Lee Walker appointed President of the Australian Publishers Association

In Conversation with Lee Walker, newly appointed President of the Australian Publishers Association

How did you start your career in publishing?

I studied to be a secondary educator, but while I was completing my Diploma of Education, I started working in educational publishing as a freelance photo researcher. That was 26 years ago and I have never looked back. I was passionate about teaching and desperately wanted to teach, but the world of publishing opened up to me and provided a different view for how I could contribute to education.

I was offered a full-time position as an Editorial Assistant and went on to work my way up to become a Publishing Manager over the course of a decade. I then moved to Oxford University Press, accepting a role as Director of the Primary Education Division. I am now Schools Publishing Director and work with a wonderful team of publishers and editors developing the very best print and digital content for Australian primary and secondary schools.

Tell me about your experience at OUP Australia?

I have been at OUP for 11 years and I absolutely love it. The Press’ focus on its mission is a great motivator for me. During the best times, and also when it gets a little tough, the mission is a strong reminder of why we do what we do and the positive difference we are making to the lives of learners around the world.

How has publishing changed since you entered the industry?

When I started out in publishing, I didn’t have a computer – I had an electric typewriter. And there was no Internet and email – only typed memos!

You have explained the dramatic changes in publishing – has education also changed since you were studying to be a teacher?

For me, the most noticeable change has been the ever growing focus on assessment and accountability, from federal to state to local levels, and down to individual teacher level, and how the magic of teaching learning to transform young people’s lives can sometimes be lost. At OUP, we are constantly focussing on how we can enhance teaching and learning experiences, and keep the magic alive.

Congratulations on your appointment as President of the Australian Publishers Association. What will your priorities be in the role?

As President, I will continue to work very closely with a very experienced, passionate and committed Board of Directors, at a time when there is a lot going on in the publishing industry.

Our priorities over the coming months will be:

  • advocacy – to continue to strengthen our engagement with government at federal, state and local levels to ensure open and constructive dialogue key issues, including copyright
  • promotion – to continue to support trade and educational events such as the Australian Book Industry Awards (http://abiawards.com.au/) and the Educational Publishing Awards Australia (http://edpubawards.com/), which recognise excellence in publishing and celebrate Australian creators, as well as the Australian Reading Hour (http://www.readinghour.org.au/) and Love Your Bookshop Day (http://www.loveyourbookshopday.com.au/) to promote the benefits of and a love of reading
  • capability – ongoing work on important initiatives such as Title Page (https://www.titlepage.com/) to ensure industry-best access to print and e-book title information for publishers, libraries, booksellers and distributors.

What does the future of publishing look like?

Roles within the publishing industry will continue to change as technology continues to influence what and how we publish. For example, the role of an editor is very different to what it was even five years ago. While an editor’s role includes more traditional editing duties such as copyediting and proofreading, in the educational publishing sector they are sometimes also tasked with populating data spreadsheets for digital uploads, as well as helping authors develop wireframes for digital interactive content.

There continues to be great value in print publishing – print is a beautiful piece of technology and still makes best sense in many learning situations. When a child is learning to read, understanding how a physical book works is important – how to hold it, how to turn a page, how to read from left to right. However, digital technology offers different, and sometimes better, ways of learning, and so it is a critical feature of the future of publishing.

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year


After much discussion, debate, and research, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016 is post-truth – an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.

Why was this chosen?

The concept of post-truth has been in existence for the past decade, but Oxford Dictionaries has seen a spike in frequency this year in the context of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and the presidential election in the United States. It has also become associated with a particular noun, in the phrase post-truth politics. 


Post-truth has gone from being a peripheral term to being a mainstay in political commentary, now often being used by major publications without the need for clarification or definition in their headlines.

The term has moved from being relatively new to being widely understood in the course of a year – demonstrating its impact on the national and international consciousness. The concept of post-truth has been simmering for the past decade, but Oxford shows the word spiking in frequency this year in the context of the Brexit referendum in the UK and the presidential election in the US, and becoming associated overwhelmingly with a particular noun, in the phrase post-truth politics.

A brief history of post-truth

The compound word post-truth exemplifies an expansion in the meaning of the prefix post- that has become increasingly prominent in recent years. Rather than simply referring to the time after a specified situation or event – as in post-war or post-match – the prefix  in post-truthhas a meaning more like ‘belonging to a time in which the specified concept has become unimportant or irrelevant’. This nuance seems to have originated in the mid-20th century, in formations such as post-national (1945) and post-racial (1971).

