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Richard Stallman in Auckland 8th August 2008

For many people, the Internet legend, Richard Stallman needs no introduction. Nor does the picture. However, for those who do, good old wikipedia will tell you in a heartbeat that , “Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often abbreviated “rms”, is an American software freedom activist, hacker (programmer), and software developer.

In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project to create a free Unix-like operating system, and has been the project’s lead architect and organizer. With the launch of the GNU Project, he started the free software movement and, in October 1985, set up the Free Software Foundation. “

Any yep – he is coming to Auckland, and will be speaking at Auckland University. The details :

Topic: The interaction between copyright and digital rights management.

Time //Location: 8th August, 11:am t0 12:30

Conference Center Auckland University.

[I think this must be the old one – next to the Engineering School on Symond Street?]


Copyright developed in the age of the printing press, and was designed to fit with the system of centralized copying imposed by the printing press. But the copyright system does not fit well with computer networks, and only draconian punishments can enforce it.

The global corporations that profit from copyright are lobbying for draconian punishments, and to increase their copyright powers, while suppressing public access to technology. But if we seriously hope to serve the only legitimate purpose of copyright–to promote progress, for the benefit of the public–then we must make changes in the other direction.


I believe there is a plan to record the session. There is even a possibility of a webcast. Will post more on this as it comes to hand – or check out [ why not join!] the NZ Creative Commons listserv

Internet NZ /ACTA

For a local current angle on the issue of copyright on the Internet, please also note Internet NZ has issued a comment/warning on the proposed ACTA copyright negotiations.

Their comments are part of a submission to the MED, the NZ Ministry of Economic Development. 

Specifically they are concerned at the paucity of detail surrounding the proposed international Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which they say will impose a raft of enforcement measures which have the potential to further erode citizens’ fair-use rights in respect of digital copyrighted material.

They believe the proposals may/will create a global legal regime for Internet distribution of copyright protected works but that the discussions are being held behind closed doors, and publicly-available information is scant.

They also think the proposed ACTA Internet distribution and information technology provisions, if implemented, will do little to strengthen New Zealand’s existing measures against digital copyright infringement.


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