Cultural Institutions, Digitisation and Copyright Reform

Media & Arts Law Review, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 279-291, 2007

U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 303

15 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2008


While digital technology can enhance the way in which cultural institutions manage and provide access to their collections, its utilisation is constrained by copyright law. This article considers the way in which copyright law should be reformed so as to permit cultural institutions to take advantage of the opportunities provided by digital technology. It begins by explaining the digitisation practices undertaken by cultural institutions, and the relevance of copyright law to these practices. Then, the purpose of granting exclusive rights under copyright law, the types of exceptions from infringement that copyright law typically provides, and the rationales for those exceptions are considered. Next, cultural institutions are categorised by the way in which they will seek to take advantage of digitisation technologies. Finally, the likely reform options for each type of cultural institution are considered, and the appropriate means for implementation of those reforms are identified.

Keywords: copyright, cultural institutions, digitation, reform

JEL Classification: K11

Suggested Citation

Christie, Andrew F., Cultural Institutions, Digitisation and Copyright Reform. ; U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 303. Available at SSRN:

Andrew F. Christie (Contact Author)

Melbourne Law School ( email )

University of Melbourne
Melbourne, Victoria 3010


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