Associate Professor Rebecca Giblin

  • Associate Professor Rebecca Giblin

ARC Future Fellow
Director, Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia (IPRIA)

+61 3 83447469 | | Room 0949

Research Publications SSRN Twitter The Author's Interest Project
ELending Project


I am an ARC Future Fellow and Associate Professor within the Melbourne Law School. My work uses a range of methods (including quantitative, qualitative, doctrinal and comparative) to build evidence about how intellectual property arrangements and other regulations are working in practice, and then proposes changes that would help them better achieve their aims. My main research areas are copyright, technology regulation, and the regulation of culture (particularly how the law impacts the creation and dissemination of creative works).

My Future Fellowship project focuses on how fuller protection of authorship (as distinct from ownership) can open a path to meaningful copyright reform, reclaiming currently lost cultural value for the benefit of both authors and the broader public (FT170100011, $889,500). For more information about the project see

I am also the lead Chief Investigator of a $680,204 ARC Linkage Project studying the legal and social impacts of library elending, with a team of legal, social and data science researchers and library partners within Australia and from around the world (LP160100387). Interactive dashboards and public datasets are available via

My books include Code Wars (Edward Elgar, 2011) and What if we could reimagine copyright? (with Professor Kimberlee Weatherall). The latter is open access and available for free download (as is most of my other research).

I was appointed Kernochan Visiting International Intellectual Property Scholar at Columbia Law School (New York) in 2011, and have held visiting scholar and visiting professors positions at UC Berkeley in 2013, Strasbourg in 2015, Columbia (again) in 2017 and Sciences Po (Paris) in 2018. I'm a CREATe Fellow (at the RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy) and Affiliated Faculty of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology.

My recent theoretical contributions include 'A new copyright bargain? Reclaiming lost culture and getting authors paid', which sets out a new, treaty-consistent approach to copyright that would do a better job of getting authors paid, open up new opportunities for cultural investors, and reclaim lost culture.

My recent empirical work includes:

  1. investigating how investment in ebook availability varies according to copyright status – see ‘What happens when books enter the public domain? Testing copyright’s underuse hypothesis across Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada’ in the University of NSW Law Journal.
  2. analysis of almost 100,000 e-books and almost 400,000 distinct licences to investigate publishers' pricing and licensing decision across five countries. Our methods included creating new algorithms to estimate the original publication year of these books to enable us to explore deeper cultural access questions. We used AI (machine learning) to understand the relationships between ebook prices and their other characteristics. See ‘What can 100,000 books tell us about the international public library e-lending landscape?’ in Information Research.
  3. using content analysis to analyse 60 years of author publishing agreements, and understand their impacts on authors and broader society. On the basis of that evidence, this paper argues that publishing agreements are not an appropriate repository of author rights - see 'Are contracts enough?' (forthcoming Melbourne University Law Review).


The Melbourne JD

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Director, Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia (IPRIA)
  • Australian Research Council Future Fellow
  • Affiliated Faculty, Berkeley Center for Law and Technology
  • CREATe Fellow (RCUK Centre for Copyright & New Business Models in the Creative Economy, UK)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Copyright Evidence Project
  • Member, IP Committee Law Council of Australia
  • Member, International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property