Speaker Colin Jackson
Time 2010-01-21 10:30
Conference LCA2010

Micky Mouse, almost comes out of copyright, copyright law is extended infinitely.


Not possible to work out if new work breaches patent without incredible expense.

Microsoft patented OOXML even while they were being sued for breaching patents in OOXML.

Open access

Would the Internet have been successful if there were owned by IBM or Microsoft? There were privately own networks, none of them as successful as the Internet as it is open, doesn’t care what is being transferred, no middle men trying to work out what you are using the Internet for and charging for different access.

Intellectual Property

Pirate is somebody who commits acts of murder and robbery on the high sea. Not somebody who infringes on copyright.

  • copyright
  • patents
  • trade marks
  • etc

We need to push back whenever we here the term “Intellectual Property”. This is not what the law provides. The law provides, under limited set conditions, a limited monopoly. It is not clear what the law should provide. In most cases the law gets extended to meet the needs of the right holders. There is no natural place for Intellectual Property, and no clear way of defining it. So copyright law keeps getting extended without bound.

Extension to copyright law provide a monopoly on things we consider as commons.

Person to chop down the last tree had no choice, if he didn’t chop it down, then somebody else would.

The law sets the frame work in what everything we do operates. Like The Matrix. The law is not clear or natural. We are operating in a framework and a set of rules that defines what we can do.

Who writes the law?

Not the architect in The Matrix.

Movie preview: 1984. War. No freedom. Government controls everything, media, people, etc.


A bomb won’t go off here because weeks before a shopper reported someone studying the CCTV system.

Downloading films is stealing. Piracy is a crime.

  • Copyright infringement is not piracy.

  • Copyright infringement is not theft.

  • Copyright infringement is not a crime. It may become one, but it isn’t one. It may be a civil offence, but it is not a crime. Member of audience said it is a crime, carries 5 years jail, in NZ. 1.3.1 of the copyright act 1994. Only deals with commercial copyright infringement. Non-commercial copyright infringement is not a crime.

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

Legal protection for DRM. Regardless of what the DRM is being used for. Companies can lock down usage beyond what is legally allowed.

Imprisonments for infringements.

Once treaty agreed on co

Laptop searches at border. Law says countries can do what they like anyway.

Treaty negotiated in secret, non-disclosure must be signed, extreme agreement, can go to jail for leaking one of these. What we know is based on rumour.

Denies as having our say in the process.

Secrecy means the governments may be forced to sign the agreements. For example, the Australian and US free trade agreement. The advisors recommended John Howard not to sign it, it was a bad deal, but John Howard had not choice.


All they need to do is hit key nations, and then everybody who wants to play on the International market have to comply with the same rules.

If you are a small company dealing with a large company you have to sign there contract, they won’t sign yours.

What can we do as individuals?

  • Lobby for access to become more public.
  • Wait until thing comes out.
  • I am not against trade agreements, we do need an open debate on what we give away, and what we get in return.

Protecting DRM. Libraries are allowed to break DRM on your behalf to ensure you can use material for fair use. How many librarians can break DRM?

In Australia, The Blind are able to break DRM, but nobody can help them, not even other blind people.