Friday, 29 February 2008

Boards, Ex-Boards and Copyright Again

Well, there is a busy week coming up, coinciding with the end of summer today. The first meeting of the ALIA Board is on Monday, and we are all heading to Canberra on Sunday. There is lots going on, and the Board meets in the shadow of the current election campaign for new directors and a vice president. This is enlivened, more than ever before, by the adoption of the blog as the primary communication method for candidates; I have them all in my RSS reader, but traffic slow so far.

On Wednesday evening I fronted a CAL (Copyright Agency Limited) celebration in Melbourne of their achievement in handing out $500 million to CAL members. My university, like all universities, is a member of CAL, although, regrettably, we are massive contributors to the $500 million, not net recipients. This is despite the fact the universities and their staff are huge creators of intellectual property. One would expect them to be beneficiaries? Alas, no.

The CAL celebration was a nice opportunity to catch up with quite a few old friends, and it is nicely balanced by the meeting on 6 March of the board of the Australian Digital Alliance, and afterwards the AGM. This is the Australian organisation which lobbies in support of a balanced copyright regime. Unfortunately, while CAL has over 100 staff, we have one.

On Thursday I attended a meeting of the NetAlert Advisory Council, successor to the board which managed NetAlert from 1999 to the middle of 2007. This was the first meeting of the council since the change of government, so we were all interested to find out what new and interesting ideas Senator Conroy, the relevant minister, has had since his thoughts on new years eve. Certainly the indications are that there are plenty of ideas for new measures to control access to the internet. I will do a posting in a few days about the many things which have been suggested lately for ISPs to filter out of their customers' internet experiences.

Feel free to provide input on any of these matters, and enjoy the rest of summer.


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