Abandonment, Copyright and Orphaned Works: What Does it Mean to Take The Proprietary Nature of Intellectual Property Rights Seriously?

34 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2012

See all articles by Emily Hudson

Emily Hudson

King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law; T.C. Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland

Robert Burrell

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: July 1, 2011

Abstract

For many years there was doubt as to whether personal property could be abandoned in Australia. In more recent times, however, the existence of a doctrine of abandonment has been solidifying in relation to chattels. In this article the authors suggest that copyright can also be abandoned. This conclusion has significant implications for cultural institutions and other users struggling to deal with so-called ‘orphaned works’. More generally, the authors suggest that recognising that abandonment of copyright is possible has repercussions for how we think about intellectual property rights and, in particular, should cause us to look more closely at other doctrines within the law of personal property that might limit intellectual property’s reach.

Keywords: Copyright, abandonment, orphaned works, personal property

Suggested Citation

Hudson, Emily and Burrell, Robert, Abandonment, Copyright and Orphaned Works: What Does it Mean to Take The Proprietary Nature of Intellectual Property Rights Seriously? (July 1, 2011). Melbourne Univeristy Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 3, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2167543

Emily Hudson

King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

T.C. Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland ( email )

The University of Queensland
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Robert Burrell (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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