Publication Date



There is an increasing recognition, in Australia and internationally, that access to knowledge is a key driver of social, cultural and economic development. The argument for greater access to, and reuse of, research outputs is reinforced by the fact that much research in Australia is funded by public money and, consequently, that there is a public benefit to be served by allowing citizens to access the outputs they have funded.2 This recognition poses both legal and policy challenges, in terms of existing legal frameworks such as copyright law and traditional business models. With the rise of networked digital technologies our knowledge landscape and innovation system is becoming more and more reliant on best practice copyright management strategies and there is a need to accommodate both the demands for open sharing of knowledge and traditional commercialisation models. As a result, new business models that support and promote open innovation are rapidly emerging. This chapter analyses the copyright law framework needed to ensure open access to outputs of the Australian academic and research sector such as journal articles and theses. It overviews the new knowledge landscape, the principles of copyright law, the concept of open access to knowledge, the recently developed open content models of copyright licensing and the challenges faced in providing greater access to knowledge and research outputs.


Thomas More Law School

Document Type

Open Access Book Chapter

Access Rights

Open Access


This work (with the exception of Chapter 2: The Fifth Dimension and Chapter 9: NIH Data and Resource Sharing, Data Release and Intellectual Property Policies for Genomics Community Resource Projects) is licensed under an Australian Creative Commons 'By Attribution', 'Non Commercial', 'No Derivative Works.' 2.5 Licence . See for more details.