Ep 8 – Property

Short

Gautam Mukherji and Richard Lancaster SC talk about how a single piece of property can have various rights, for instance a designer bag, or even a song such as Men at Work’s “Down Under”.

Detail

Lizzie O’Shea explains that our legal system is based on the idea that we are individuals that can own something to the exclusion of others. She uses the example of buying a handbag to show that there is often a number of different property rights over one object.

Gautam Mukherji talks about how rights over a bag can be complicated, and there can be multiple rights. For instance: the design, the branding, the right to reproduce the bag, the right to own the object.

Richard Lancaster SC talks about the Men at Work case. The band were sued by Larrikin for breaching copyright laws in their song “Down Under”. Lancaster represented Larrikin. He explains how a melody can be owned, even after the death of the composer.

Both the lawyers discuss how copyright law has become big business and has moved away from its original intention of ensuring an artist can be paid for their work. Copyright law has become a sword for big business, rather than a shield for the creator.

Lizzie O’Shea wraps up by posing the question: have we got the balance right between freedom and protection in copyright law?

Curriculum Areas

National
Years 9/10 civics and citizenship education curriculum in relation to the theme of Law and Citizens.

Year 10 Arts curriculum in relation to understanding about arts practices, through making and responding to artworks.

Years 11/12 Legal Studies
Victoria
Unit 2: Issues in civil law, Area of Study 3, The law in focus.

NSW
Preliminary course: Part I: The legal system, 3. Classification of law. And Part II: The individual and the law, 3. Contemporary issue: The individual and technology.

Year 10 Arts curriculum in relation to understanding about arts practices, through making and responding to artworks

ACT
Property Law

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