Copyright and Cartography: Past, Present and Future

It is over a decade since Google Maps launched, beginning a process which would forever change the way our physical and digital worlds interact. Maps are no longer solely fixed, physical, two-dimensional printed objects; they can also be digital, multi-dimensional and dynamic entities. Yet they still offer a representation of the real world and they still attract the protection of copyright law. However, the property interests of copyright owners are not the only ones at stake; the public also has a pressing interest in being able to access and use accurate geographical information. Digital maps may have revolutionised the way we view the world and our place within it, but the issues they present have deep historical roots. This seminar explores those roots and the impact they continue to have on the treatment of digital maps and geospatial data in today’s world.

Presenter Bio: Associate Professor Isabella Alexander researches and teaches in the area of intellectual property law, specialising in the law of copyright. Her research lies mainly in the fields of legal history and copyright law. Isabella joined the Law Faculty at UTS in 2012. She was previously Director of Studies in Law and Fellow in Law at Robinson College, Cambridge, and a Newton Trust Lecturer in Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge. Prior to being in Cambridge she practised as a solicitor at Clayton Utz in Sydney.

Isabella Alexander

You can view the seminar here:

Note that, around 22 minutes in, when Isabella refers to a video she shows, she is talking about “Off the Map: New Zealand Tourism Ad Takes on 'Conspiracy'”, by Guardian News. You can find it here (we had to remove it to avoid copyright infringement!).

The seminar was jointly hosted by APCA and the Centre for Accounting, Governance and Taxation Research at Victoria University’s Pipitea Campus on 31 May 2018.