;" and

"Content Delivery and Subscription Fees: LiveJournal reserves the right, without limitation except by law, to serve any user Content on the web, through downloadable clients, mobile platforms, and otherwise;"

but that's really unclear and vague and undefined and undefined licences are bad things and I JUST DON'T LIKE IT UGH WHAT KIND OF IDIOT LAWYER DRAFTED THIS THING?!

Am I just blind and not seeing a licence clause? *tugs at samikitty* heeeeeeelp~

Note to self: follow this

Writer's Block: Copy and paste

How would you react if you found out someone plagiarized your work and published it?


I've had that done before once, with a fanfic. I told the fandom community, the fandom community told her in no small terms how in the wrong she was, and she stopped. Immediately.

That was when I was in university. If someone copied my (original) work* and published it under their name today, I'd be pulling out the lawyer card. The one that says "I do intellectual property law for a living and LIKE IT."

Oh, and by the way whoever wrote the question, if you're talking about the work of a writer who's alive today, right now, online, then whatever that writer wrote is under copyright so someone copying the work and publishing it under their name is less of a plagiarism issue - which, by the way, is not legally actionable - and very much an issue of copyright infringement. (Also moral rights infringement if you're from Australia/Canada/UK.) Copyright and plagiarism = two separate things.

* Fanfic by its nature is a little different, but that doesn't mean I still can't write some very displeased letters.

Japan Youth Ordinance Bill

So, the Youth Ordinance Bill that just passed in Japan - what do you think?

Me, I want to read the text of the bill as passed first before I draw any conclusions, so if anyone out there has a link to it please send over. Preferably properly translated English version, but I'll take the original Japanese (and badger tammaiya with her l337 Japanese plus legal skills to translate =D).

EDIT: Found an original Japanese text of the bill but uncertain if it's the bill as passed or an earlier version.

Dec. 10th, 2010

Dear Julia Gillard,

Just for the record, I tried not to think much about it when you said that foreign affairs was not your thing, but now your foreign policy skills - or lack of them - are truly showing over Julian Assange and they are abysmal. Whatever crime he is being accused of you should, as a lawyer, know that he is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. As for the wider and far larger issue of his activities with Wikileaks he hasn't broken any Australian law and as an Australian citizen you as the Prime Minister should be defending him from such abhorrent remarks from the likes of Sarah Palin and Joe Lieberman calling him a terrorist or for his head. Instead, you seem to be kowtowing to the Americans just because they - like you and other governments - have been embarrassed by having their diplomatic dirty laundry hung out in public.

That constant worry the ALP has had all year about losing the left wing base to the Greens? Yeah, you're still losing them.

(Also, I discovered on the plane from Queensland that SKY-News Australia carries Glenn Beck's show. UGH.)

American court commentary

Reading American news media about big or interesting court cases there - in this case the Prop 8 appeal - there is one thing that never fails to get to me: the fact that no Judge can be named without the news article also telling you whether they were appointed by a Democrat or a Republican. It's annoying, it's frustrating, and while interesting and relevant as far as the way judicial appointments are made over there, it immediately colours any reading of that judge's commentary and decisions in a way that is Not Helpful. I know it's not like Australian justices can't be placed on a left-right political scale, but we definitely don't make it a facet of their very identity that forces people - and the judges themselves - to filter judgments through a political prism.

May the Force be with you

Irvin Kershner, director of The Empire Strikes Back, has died. He's the whole reason Han Solo says "I know" in this scene instead of "I love you too":



Thanks, Mr. Kershner, for giving us the best movie of the saga.

/end Star Wars nerd moment

Promo-shout

For anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area, an artist friend of mine is having an exhibition next month that I'm hoping to catch myself when I fly there. If you're on Twitter you're already familiar with her work, and if you're a fan of Conan O'Brien you may have seen her latest piece. Check it out!

Internet filter

Mandatory ISP filtering stalled until 2013.

Short summary: filter is not 'dead', it's merely delayed while the Classification Board looks into what "refused classification" means. No idea if the scope of that review includes looking at computer games, but the RC review may be yet another reason why "should there be an R rating for games" is also on the backburner.

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