[Linux-aus] Australian copyright law on computer programs and FLOSS licensing?

Bret Busby bret at busby.net
Mon Aug 1 16:08:53 EST 2011

On Mon, 1 Aug 2011, Brenda Aynsley wrote:

> On 01/08/11 14:13, Bret Busby wrote:
>> On Sun, 31 Jul 2011, Javier Candeira wrote:
>>> Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2011 20:55:32 +1000
>>> From: Javier Candeira<javier at candeira.com>
>>> To: linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au
>>> Subject: [Linux-aus] Australian copyright law on computer programs and FLOSS
>>>      licensing?
>>> My name is Javier Candeira, and I am working as a lecturer at Monash
>>> University in Melbourne. This semester I am teaching Introduction to
>>> Computing Technology, with one lecture devoted to legal aspects of
>>> software development and usage.
>>> Could you please recommend me some reference books or white papers
>>> that look at copyright issues in software, and particularly at Free
>>> and Open Source licensing **from an Australian perspective**?
>>> In the past I have worked as a software developer and taught about
>>> FLOSS for Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Spain, so I don't need
>>> general information about Free Software in practice. I am also aware that
>>> Australia is a signatory of the Berne Convention, and have access to
>>> the 1968 Australian Copyright Act as amended [1], so I know that
>>> roughly 80-90% of the material I teach in Spain is also valid here.
>>> However, I am not a lawyer, and I have never received legal advice
>>> regarding software development or open source licensing in Australia,
>>> so I am looking for documentation that explains the Australian legal
>>> particulars around programming and licensing.
>> In PLUG, in Perth, WA, there used to be a lawyer, and this was his
>> forte.
>> Years ago, he gave a presentation about copyright law, including a
>> comparison of the different licences (the GNU and BSD licences, etc).
>> I do not remember his name (my memory is not so good, nowadays), and I
>> do not know how to contact him.
>> If anyone on this list, from PLUG, remembers him, they may be able to
>> give his name, and a pointer in how to contact him.
> that was probably jeremy malcolm you are thinking about Brett?
> http://www.malcolm.id.au/
> or maybe kim heitman
> http://legalservices.uwa.edu.au/
> cheers
> brenda

It was Jeremy Malcolm, who has seen my posting on the PLUG list, and has 
sent me contact details, which I will forward off-list to the enquirer.

Thank you for your assistance.

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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