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Journal of Law, Information and Science

Journal of Law, Information and Science (JLIS)
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Griggs, Lyndne; Clark, Gene --- "Editorial" [1995] JlLawInfoSci 9; (1995) 6(2) Journal of Law, Information and Science 129


In this issue of the journal a number of articles concentrate on the use of technology and how it may impact on teaching within universities as well as the work undertaken by solicitors within their offices.

Also we feature an article detailing the use of a computer model to evaluate the processes undertaken within a piece of legislation, the use of intellectual property concepts to protect computer representations and the socio-legal issues associated with the utilisation of spatial information systems.

We start with the 'vision statement' of the 'New Technology' working party of the University of Canberra. This article outlines some of the resource implications of the 'information superhighway' for the future development of existing, and the creation of, new universities.This discussion should be of great interest to universities everywhere which are confronting these and related issues. A series of recommendations that may become central in the planning of any senior university administrator is also provided.

From this the journal moves to look specifically at the use of new technology within a law school. The 'virtual' law school with the 'virtual' law library is outlined as are the future implications for building infrastructure and staffing. The author Stephen Colbran describes this as a revolution in process.

The Internet is obviously a central plank of this new technology. Contained on the Internet is the 'ACTLawNet.' This is a joint venture between the ACT Government and the University of Canberra and is a major provider of legal information (particularly ACT information) to people who can access the Internet. Peter Quinton of the ACT Attorney General's Office outlines the introduction of this home page on the Internet and makes a number of interesting comparisons with the early development of the printing press.

In our fourth article, the Resource Management Act of New Zealand is placed under the microscope. This legislation has attempted to deal with all environmental aspects of resource management within one Act and, for this reason, has attracted international attention. The use of a model that reflects the dynamic processes of the Act is evaluated.

The next two articles focus on the increasingly important area of geographic information systems. Dr George Cho examines the concept of property and ownership of information, particularly the use of intellectual property concepts to guard against improper use of geographic information detailed in maps by computer representations. While Cho focuses on the legal issues of geographic information systems, Dr Allan Jarman examines the socio-legal issues associated with spatial information systems and their use within local government in Australia. In doing so Jarman raises a number of management, social and legal issues which should help form future research agendas in this important and rapidly evolving area of technology.

We also have an article by Mark Davison on the Final Report of the United States Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights released in September of this year. We continue with intellectual property with Dr. Cifuentes and Anne Fitzgerald examining the reverse engineering recommendations of the Australian Copyright Law Review Committee's Final Report and Brian Fitzgerald providing a detailed case analysis of the decision concerning the copyrightability of the computer spreadsheet program, Lotus 1-2-3.

Following the above articles is a report on the important international conference, "Intellectual Property and New Technologies", held recently in Germany. Readers will be especially interested in the description of the latest developments in the European Community concerning Directive on Database protection which will be added in 1996.

Finally, as with previous issues we present a number of reviews of recent national and international publications which should be of interest to our readers.

Lynden Griggs and Gene Clark

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