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Mainly intellectual property (IP) issues Down Under

Convergence Review

The Commonwealth Government has released the Final Report of the Convergence Review (pdf). While initially there were some indications that this review might relate to intellectual property issues, especially copyright, the Final Report focuses on the areas of regulation traditionally covered by labels like “broadcasting”, telecommunications, “spectrum allocation”, “media ownership” and “local content” requirements. The Minister’s Press Release notes that: The release of the report provides an opportunity for stakeholders.. Read More

Smartphone patent landscape

Dr Mark Summerfield has an interesting post demonstrating some work he and his colleagues have been doing modelling the ownership of patents in the smartphone space. In their mobile technology landscape, or themescape, they seek to demonstrate pictorially: Samsung appears to own key hardware patents; Microsoft seems to own most software patents; but Apple seems to have highly strategic patents. The themescape also seeks to demonstrate that Google was a.. Read More

Framing the Convergence Review

On 28 April, the Government’s Convergence Review (noted here) issued a Framing Paper. According to p. 4 of this curious document: This initial consultation paper seeks to identify the principles that should guide media and communications regulation in Australia, and provide stakeholders with the opportunity to raise the key issues arising from the principles. Its intent is to invite big-picture thinking about the Australian media and communications environment in its.. Read More

Convergence review

It’s never too late to discover a government inquiry (at least before the legislation comes through)! Back in December, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy announced a Convergence Review. Media Release, draft Terms of Reference and “home page“. Given its departmental provenance and some of the discussion in the Background Paper, it might be thought the Review is mainly targeted at the Telco Act, the Radiocommunications Act.. Read More

Software licensing

IP What’s Up (USA) reviews a book demystifying software licensing (from a US perspective). OUP’s link.

The Digital Economy Down Under

Minister Conroy released on 14 July a report Australia’s Digital Economy: Future Directions, which he has described as a road map for Australia’s digital economy future. Amongst other things, in (sort of, kinda, a bit) similar vein to the EU’s Commissioner Neely, the report notes: The digitisation trend is changing customer habits and expectations. Increasingly, they expect an on demand experience, that is, the ability to enjoy what they want, when.. Read More

Confidentiality, unconscionability and contract

Telstra and Optus have an interconnect agreement, in part to regulate how callers originating from one network get delivered to the other, charges and the like. Optus successfully sued Telstra for misusing Optus’ confidential information under the agreement: information about call traffic between the two networks. (You should look at that judgment as it illustrates the two-edged nature of many definitions of confidential information.) In this part of the fight,.. Read More

Terms of Service Tracker

The blogosphere ‘lit up’ and Facebookers (?) went on the rampage when it emerged that Facebook was unilaterally changing its terms of use (and not telling anyone) – Facebook: All Your Stuff is Ours, Even if You Quit. Jonathon Bailey at Plagiarism Today looks at the EFF’s new TOSBack so you can keep up to date with how your service provider is “shifting the goalposts”. Google, for example, amongst other things.. Read More

Googling it …

From the blogsite: We started with a set of tough questions: Why do we have to live with divides between different types of communication — email versus chat, or conversations versus documents? Could a single communications model span all or most of the systems in use on the web today, in one smooth continuum? How simple could we make it? What if we tried designing a communications system that took.. Read More

“All of a sudden we realized we were in the auction business.”

The Annual Meeting of the American Economics Association tries to work out how Google works or how AdWords changed the world: here A tidbit: During the question-and-answer period, a man wearing a camel-colored corduroy blazer raises his hand. “Let me understand this,” he begins, half skeptical, half unsure. “You say that an auction happens every time a search takes place? That would mean millions of times a day!” Varian smiles… Read More