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

Javier Candeira javier at candeira.com
Thu Nov 10 11:55:12 EST 2011

Answering on list with Kimberlee's permission, so there is a public
record of her useful answers.

On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 1:00 AM, Kimberlee Weatherall
<k.weatherall at law.uq.edu.au> wrote:

> Just a quick note: the question whether you can lose a copyright is controversial. Most people assume no, although some academic lawyers argue that like other personal property (like a car or a camera) it can be 'abandoned'.

Yes, that's another question I wanted to ask. There is now a debate in
Spain about whether it's possible to dedicate your copyright to the
public domain ahead of its expiry date, like I understand can be done
in the US. Is it a possibiilty in Australia? What are the arguments
for such a "public domain dedication" or whatever the term is?

> Functionally you could 'lose' copyright though: there is a statute of limitations on actions, so that you can't bring an action for an infringement that occurred more than 7 years ago. And if you are aware of someone using your copyright, and building on it, and do nothing about it but let them keep building on it, and then later try to assert your rights, there may be an 'estoppel' that prevents you from asserting your rights.

Neat. This goes straight into my slides for next year.



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