G'day and welcome back down under! And most importantly, Happy Australia Day!
This is the fourth time I have hosted Blawg Review from Australia (I previously hosted Blawg Review #85, Blawg Review #136 and Blawg Review #178.). For those who don't know, the Blawg Review is a weekly round-up of posts from around the blawgosphere, and today I am thrilled to have the opportunity to host Blawg Revew on Australia Day.
However, before we begin my whip around the blawgosphere, a little about me and my blog. I am a lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, where I teach Intellectual Property, Australian Federal Constitutional Law and Legal Regulation of the Internet, and research within the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. Accordingly, my blog began as a forum to discuss the legal regulation of the internet and the media. However, just as the collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of my work at QUT has seen my teaching and research interests expand beyond traditional black-letter legal scholarship, my blog is in many ways not a proper "blawg". Most of my posts cover developments in new media - be they technological, social, political or legal - and you are just as likely to see me embed an interesting, popular or provocative viral video as you are to see me critique a significant legal case or piece of legislation.
Although I blog from time to time on developments all over the world, my blog is fundamentally Australian, which makes it particularly nice to be able to host Blawg Review on Australia Day and showcase some of the best Australian blawgs.
Australia Day is celebrated on 26 January each year, which commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 and the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia. Most Australians celebrate it - as I did today - by having a barbeque, playing some beach or park cricket, and listening to Triple J's Hottest 100 or the cricket on the radio. Thanks to the cheeky "We love our Lamb" advertising campaign over the last few years it has also become a bit of a tradition to eat lamb on Australia Day, or else risk being labelled un-Australian. Here is Sam Kekovich's Australia Day address for 2009:
However, even Australia Day is not without its controversy. For many Australians, especially indigenous Australia, the day symbolises the adverse effects of British settlement on Australia's indigenous people, with some referring to it as Invasion Day. This year the Australian of the Year Mick Dodson suggested that Australia may want to consider changing the date of Australia Day to a date that is more sensitive to the heritage and backgrounds of all Australians. Andrew Bartlett has a good post at Crikey canvassing this suggestion. However, Australian blawgers have covered a range of issues in the past week or so.
- Ben Lehman on Duncan Bucknell's IP Think Tank asks, has the fat lady finished singing at YouTube?.
- Warwick Rothnie considers Elwood v Cotton On and asks is copying enough to infringe Down Under?.
- Pia Waugh looks at the ICT industry in Australia and argues that antiquated ideas won’t save Australia.
- At Illegitimis Nil Carborundum, Bozwell looks at the blame game in negligence and criminal matters.
- Mirko Bagaric on Moral Dilemma has two lessons from the Middle East hostilities.
- Peter Timmins suggests that Australia's politicians could learn a lot of Barack Obama when it comes to openness and transparency.
- Brendan Scott has the third in a series of posts on acquiring closed source software.
- David Starkoff (sort of) ponders the existence of the universe.
- And finally David Jacobson on Australian Regulatory Compliance Review reflects on 30 years of change in legal practice.
However, as I was looking at the Australian blawgosphere this week I couldn't help but notice that it has slowed down a bit in recent times: Catherine Bond has announced she is taking a break from blogging at The House of Commons, a new job has seen Dale Clapperton has slow down at Defending Scoundrels, there is only the occasional post from the team at Lawfont, and Peter Faris QC closed his blog only yesterday. This year has also seen Jeremy Gans wind up his excellent Charter Blog, although he did leave with this call to legal academics:
Quitting the blog feels a little like giving up a baby. I can’t recommend blogging highly enough to any academic whose field includes regular contemporary developments. A commitment to regular, public and comprehensive commentary forces an engagement with the subject-matter that exceeds any other academic endeavour, even a PhD. And the informality of blogging is a perfect antidote to the jargon and circuitous nature of formal academic discourse, not to mention the obsequiousness and pomposity of the law.
i find it interesting that legal blogging in Australia is yet to gain the popularity and respectability that it has the United States, but I remain hopeful that this will continue to change over time.
It has been a pleasure to host Blawg Review #196 this week. Blawg Review has information about next week's host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues