As it happened - ADA Forum 2015

by Suzy Wood

What do contemporary poetry, Valentine’s Day and a Kevin Rudd parody Twitter account have in common? They all face their own copyright trials and tribulations as outlined at the 6th Annual Australian Digital Alliance Forum.

We managed to ward off bad luck on Friday the 13th and instead crammed the day with networking, snacks and plenty of copyright gossip. From our 20 hand-picked experts, we heard about the challenges and successes, frustrations and breakthroughs, set to shape the direction of Australian copyright law and policy in 2015.

In the morning, we took a look at some of the exciting new developments improving the ability of libraries to preserve and share information.  Sue McKerracher introduced us to FAIR, a new initiative campaigning for free and open access to information and resources. Keynote speaker Maryanne Diamond AO shared insights into the potential for the Marrakesh Treaty, recently ratified by Australia, to help make reading and learning easier for people with visual impairments. Dr Nicolas Suzor led us through a recent win for HathiTrust and the logistical challenges of making accessible digital repositories of library books.

Alison Dellit showed us the new Australian Government Web Archive, a fascinating record of the changing face of the Australian government and political landscape over time. Robyn Van Dyk and Elise Edmonds explained how libraries are helping to keep the ANZAC tradition alive. Professor Jill McKeough rounded up the latest in international copyright happenings, including recent treaties and developments in the push for fair use in Australia.

After lunch, it was time for us to get up to speed with some new open access initiatives. Dr Lucy Montgomery talked us through her leap of faith in setting up Knowledge Unlatched, a project which helps libraries around the world share the cost of publishing openly licensed books, and the overwhelming success of the project.  Baden Appleyard unveiled some brand new Creative Commons licensing tools for Microsoft Office sure to help streamline everyday licensing. Jessica Smith led us through some recent developments in open access for teaching and learning materials.  

Alexander Vulkanovski then gave us a no-holds-barred insight into what copyright means – and doesn’t mean – to everyday consumers and creators.

In the afternoon, it was time for Associate Professor Kimberlee Weatherall to remind us that a drafting error which stymied the effective development of Australian safe harbours still hasn’t been redressed. We then had a panel of tech policy experts (Shoshana ShieldsDamian Kassaabgi and Rob Gregory, chaired by Laurie Patton) to give us an industry insight into the rollercoaster relationship between copyright and innovation.

Wrapping up, we were lucky to hear from three creative industries professionals (Charlotte HarperScott Bridges and Melinda Smith, chaired by Nikki Anderson) who gave their perspectives on how they approach copyright to help them share and transform creative work.

If you missed out, don’t despair – you can still watch the recording of the live stream sponsored by Internet NZ.

Once again, we’d like to give a huge thanks to our sponsors, MaddocksInternet Society of AustraliaNational Library of Australia and Internet NZ, for making the forum possible.