Dreaming authorship: copyright law and the protection of Indigenous cultural expressions

Daniela Simone*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Copyright law struggles to give meaning to Indigenous notions of communal ownership and custodianship of particular cultural forms. The Federal Court of Australia’s decision in Bulun Bulun v R & T Textiles (1998) 86 FCR 244 suggests that copyright law’s notion of authorship relies upon a model of creativity which is incomplete, and which may struggle to reflect the variety of creative works that flourish in the modern world. This article argues that the joint authorship test is more flexible than this case might suggest; although ultimately a sui generis regime would be best adapted to the task of protecting Indigenous cultural property.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-250
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Intellectual Property Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Indigenous australians
  • artistic works
  • Authorship
  • copyright law
  • cultural property
  • collaboration
  • Originality
  • Australia art
  • Indigenous art
  • equity law


Dive into the research topics of 'Dreaming authorship: copyright law and the protection of Indigenous cultural expressions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this