The OzDMCA: what it means for FOSS

A Presentation by Kimberlee Weatherall

One of the latest American imports into Australia is the DMCA - the rather notorious US addition to copyright, which makes it illegal to 'crack' technical locks on copyright content. The US Free Trade Agreement required Australia to write new laws, and in the second half of 2006, this has been happening. The laws are expected to take effect from January 2007. A few funny things happened on the way through customs, however: the OzDMCA (at least as at September 2007) doesn't look all that much like the US version which there saw DeCSS become illegal and Sklylarov arrested. So what, exactly, does this Australian version mean? Are there differences? Where will the legal developments go next? This presentation will attempt with as little legalese and lawyerisms as possible to set out the new lay of the Australian copyright land, in its international context, from the perspective of a lawyer who's been following these developments closely for the last 3 years.

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