[Linux-aus] [Osia-members] Open Source Industry Association call for nominations - ends Friday 9th Nov

Jack Burton jack at saosce.com.au
Mon Nov 5 18:05:21 AEDT 2018

On Mon, 5 Nov 2018 15:23:44 +1100 (AEDT)
Mark Phillips <mark.phillips at automatedtestsystems.com.au> wrote:
> 2) I haven't seen the OSIA newsletters since I resigned,

The osia-members@ list archives are publicly available here:

> so could you let me know what OSIA's has done since I resigned? The
> only thing I can see is that a possible director being negotiated
> with at the time of my resignation didn't join and that Don Lowe has
> also resigned. Oh, and the road shows were cancelled.

OSIA's activities in the current & preceding quarters were described in
the annual report: "Strategy & Operations" / "Achievements" / "Post EOFY" (on pages 10 to 14).

But since you asked, I'm happy to point out what I see as the two most
obvious highlights of that period:

* Evidence given before the public hearing of the Senate Committee's
  inquiry into TPP-11 which led to three of OSIA's PRs being tabled in
  the Senate (a first for OSIA) and to DFAT being instructed to look
  further into one of OSIA's concerns.

* Meeting with Deptartment of Communications & the Arts (international
  copyright section) in Canberra, at which we discussed & advised on 8
  separate current international negotiations affecting copyright
  (EU/AU FTA, RCEP & AU/PA FTA as well as MTPBA & 3 other current WIPO
  SCCR agenda items).

> PS While I'm asking, is there a reason why OSIA didn't submit
> anything for the Assistance and Access Bill 2018
> https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about/consultations/assistance-and-access-bill-2018

Yes. It fell outside the scope of the three specific areas of public
policy which the board had agreed to narrow our focus to. We made that
decision out of expedience, since clearly we did not have sufficient
manpower to respond to every public policy matter of potential
relevance to the .au FOSS sector. That's the same reason we didn't
pursue opportunities with OGNAP/OGPAU or auIGF further, despite both
being interesting & relevant initiatives.

[ shameless plug: if, in 2019, we have a full complement of 8 directors,
plus a company secretary, we may well be able to revisit that decision
and resume responding to a much broader range of public policy matters
-- see yesterday's call for nominations ;) ]

For reference, the three areas of public policy we are focussing on are:
* Commonwealth ICT procurement policy & practices;
* Domestic copyright & patent law reform; and
* International treaties that include provisions on copyright or

That decision was also disclosed in the annual report: "Strategy &
Operations" / "Overview & History" / "The crisis of 2017" / "Numbers:
the 2018 term" (2nd last paragraph in left-hand column on page 6).

Notwithstanding that, if any OSIA member or group of members feel
strongly that an industry voice is needed on an issue outside that
scope, they are free to draft a submission themselves. If a final
release candidate is shared with the OSIA board with enough time to
review properly before the submission deadline, the board is always
willing to consider releasing it under the OSIA banner (preserving
the original authors' attribution of course) -- and even if the board
says no those members can still lodge it under their own companies'

I recall making that offer at least once in the current board term to
a member who raised a relevant public policy issue with the board that
was outside of our core areas of focus (although the member in question
declined to draft a submission himself).

We didn't mention the availability of that alternative approach in the
annual report. Perhaps we should have.

> I have a personal submission.

Glad to see it. Glad to see LA's endorsement of the NAOTI submission
too. Having more Australian FOSS voices is almost always a good thing
(since no individual or organisation has a monopoly on good arguments,
and sometimes there are multiple, equally valid but mutually
incompatible, arguments which deserve to be raised in parallel -- e.g.
there is a set of at least 3 such arguments on addressing the problems
caused by software patents).

Whilst OSIA did not respond to the A&A Bill ourselves, personally I tend
to agree with the arguments raised in the NAOTI submission, as I'm sure
many other OSIA (and LA) folks do too.

For the record, OSIA was not asked to endorse any third-party
organisations' submissions on the A&A Bill.

Had we been asked to endorse (and been given sufficient time to review a
final release candidate of) something along the lines of the NAOTI
submission, we *probably* [my opinion only here -- not necessarily what
OSIA's board would have decided] would have endorsed it.

But we simply didn't have the bandwidth to draft a submission of our

Hope that helps clarify things.

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