Copyright Law

Subject LAWS70207 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

April, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 29-Mar-2016
Teaching Period 26-Apr-2016 to 29-Apr-2016
Assessment Period End 20-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 14-Dec-2015
Census Date 26-Apr-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 20-May-2016

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the Melbourne Law Masters website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24-26 hours
Total Time Commitment:

136-150 hours

The pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.



Professor Graeme Austin (Coordinator)

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

The subject explores this Australian intellectual property regime in predominantly black-letter terms. It asks students to consider the doctrinal issues implicated by the various aspects of copyright law: subsistence, ownership, infringement, exceptions to infringement and remedies. Also integrated with the curriculum are moral and performers' rights, and the treatment of internet service provider liability as an intermediary between copyright owner and infringer. The subject is structured within an international framework, explaining the importance of treaty norms and with selective use of comparative law.

Principal topics include:

  • The evolution and theory of the national and international copyright system
  • The material protected by copyright
  • The duration of protection
  • The rights granted by copyright
  • Infringement of copyright, including defences and available remedies
  • Ownership, licensing and assignment of copyright
  • Moral rights and their infringement
  • Copyright law in international perspective.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of Australian copyright system, its economic and social rationales and its international context
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess copyright doctrine and principles
  • Be an engaged participant in debates regarding the legal protection of creative endeavour
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of Australian copyright law and its context
  • Generate critical and creative ideas relating to copyright law
  • Articulate and convey complex information on copyright law and policy to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of copyright law.

Take-home examination (5,000-6,000 words as specified in the subject reading guide) (100%) (17 - 20 June)

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Prescribed Texts:

Specialist printed materials will be made available free of charge from the Melbourne Law School prior to the pre-teaching period.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Communications Law
Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Master of Commercial Law
Master of Intellectual Property Law
Master of Laws
Master of Public and International Law

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