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LAW8720 International and Comparative Copyright Law

Semester 2, 2020 Online
Short Description: Int Comparative Copyright Law
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice
Student contribution band : Band 3
ASCED code : 090909 - International Law
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 19 September 2020


Examiner: Rami Olwan


Pre-requisite:(LAW5111 and LAW5112) or Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: LLBH or LLMC

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


The study of copyright law is important not only for legal practitioners, but also authors, artists, musicians, educators, students, researchers, software developers, visually impaired people and internet users. Technological advances and the advent of the Internet allow the creation, use and dissemination of copyright works that present challenges to basic copyright principles, and many countries made extensive changes and adaptions to their existing national copyright regimes to fit the digital environment in copyright and related rights. Copyright is largely influenced by trade agreements and international litigation that increasingly require an understanding of foreign copyright laws. This course is suitable for graduate law students who want to specialise in intellectual property and commercial law, and conduct complex research in this dynamic and constantly changing area of law.


This course addresses the fundamental principles of copyright law. It examines copyright legislation in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, and international instruments, free trade agreements, and treaties: the Berne Convention, the TRIPS Agreement, the Rome Convention, the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT), the WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) and the Marrakesh Treaty. It considers copyright challenges in the networked digital environment; particularly the protection of digital works, limitations and exceptions, liability of intermediaries and online service providers (OSPs) and internet users, digital rights management (DRM), anti-circumvention rules and novel developments related to data mining and block-chain technologies. It also considers contemporary debates relating to access to knowledge (A2K), WIPO Development Agenda, creative commons (CC), protection of traditional knowledge (TK) and cultural expressions, relationship with human rights and sustainable development.

Introductory materials and classes will be available for students who have not previously studied intellectual property law.


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. evaluate developments in chosen areas of international and comparative copyright law, and critically examine the relationship between those developments and contemporary theory or practice in copyright and authors’ rights systems (PO 1);
  2. demonstrate [explain and apply] advanced knowledge of the impact of international treaties or other legal systems on the substance, theory and practice of Australian copyright law (PO 2);
  3. undertake, interpret and evaluate research in international and comparative copyright law using advanced legal research methodologies and techniques (PO 3); and
  4. articulate advanced knowledge of international and comparative copyright law in written presentations (PO 4).


Description Weighting(%)
1. International copyright treaties and conventions 25.00
2. Exceptions and limitations to copyright 25.00
3. Copyright in the digital environment 25.00
4. The interaction of copyright with human rights, traditional knowledge and sustainable development 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Goldstein, P, & Hugenholtz, B 2013, International Copyright Principles, Law and Practice, 3rd edn, Oxford, New York, United States.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Bently, L (ed.), 2018, International Copyright Law and Practice, LexisNexis Matthew Bender, San Francisco, California.
Sterling, J.A.L., 2018, World Copyright Law, 5th edn, Sweet & Maxwell, London, UK.

Stewart, A, Griffith, P & Bannister, J 2018, Intellectual Property in Australia, 6th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney, New South Wales.

Gervais, D J, 2017, (Re)Structuring Copyright: A Comprehensive Path to International Copyright Reform, Edward Elgar, London, UK.

Helfer, L R, Land, M K, Okediji, R L, & Reichman, J H, 2017, The World Blind Union Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty, Oxford, New York, US.

World Intellectual Property Organization, 2017, Introduction to Intellectual Property Theory and Practice, 2nd edn, Wolters Kluwer, Netherlands.

Stoianoff, N P, Indigenous Knowledge Forum- Comparative Systems for Reconginsing and Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Culture, 2017, Lexis-Nexis, Australia.
Ginsburg J, C, & Treppoz, E, 2015, International Copyright Law: US and EU Perspectives, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK.
Reinbothea, J, & Lewinski S V, 2015, The WIPO Treaties on Copyright: A Commentary on the WCT, the WPPT, and the BTAP, 2nd edn, Oxford, New York, US.
Davison, M, Monotti, A & Wiseman, L 2015, Australian Intellectual Property Law, 3rd edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Lewinski, S V, 2008, International Copyright Law and Policy, Oxford, London, UK.

Ricketson, S & Ginsburg, J, International Copyright and Neighbouring Rights (Vol 1 & 2), 2 nd edn, 2005, New York, US.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 100.00
Directed and Private Study 49.00
Seminars 16.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
RESEARCH PROPOSAL 1 10 10 11 Aug 2020
RESEARCH PAPER 1 40 40 31 Aug 2020
RESEARCH PROPOSAL 2 10 10 14 Sep 2020
RESEARCH PAPER 2 40 40 02 Nov 2020

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Not applicable.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Date printed 19 September 2020