[Linux-aus] Unlocking IP project - to be finalised (and other updates)

Pia Waugh greebo at pipka.org
Wed Dec 21 06:55:02 UTC 2005

Hi all,

As a brief update as VP, here is some cool stuff that is happening, and some
stuff we actually need to make decisions on for those interested. Most of
this I think got lost in an earlier thread so I've reposted.

** Linux Australia were invited to be part of a research project looking at
open content. We were asked to give a cash and in-kind donation to the
research project which includes people like Brian Fitzgerald, Ian Oi and
Graham Greenleaf (all of whom are doing good work in open content and even
open source). We were asked to give $5k a year for three years (which is a
two months grant scheme money if we want to look at it that way), and about
the same in kind of peoples time. People who can be advisors in the research
grant like Rusty, myself and anyone else interestedi and committed. The UNSW
Cyberlaw centre are driving this, and we need to get back to them asap. I
personally feel this is a great opportunity for us to get open source on the
table and open content models we know and love in the limelight. Anyway,
they got significant funding from ARC for the project, and OSIA are also
involved. If anyone has serious issues with this please bring them up as we
need to sign and get this paperwork on the way :) The outcomes will be ways
that industry and education can use open content, why they should, and
generally (hopefully) more acceptance in industry and education in opening
their "IP" for the good of society. The LA committee have agreed to this in
principle and will be signing the relevant documentation as soon as the
formal motion on Thursday evening has gone through. Information about the
project is on a beta website for the project at
http://www.cyberlawcentre.org/unlocking-ip/ but it is still in beta so don't
be too harsh :)

** Elections are OPEN. Prepare your personal pitch and nominate yourself, or
prepare to nominate someone you think can do the right thing. People can of
course nominate themselves, but need to be seconded by others to qualify.  I
would suggest you keep a few criteria in mind when thinking of people:
        - are they enthusiastic about FOSS in Australia?
        - are they community-minded?
        - will they help support and promote the Australian FOSS community?
        - do they rock?  If all these are yes, then rock on :)

** Jon and I wrote down a draft of LA and LA ctte responsibilities on
http://wiki.linux.org.au/Ctte/CtteResponsibilities. Let us know what you
think! We also created a sub-ctte policy and wrote down a bunch of sub-cttes
we already have. If you have a passion, then join an existing sub-ctte or
send us a proposal for your sub-ctte idea :)

** James Purser has offered to head up the Press sub-committee, ROCK! So now
at http://wiki.linux.org.au/Press we have been working on how that will
work. Email us if you want to join the press ctte and then create an
account, jump on and help out :) If you join the press sub-ctte you'll find
there is a release schedule and some projects to start playing with.

** I am looking to start an advocacy sub-ctte, so please email me if you are
interested i helping out or putting your 2c in. The main project for this
group will be a series of education campaigns targetting politicians,
educators, and industry. It will require letter writers, telephone callers,
face to face meeting people, art-work people, and anyone with any political
or campaigning knowledge. We have a year before the chapter of the FTA that
screws with the Open Source community is put into legislation, lets help
them understand the issues, and hopefully it can be written into our laws in
the most lenient way possible.

** The grant proposals have been going well, according to an email from
  Geoffrey (who is the Grants Tsar :) the year to date is:
        5/Apr/2005 DarLUG $1800
        3/Jul/2005 ACM programming competition training camp $3000
        11/Jul/2005 Twisted Sprint $790
        12/Jul/2005 Teen Challenge $1500
        15/Aug/2005 Tinderboxing GNOME $1300
        30/Aug/2005 SLUG Video $320
        29/Sep/2005 Computerbank Victoria Linux Computer Training $1800
        14/Nov/2005 LUG Roundup Competitions $400
for all tasks and what went through and didn't and get some more grants in

** Linux Australia put in a response to the Attorney Generals Office call
for input to a total Government "IP" guidelines document. I'm very glad to
say that the AG, AGIMO and DCITA were all very open to what Rusty and I had
to say about "IP". We had the argument that all Government data should be
evaluated as to its best use for the public good, and thus opening a bunch
for free and easy access would be very useful. We will publish our response
as soon as is appropriate, but the fact that Australian Government are
talking to Linux Australia about "IP" is a great step forward for us, for
Australia and for freedom. Hooray!

** Rock on Australia. We should be proud of our community. There are very few
countries that have such solidarity across its community, and such a strong
voice. We are kicking ass and will continue to do so.

I personally think that Linux Australia could participate more formally in
the IOSN (www.iosn.net), which would be a way for us to work closer with
other orgs in our region for the support and advancement of FOSS and FOSS
principles. But that's another story :)


Linux Australia                                         http://linux.org.au/
    "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it
               would be a merrier world." - J. R. R. Tolkien

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