Digital Rights Watch: A new voice in Australian civil society

I am pleased to announce that we have officially launched Digital Rights Watch, a new advocacy organisation to protect the human rights of Australian internet users.

I am the Deputy Chair of this new non-profit. We have a great Board of Directors, and I am really looking forward to working with our extensive networks of supporters around Australia and internationally.

My goal for Digital Rights Watch is to build an organisation that can better connect the disparate groups of individuals and organisations who care about how human rights are protected online. A key part of the problem, as we see it, is that while many people care deeply about these issues, as a sector in Australia we lack good channels of communication and strong consensus-based strategies. Recent debates over data retention and copyright policy have demonstrated that civil society must be better organised to be able to effectively represent the public interest.

With DRW, I hope that we can bring together activists, NGOs, technology firms, academics, lawyers, designers, and other individuals to work together to protect and promote human rights online.

Interview with Eric Hellman, founder of is a crowdfunding platform that allows users (‘ungluers’) to contribute to the costs of publishing open access books. So far, the site has ‘unglued’ three books. The most influential of these is Ruth Finegan’s “Oral Literature in Africa“, a classic research monograph first published in 1970, which has had significant scholarly impact. The other Read more about Interview with Eric Hellman, founder of[…] – ransoming art and music into the public domain

I recently spoke with Nick Liow, the founder of, a fascinating project which aims to provide a general crowdfunding platform to release art and music into the public domain (CC0). In its first trial two weeks ago, raised $1000 in just a few days to release a bundle of game art assets. This Read more about – ransoming art and music into the public domain[…]

Commons-based models of cultural production

How do communities come together to produce free and open cultural works? Copyright law is going through a crisis of legitimacy. It doesn’t reward creators in any fair way: less than 1% of artists make a lot of money, and artists make much less on average than any other category of workers. It also doesn’t Read more about Commons-based models of cultural production[…]