Australia has a great public school system. It also has what national copyright director Delia Browne calls "mind-numbingly complex exceptions in the copyright act." As a supporter of CC and open education, Browne has a huge task to tackle: she's trying to convince Australia's various state and territory governments that their antiquated statutory licenses — created to protect book publishers — would not stand in the age of the Internet. "The government is investing $43 billion to make sure we have the best fiber optic broadband network in the world, but then we have this compulsory license system. It's a major obstacle against digital education evolution in Australia."
Browne recently helped publish an idiots' guide to CC for educators in Australia, which she distributes on the government's web site. She is also the founder of P2PU, an online community of open access study groups at the university level. Students use technologies like Skype, UStream, and IRC to communicate with their instructors and guest lecturers on everything from cyberpunk literature to neuroethics, and all the materials created via these connections are licensed with a CC BY-SA license. "I'm a strong advocate for releasing educational materials and government information under CC licenses," she says. "There are a whole range of materials that should be under CC licenses, especially educational materials created with taxpayer money. It's great that Australia is moving quickly down that way at the moment, and there's been a recommendation made to the federal government to ensure that government materials are also released under CC licenses. It's ridiculous if we have to pay for those materials."
Browne's superpower wish
I'd like to be a tenacious mind reader. I'd also like to be invisible.