Authors, copyright and the digital evolution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Copyright law has been constantly evolving in response to economic demands, in an attempt to balance utilitarian principles with the changing times and technological advances. However, unprecedented advances in technology have challenged legislature globally and are having a disruptive effect on traditional publishing models and the copyright provisions that underpin them. It is in this uncharted terrain that authors and publishers find themselves, with the legislature adopting a reactive position, trying to deal with copyright infringement problems as they present themselves on the one hand, and accommodating public demand for access to creative works on the other. This article focuses on the challenges presented by such a transitional environment from Australian authors’ perspectives and considers how the development of a digital publishing arena has impacted on authors’ copyright expectations. These findings are based on responses obtained from 156 published Australian authors in a national online survey and 20 in-depth semi-structured interviews with authors and publishers. In gathering and interpreting the views, opinions and impressions of those most affected by copyright, copyright structures and the changing publishing industry, the research aimed to provide new insights into Australian copyright in written works. Significantly, the findings provide a snapshot of Australian authors’ perspectives on copyright issues at a pivotal point in history when authors find themselves between the old and the new, grappling with the realities of traditional expectations and digital advances in publishing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalText: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2012


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