Australia is currently awash with landmark, first instant copyright cases:
- Telstra Corporation Limited v Phone Directories Company Pty Ltd  FCA 44 (the Telstra case on authorship)
- Larrikin Music Publishing Pty Ltd v EMI Songs Australia Pty Limited  FCA 29 (the Kookaburra case dealing with anthems)
- Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Limited (No. 3)  FCA 24 (the iiNet case on authorisation)
In the Telstra decision, the court held that copyright does not subsist in Telstra’s White or Yellow Pages. The decision is significant as it means that these directories can be copied by other publishers. The decision may also impact other authors whose works may be considered a compilation of facts without the level “literary effort” required by the court to be considered protected as a copyrighted work.
In the Kookaburra case, Australian rock band Men at Work were held to have taken the flute riff for the hit song “Down Under” from an old children’s song “Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree”. Damages are yet to be decided. Click here to listen to a mix of both songs from ABC news and judge for yourself.
In iiNet, the Federal Court held the ISP not liable for user’s peer-to-peer distribution of copyrighted works. The decision will potentially impact both internet users and copyright owners as it determines how much ISPs are required to do to prevent customers from sharing content downloaded illegally.
To discuss these cases in-depth, Associate Professor David Brennan in conjunction with IPRIA and the CMCL will be organising a discussion amongst Australia’s leading experts in law and economics. The seminar “Authorship, Anthems and Authorisation: a legal and economic review of the copyright triptych” will be chaired by Jock Given. The seminar will be held in Melbourne on Thursday, 18th March 2010 at 2.00 – 5.00pm; and in Sydney on Friday, 19th March 2010 at 2.00 – 5.00pm.
Click here to reserve your place.