Prof Julian Thomas: The digital divide is still a cause for concern in Australia.

Ten years ago, whenever we spoke about the digital divide in Australia, the answer was always ‘The NBN’. Prof Thomas and his team have asked whether the digital divide is still a problem, whether there is truth that it is ‘narrowing but deepening’.

Today at the Digital Media Research Centre, Julian Thomas talks about the important new report he and his team have recently launched. The team has created an ‘Australian Digital Inclusion Index‘ (ADII), designed to be a useful measure of digital inclusion across time and Australian geography. The index includes three dimensions: Access, Affordability, and Digital Ability.

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Andrew Stewart, ‘Uber and Out? Regulating Work in the Gig Economy’

We hosted Prof Andrew Stewart to talk about crowd working in the gig economy. The new forms of work are not entirely new, nor are they entirely negative in their implications for workers. But they do shake up social structures and relationships of work, and this has important ramifications. In these systems, workers bear a greater share of the risks of work. Stewart worries about how many service providers, all across the economy, will be protected across a number of different interests: labour relations and collective bargaining, superannuation, unemployment benefits, sick leave, and so on.

Stewart refers to De Stefano’s 2015 report on crowdwork to provide a typology of work in the gig economy. De Stefano points out that in some crowdwork platforms, the intermediary is much more heavily involved in setting and enforcing standards, prices, and controlling other aspects of how work is performed.

GOMA Talks: The New Feminist Frontier

I really enjoyed talking about feminism, online abuse, and regulation at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art recently. You can watch the video below. We were told that new technology would unshackle women from the domestic duties of the home, and yet in the 21st century women’s experience of online and social media is one of Read more about GOMA Talks: The New Feminist Frontier[…]

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Jeremy Shtern: ‘Better than Random: The chance for democratic governance of the advertising supported internet’

Yesterday at the DMRC, we hosted Jeremy Shtern, directory of the Global Communication Governance Lab. Shtern argues that advertising supported social media business models drive the evolution of internet architecture, but that we have not sufficiently thought about advertising in the context of infrastructure and governance debates. Advertising strategies are shifting away from paid advertising. Read more about Jeremy Shtern: ‘Better than Random: The chance for democratic governance of the advertising supported internet’[…]

Law lecturer and researcher awarded 2016 QUT David Gardiner Teacher of the Year

From QUT News: Associate Professor Nicolas Suzor, Law and Digital Media Researcher, is the 2016 winner of the esteemed QUT David Gardiner Teacher of the Year Award. The QUT Teacher of the Year Award recognises excellence in creating engaging classrooms and a sustained positive impact on students’ learning. The late Professor David Gardiner AM, former Read more about Law lecturer and researcher awarded 2016 QUT David Gardiner Teacher of the Year[…]

ARC DECRA project: Regulating internet content through notice-and-takedown

This ARC DECRA fellowship seeks to understand how internet content is moderated and policed across copyright, defamation, and abusive speech (particularly racial and gendered hate speech). It seeks to develop systems to protect the due process and free speech rights of individuals from illegitimate takedown requests, while better protecting people from abuse and harm.

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.

The Down Under book and film remind us our copyright law’s still unfair for artists

The Down Under book and film remind us our copyright law's still unfair for artists

Nicolas Suzor, Queensland University of Technology and Rachel Choi, Queensland University of Technology

Australian copyright law is broken, and the Australian Government isn’t moving quickly to fix it.

Borrowing, quoting, and homage are fundamental to the creative process. This is how people are inspired to create. Under Australian law, though, most borrowing is copyright infringement, unless it is licensed or falls within particular, narrow categories.

This year marks five years since the very real consequences of Australia’s restrictive copyright law for Australian artists were made clear in the controversial litigation over Men at Work’s 1981 hit Down Under. The band lost a court case in 2010 that found that the song’s iconic flute riff copied some of the 1934 children’s song Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gumtree.