[Linux-aus] Research Project

Pia Smith pia at linux.org.au
Wed Nov 24 09:01:02 UTC 2004

Hi all,

Linux Australia has been lucky enough to be invited to participate in
the IP research project I posted about about a month ago. The research
project would look at IP licensing and structures in Australia and come
up with improvements, suggestions, a plan of action, etc. Basically
getting Linux Australia involved seems important as we can aptly voice
some of the issues concerning particularly our developer community.
Linux Australia also spoke to OSIA about the project and I believe OSIA
are getting involved as well. This way we have two voices on the
project, each representing different components of the Linux and Open
Source community in Australia. 

To participate in the project one or both of two things were asked.
Money and/or effort in-kind. The latter is actual time to put in for
panels, discussions, papers, etc. The ARC (Australian Research Council)
has agreed to match all of the input of participating groups for the
project, and so with some serious funding and effort it has all the
ingredients to be quite successful. Linux Australia can facilitate
specialists in our community to interact with the project, run forums,
and generally help educate the wider community about IP challenges and
concerns in Australia.

The project will run for three years, and includes most of our well know
Open Source lawyers, either peripherally or directly. Full details are
at the end of this email. The minimum money donation was about $5k per
year for the three years duration of the project. Linux Australia felt
that considering we have not spent our target on the community yet this
year, that this would be a good use of LA funds. We are looking at
putting this through our Grant Proposal scheme
http://www.linux.org.au/projects/grants as it would be about 2 months
worth of the allocated funds for that scheme per year. We are also
looking at donating time, probably one day a month of ctte and community
time to the project. This is worth about another $8k, so we are making a
valuable contribution. LA will make sure we communicate with the
linux-aus mailing list any expressions of interest for particular
specialists and events so stay tuned :)

The Linux Australia ctte would like to accept this grant proposal and
now put it to the community as per the usual method. With the community
support we will go ahead with this commitment in two weeks. If there are
any serious reasons why we should not get involved in this please raise
them within the next two weeks. Please contact David Vaile or myself
with any questions. Davids details are below, and phone is best for me
in the next few weeks (0400 966 453).

Date: 24/11/04

Project Name: IP Research Project

Aim of Project: To research existing and potential IP licensing models in Australia. 

Person Resposible for Request: David Vaile

Request: $5k per year for three years, plus one day a month worth of time for proposals, forums, discussions, etc.

The Principal Investigator is Graham Greenleaf, Professor of IT Law at
UNSW. He is the architect of AustLII, the world's largest collection of
public-domain legal resources. He has an excellent record of extracting
money from research funds.
He has formed a team comprising the leading thinkers in copyright and
intellectual property law and policy in Australia. He is seeking funding
for a research programme related to your interests in the Open Source
The members of the principal industry partner and sponsor AEShareNet Ltd
have been working with him for several years, particularly in the last
year in developing the November conference on 'Unlocking IP' and now
this Proposal.
The project manager, David Vaile, is the executive director of the Baker
& McKenzie Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre at UNSW, a former lawyer,
software developer and online producer who has worked with Linux
Australia and other Open Source software advocates on initiatives like
the Open Source Forum, the recent visit of Richard Stallman, education
of politicians about impact of proposed changes to IP laws, and the
forthcoming conference. 
The rules of Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grants are that
'Partner Investigators' (industry partners) must provide cash and
in-kind contributions. If approved, the cash injection from the ARC is 3
times that from Partners.

That your organisation commit $5,000 p.a. or more in each of calendar
2005, 2006 and 2007 to a Research Programme entitled 'Unlocking IP',
coordinated by the University of N.S.W. Faculty of Law. 
In addition, if possible, your organisation offers an in kind
contribution to the project, typically by making some of your relevant
experts available to work on research activities of mutual interest,
ideally for a minimum average of one day per fortnight (at times suited
to your schedule). They can in this time work mostly on your site
(except for possibly the odd workshop or conference), and on projects
directly relevant to your organisation as well as the project.
As well as the direct benefit of your contributions to the project,
industry support of this nature is highly leveraged by the Australian
Research Council, which in effect offers up to $3 for every $1 cash
contributed by industry. So a minumum contribution of the nature
discussed here ($5k/yr plus some in kind input) can be enough to support
the employment of a postgraduate researcher.

1. Open source and related intellectual property issues are relevant to
your business 
2. Enormous change is taking place 
3. Executives in the software sector and the broader IT sector are only
slowly becoming aware how critical this matter is, and the potential
complexities of integrating open source and other models into commercial
4. So it's up to interested participants to take the initiative 
5. This is an opportunity to get research funding into the area 
6. You can have leverage on the direction of the research, both through
influencing the formative phases, and as a sponsor

End of this week: participants confirmed
November: Application submitted
Next March/April: ARC funding decision
2005-2007: research project (incremental deliverables along the way) 

Participants include:

David Vaile
Project Manager
Executive Director
Baker & McKenzie Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre
Faculty of Law (Mathews 1205)
UNSW Sydney NSW 2052 Australia
T: +61 (0)2 9385 3589 
F: +61 (0)2 9385 1778 
M: +61 (0)414 731 249
E: d.vaile at unsw.edu.au, davidv at pobox.com
W: http://www.bakercyberlawcentre.org/

Roger Clarke 
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au 
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program, University of Hong Kong 
Visiting Professor in the Baker Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre U.N.S.W 
Visiting Fellow in Computer Science, Australian National University

Graham Greenleaf 
Professor of Law 
Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales 
Co-Director, Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) 
Co-Director, Baker & McKenzie Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre 
General Editor, Privacy Law & Policy Reporter 
E-mail: g.greenleaf at unsw.edu.au or graham at austlii.edu.au
Web Pages - http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~graham/
Legal Scholarship Network (LSN) pages - http://ssrn.com/author=57970

Pia Smith
President of Linux Australia

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