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Law school hosts cyberlaw forum


6 December 2005
Southern Cross University's School of Law and Justice is hosting a free community forum in a fast growing area of the law, Cyberlaw, in Byron Bay this Sunday (December 11).

The forum, open to all interested members of the public, gives business people and home users of file sharing software the chance to focus on issues relating to digital property, especially music and film.

Graham Bassett, Lismore barrister and lecturer in Cyberlaw at SCU's annual Summer Law School, currently on in Byron Bay [until December 23], is coordinating the community forum.

Mr Bassett said the impact of the Net was large ¬ówith digital items copied, divided and distributed with the click of a mouse. He said the balance was currently in the favour of those who infringe copyright.

"Many regional businesses using the internet for distribution of digital property such as music, video and books, are growing. But then they face this issue of copyright, with items being easily reproduced electronically," he said.

"How the Net can be used for distribution of music and film, and people still get paid is one of the current important questions. And for home users, file sharing raises questions such as the legality of uploading and downloading files from the net."

The Cyberlaw forum features speakers from recent Federal and High Court cases including barrister for Universal Music John Hennessey, and Quentin Cregan, barrister for a website developer in a recent case over liability for hyper-linking copyrighted material. Writer on intellectual property Dr Anne Fitzgerald will discuss a recent case on copyright issues involving Sony PlayStation games.

The Cyberlaw forum, and a public forum on Australia's asylum seekers to be held on December 17, are held as community events in conjunction with Southern Cross University's Byron Bay Summer Law School.

The Summer Law School is an annual event, this year offering seven law units to more than 150 students from around Australia from December 3 to 23.

The Cyberlaw forum is at the Byron Bay Community Centre in the Studio Room, with seating available for about 40 people, on Sunday December 11 from 2pm to 4pm. Admission is free.

Media contact: Brigid Veale 02 66593006 or mobile 0439 680748.