Intellectual Property, Copyright, Media & Communications, Technology and Innovation, Globalisation and domestic law reform, Indigenous Rights Law, Cultural policy
Field of Research (FoR)
Dr Kathy Bowrey is a Professor in the Faculty of Law, UNSW, Sydney. She is a legal historian and socio-legal researcher whose research explores laws and practices that inform knowledge creation and the production, distribution and reception of technology and culture. Her primary expertise relates to intellectual property, information technology regulation, regulatory theory, media practice, business history, feminist scholarship and a concern...view more
Dr Kathy Bowrey is a Professor in the Faculty of Law, UNSW, Sydney. She is a legal historian and socio-legal researcher whose research explores laws and practices that inform knowledge creation and the production, distribution and reception of technology and culture. Her primary expertise relates to intellectual property, information technology regulation, regulatory theory, media practice, business history, feminist scholarship and a concern for Indigenous rights. She has a strong interest in higher education research policy and research management. She has acted as a Consultant to the Council of Australian Law Deans (CALD) concerning research assessment exercises in law. She is a member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts (2018-2020).
Professor Bowrey is a foundation member of the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property established in 2008 and and she became the Co-Director in 2019. This organisation sprang from international interest across law, humanities and the sciences to foster intellectual property research and better communication across national and disciplinary boundaries.
2014 - 2016 Prof Kathy Bowrey, Dr Catherine Bond, Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant DP140100172, Australian Made: A History of Australian Copyright Law and Creator Success 1868-1968
Doctor of Juridical Studies (SJD), University of Sydney 1994. Dissertation Title: Don't Fence Me In. The Many Histories of Copyright.
BA LLB Macquarie University 1988; Admitted as a Solicitor, Supreme Court of NSW, 1989.
Herchel Smith Visitor, Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law/Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, 2016.
Research Visitor, Faculty of Law, Kent University, 2015.
My Research Activities
Professor Bowrey is currently working on two major works.
The first book is based upon original archival research into the international business histories of major successful authors and artists including Hugh Conway, Fergus Hume, Arthur Conan Doyle, Hall Caine and Nellie Melba. It explains how copyright generated income and how distributions of profits were allocated in the publishing, film and music industries, as copyright law expanded in the 20th century. This history aims to improve the copyright literacy and agency of creators in decision-making about their commercial interests over the life of their copyright.
The second book, with Dr Jose Bellido (Kent,) is a history of childhood as told through the lens of intellectual property. Through detailed cultural, legal and business studies of the licensing practices surrounding Lewis Carroll, Beatrix Potter, Meccano, Peter Pan, Felix The Cat, Mickey Mouse and others, we show how intellectual property navigates the tension between innocence and exploitation to support the commodification of childhood.
Both histories expose the capacity of the law to imagine and bring into being new markets, new kinds of business association and new kinds of cultural activity, providing an alternative framing to the conventional view of intellectual property law as based on ‘protection’ of intangible property rights, largely regulated by government and courts.
The Law Building
University of New South Wales
UNSW Kensington Campus
Sydney NSW 2052
(Access via Gate 2 off High Street)