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Tue Apr 3 06:46:16 UTC 2007

universities would have had massive disruption, involving protests, 
sit-ins, and, possible rioting, due to the end of free tertiay 
education, but, instead, the formation of the NUS/AUS, ensured thast 
there was no significant opposition.

The point with this, is that a supposedly representative body at the 
national level, was apparently in bed with the federal government, and, 
especially with the ALP, and, subsequently represented those interests, 
instead of the interests of its members. If the ACS is allowed to 
similarly obtain compulsory membership (this sounds alot like 
compulsory union membership, both for trades and  tertiary students, 
which the federal government is supposed to be firmly  against, and has 
taken action to abolish), in collusion with the goverment, then the 
motives, and, the subsequent interests, and  direction, of the ACS, 
would need to be investigated (perhaps, by the ACCC?). It could be (but 
not limited to) a covert way of imposing USA intellectual property 
domination of the Australian IT industry ("You claim that you wrote that 
module/program/database? Well, it looks remarkably like the equivalent, 
in this Microsft program, so, we are going to sue you for 100 million 
USD, for copyright infringement, and, we estimate that it will take 
about 10 years, and cost about 300 million USD, for you to defend the 
suit, unless you give us the rights to all of the products that you have 
developed, and, all of your assets, including your home and your 
superannuation entitlements, as they are clearly obtained from the work 
that you have done, that is like the Microsft software, and we will 
spend the next ten years and 300 million USD, proving it, unless you 
surrender, now.") Similarly in a recent case; SCO UNIX and Linux. And, 
it must be remembered, that, in the courts, nothing is certain, and, no 
matter how right or legal something is, a decision can always go in an 
unespected direction.

So, with what is in that paragraph, and, the text above, I have great 
concerns, about the ACS proposal.

Now, there is also another, significant aspect.

I am a member of various incorporated non-profit organisations, and, I 
operate web sites for some of those, and, other non-profit 
organisations. I do that for no personal gain. Why  hould I have to join 
some pompous commercial organisation governed by self-interest, so that 
I can be allowed to help non-profit organisations? And, in one of the 
organisations, both Anne and I had created databases to manage various 
functions of the organisation, and, in another organisation of which we 
are members, one of the governing council has created a daatabase, like 
(but not exactly) a membership database, and it is possible that Anne 
and I could, in the future, do similar computing work for that 
organisation, free of charge. The man who created the database, as far 
as I am aware, has no formal training in computing; he just knocked up 
a simple database, to assist him in his role as an office bearer of 
that organisation.

Why should people, who are willing to do something for a non-profiit 
organisation, for free, or, perhaps, for reduced rates, be required to 
join some commercial organisation that is governed by self-interest?

I personally believe that the imposition of manadatory membership, of 
people who do work for non-profit organisations, with the proposal 
involving the ACS, is no more than an opportunistic profiteering attempt 
by the ACS, with highly suspicious motives otherwise, being proposed to 
be done, "in bed with the government".

And, as those of you who participate in the running of incorporated, 
non-profit organisations, are no doubt aware, it is already, 
sufficiently difficult to get people to fill office-bearer positions, 
and, to get people to do tasks for no (or reduced) reward ("We need 
someone to operate and enhance our website, and we need someone to 
create and maintain a membership database and other databases for us, 
and we will not be paying you anything, but you will have to pay the ACS 
$430 up front, and, $320 a year, to be allowed to do it. Now, who is 
going to volunteer?").

So, from the information that has already been given, and, considering 
the above material, I think that the answer to the ACS proposal,is very 
much like the "Be scared, be very scared" scenario, and should be 

By the way, what is the CISA?

Bret Busby
West Australia

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
  you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
   Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
   "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
   A Trilogy In Four Parts",
   written by Douglas Adams,
   published by Pan Books, 1992


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