August 15, 2004

Australian free-trade intellectual property bargain raises NZ ICT fears

The free-trade agreement between Australia and the US negotiated earlier this month has meant Australia agreeing to stringent US-style provisions on intellectual property protection, including extended periods of copyright (up to 20 years longer than those currently in effect in Australia) and patenting of software.

The latter is not customary in Australia, but has been respected, though hotly discussed, in New Zealand. Some argue the inability to build on others' software development work retards innovation.

Link: ComputerWorld Australia

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