IP: Copyright and Designs (LAWS5180)

UNIT OF STUDY

This unit covers copyright and designs law, both recognised branches of intellectual property law. Their existence is often justified on the presumption that they encourage the exercise of inventive, creative and entrepreneurial skill and labour. The protection these areas of law provides is said to enable commercial exploitation of the resulting works or designs. This unit focuses on the requirements for the copyright and design protection and investigates the bases upon which infringement action can be brought. Particular emphasis will be placed on the expanding scope of copyright and the implications of the internet, as well as provisions in the Copyright Act intended to address the apparent overlap between copyright and design protection. Although the unit of study will emphasise legal doctrine and be taught from the perspective of a relatively depoliticised formalism, it is also recognised that the deployment and the regulation of intellectual property inevitably have substantial cultural, technological and economic consequences, which in turn inform and shape the development of legal doctrine. So, for example, Gone With The Wind, as a literary work still under copyright, is both an asset with a monetary value and the focus of a civil rights activism which demands the right to imitate the work for social and political criticism and parody. There will, accordingly, be some attention paid in this unit to the cultural, technological and economic consequences of intellectual property laws, to the significance of access to the public domain and to the effects of international trade pressure in the area.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information

Classes

2x2hr seminars/week for 10 weeks

Assessment

Two options: (1) 5,000wd research essay (50%) and 1.5hr exam (50%); or (2) 2.5 hr examination (100%). Subject to change.

Faculty/department permission required?

No

Unit of study rules

Prohibitions

LAWS3423, LAWS3033, LAWS3480

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.