19th Copyright Law and Practice Symposium 2019*
Creativity. Innovation. Modernisation.

The 2019 Symposium was a resounding success, with over 200 people attending over 2 days.

After an extraordinary opening with Australian cultural legend, Kamahl singing “Love is in the Air”, Auntie Anne Weldon from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council followed with a welcome to country ceremony, then creator Brendan Gallagher and innovator Alex Prior provided attendees an insight into the nexus between innovation and creativity in the digital age.

Renowned copyright scholar, Professor Jane Ginsburg from Columbia University, explored authorship in the context of artificial intelligence in the opening keynote address.

The corporate counsel panel looked at the potential difficulties when users are creators (and creators are users) in the modern 
online society in which we live and work. Cate Nagy, Partner of King & Wood Mallesons chaired a panel which included Connie Carnabuci General Counsel of the ABC, who provided insights on how to manage complex copyright issues in a large and constantly evolving broadcasting organisation. Ben Au, Manager of Policy and Regulatory affairs at IGEA explained the copyright issues currently facing the interactive gaming industry and had interesting data on the present state of play. Dan Ott, Head of Legal at Sony Networks Asia-Pacific discussed copyright in the context of complex media transactions, and David King, Senior Legal Counsel at IMG, Asia Pacific clearly articulated some of the market realities in its media distribution business that affect content creators.

Anita Cade, Ashurst Managing Partner, convened a panel discussing whether parties should be able to contract out of copyright exceptions.  It included Jessica Coates, Copyright & Legal Policy Advisor for the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee; William Shrubb, Senior Project Officer, Advocacy & Law Reform at Australian Competition & Consumer Commission and John McKellar, Senior Associate at Ashurst.

Aspects of cultural heritage, art and technology were discussed by a panel including Robyn Ayres, CEO Arts Law, who has long been advocating for indigenous artists. Keir Winesmith CTO Old Ways, New, had really interesting perspectives on how to approach copyright utilising new strategies and collaborative methods. Fascinating Sharni Jones, First Nations Manager, Australian Museum is a leader in community engagement and cultural change management, Dr Lucas Lixinski, Associate Professor at the UNSW Faculty of Law and author of 'International Heritage Law for Communities' the session was chaired by Dr Alexandra George, intellectual property expert and Associate Professor at the UNSW Faculty of Law.

After a terrific dinner at the QVB Tea Rooms with Julian Morrow of Chaser fame presiding, the second day began a keynote address delivered by Ms Gao Hang, Director of the Copyright Development Division, WIPO, Switzerland, chaired by Scot Morris, APRA|AMCOS Director of International Relations. It was interesting to hear about recent WIPO standing committees from the copyright development perspective.

Carolyn Hough, Director, Eloquium Group chaired a lively discussion between Bryan Carver, Copyright Counsel, Google US; Dean Ormston, CEO, APRA|AMCOS, Paul Wiegard, Co-founder, Madman Entertainment and José A. Sanmartin, Partner, Hoyng Rokh Monegier, Madrid about creating the right environment for creators and digital platforms.

Kate Haddock, ACC Chair and Partner, Banki Haddock Fiora, spoke about all things postmodern, focussing on how future tech developments fit into existing legislative frameworks with Justice Nye Perram from the Federal Court of Australia, Professor Ginsburg and Professor Dan Hunter, Swinburne University of Technology and author of 'A History of Intellectual property in 50 Objects'.

The final session of the symposium saw newly inducted life member of the Copyright Society Angela Bowne SC from Denman Chambers discuss recent, significant copyright cases with John Hennessy SC and Frances St John, both of Tenth Floor Chambers.

Over both days, the sessions were interspersed with Copybytes – short sessions on copyright issues delivered by former ACC CEO and current ABC Head of Litigation & Disputes, Grant McAvaney on current legislative reform; former ACC solicitor and SBS Lawyer Jo Teng on the use of quotations and orphan works.  Professor Isabella Alexander from UTS and chief investigator for 'Copyright and Cartography' spoke on the preservation and digitisation of Australian culture. Professor Dan Hunter shared his ideas on AI and the rise of digital platforms in Australia, while Cate Nagy spoke about whether there is a need in Australian copyright law for an exception for text and data mining.  Finally, Caroline Hough gave a comprehensive and extremely useful presentation about educational use in digital classrooms.

*The Copyright Symposium is a biennial event co-presented by the Australian Copyright Council and the Copyright Society of Australia.

Full program available here