Friday, 05 March 2010 12:21

Linux Australia to fund research into licence compliance

Linux Australia, the umbrella organisation for Linux user groups in the country, has decided to provide funding for research to determine the applicability of the Trade Practices Act as a compliance tool.

The application for funds was made by lawyer Brendan Scott in December. As Scott outlined in a post on his blog, it is not possible for one to sue someone because of non-compliance with a free software licence unless one is a direct party to it - the legal concept of "standing."

Further, Scott pointed out, there were other difficulties involved in going to court over such licences in Australia - the copyright holders were, to large extent, from other countries. If a case was filed to try and enforce compliance, the copyright holder would have to be party to the case and hence present in Australia.

Scott said this had led him to look at the Trade Practices Act. "The TPA has a very wide concept of standing. Practically anyone has standing to sue for a breach of the TPA.

"If a competitor puts on a misleading advertisement you don't need to have been misled in order to have it corrected.  You don't need to show that you (or indeed anyone) suffered a loss," he wrote.

Scott added: "The mere fact of a breach is usually enough for anyone in the community to enforce compliance with the TPA. The TPA is therefore particularly relevant for free software compliance.

"If a breach of the terms of a licence are also a breach of the TPA, then you don't need the copyright holders in order to take action. You can leave them out of it entirely and, instead, rely on your rights as a consumer."

Other benefits of the TPA were that courts tended to interpret it in a way which favoured consumers and consumer protections set out in the act were quite straightforward.

Scott advanced two proposals to Linux Australia; on March 3 the organisation granted funds for the first proposal.

Linux Australia president James Turnbull told iTWire: "The issue of free software compliance is obviously important to Linux Australia and the Australian open source community.

"So, after some consideration and discussion with people with expertise in the area, we've decided to fund the initial research required to determine the applicability of Trade Practices Act as a compliance tool.

"The availability of a compliance how-to and the associated research should make it easier for free software developers and organisations to bring compliance actions without being burdened with the traditionally substantial costs involved."
Read 2987 times

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here


If you're looking at enabling Microsoft Teams for your contact centre, you should bookmark this webinar.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

Our panellists from Whangarei District Council (NZ) and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers (Aus) were closely involved in recent projects to enable Microsoft Teams for their own contact centres.

They have kindly agreed to join Enghouse and Microsoft to talk about some of the things they would recommend as most critical for IT and CX professionals planning a Teams Contact Centre migration.

Date: 11 May 2022
Time: 12pm AEST | 2pm NZST | 10am SGT

We look forward to having you join us. Please click the button below to register.



The past year has seen a meteoric rise in ransomware incidents worldwide.

Over the past 12 months, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers have diligently tracked the meteoric rise in cyberattacks, as well as trends and activity across all threat vectors, including:

Encrypted threats
IoT malware
Zero-day attacks and more

These exclusive findings are now available via the 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, which ensures SMBs, government agencies, enterprises and other organizations have the actionable threat intelligence needed to combat the rising tide of cybercrime.

Click the button below to get the report.



It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site and prominent Newsletter promotion and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinars and campaigns and assistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.


Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News