Post-truth seems to have been first used in this meaning in a 1992 essay by the late Serbian-American playwright Steve Tesich in The Nation magazine. Reflecting on the Iran-Contra scandal and the Persian Gulf War, Tesich lamented that ‘we, as a free people, have freely decided that we want to live in some post-truth world’. There is evidence of the phrase ‘post-truth’ being used before Tesich’s article, but apparently with the transparent meaning ‘after the truth was known’, and not with the new implication that truth itself has become irrelevant.

A book, The Post-truth Era, by Ralph Keyes appeared in 2004, and in 2005 American comedian Stephen Colbert popularized an informal word relating to the same concept: truthiness, defined by Oxford Dictionaries as ‘the quality of seeming or being felt to be true, even if not necessarily true’. Post-truth extends that notion from an isolated quality of particular assertions to a general characteristic of our age.

The shortlist


Here are the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year shortlist choices, and definitions:

adulting, n. [mass noun] informal the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.

alt-right, n. (in the US) an ideological grouping associated with extreme conservative or reactionary viewpoints, characterized by a rejection of mainstream politics and by the use of online media to disseminate deliberately controversial content.

Brexiteer, n. British informal a person who is in favour of the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union.

chatbot, n. a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.

coulrophobia, n. [mass noun] rare extreme or irrational fear of clowns.

glass cliff,  n. used with reference to a situation in which a woman or member of a minority group ascends to a leadership position in challenging circumstances where the risk of failure is high.

hygge, n. [mass noun] a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture):

Latinx, n. (plural Latinxs or same) and adj. a person of Latin American origin or descent (used as a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino or Latina); relating to people of Latin American origin or descent (used as a gender-neutral or non-binary alternative to Latino or Latina).

woke, adj. (woker, wokest) US informal alert to injustice in society, especially racism.

This article was originally shared on OxfordDictionaries.com on Wednesday 16th November.

[Image source: oxforddictionaries.com]

Rendunculous Dahl-inspired words from the Oxford Roald Dahl Competition

celebrating-roald-dahlWe would like to thank everyone who participated in the Oxford Roald Dahl Competition. The response was overwhelming – we received over 3000 entries – and all entries were very entertaining.
We took great pleasure in reading through the hopscotchy, phizz-whizzing and rendunculous Dahl-inspired words – there are no limits to a child’s imagination!
One school got in the Roald Dahl spirit and celebrated the end of term with a genuine ‘Roald Dahl Norwegian Breakfast’ and took delight in eating boiled potatoes, salmon, hard-boiled eggs and old-fashioned lollies.

Oxford Roald Dahl Competition winners

Congratulations to the following schools for their winning entries. Each of the winning schools have received a selection of fantastic fiction and an Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary:

St Gabriel’s School, Traralgon, Victoria
You look sparkling and smell good.

Woodend Primary School, Woodend, Victoria
Gnob twizle
A very yuck lolly.

Williamstown North Primary School, Williamstown, Victoria
Fuzzle bottom
When someone is being bored and not wanting to do anything

Toukley Public School, Groken, New South Wales
When you dance while you’re thinking about what is for dinner.

Mitcham Primary School, Mitcham, Victoria
A menace or someone who is naughty. For example, “The flabbersquirt pranked his mum.”

St Maroun’s College, Dulwich Hill, New South Wales
Sumboloolumboloo [prounounced sum-boloo-lumb-oloo]
To eat food with your toe while picking your nose. For example, “One time while watching Barbie I sumboloolumboloo.”

Taroona High School, Taroona, Tasmania
To transform an extremely boring situation into an extremely fun one. For example, “He completely quinstocktottled that assembly.”

rd9780192736451Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary
Illustrated by Quentin Blake, contributions by Susan Rennie & Roald Dahl

RRP $19.95
This is not an ordinary dictionary.

This is an extra-unusual dictionary full of everyday words and extraordinary inventions to inspire a lifelong love of reading, writing and language.

The 23rd Educational Publishing Awards

The 23rd Educational Publishing Awards Australia (EPAAs) were held on the 6th of October. Organised by the Australian Publishers Association, the EPAAs celebrate excellence in educational publishing and exemplify the work publishers devote to producing world-class educational resources. More than ever before, they also showcase innovative development and delivery of digital content.

Oxford University Press Australia was honoured to have 13 titles shortlisted across the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary categories. We are thrilled by this year’s results and would like to congratulate all the shortlisted, winning and commended entries.

View the full list of winners here.

Primary Student Resource – Arts/Science/Humanities

ozboxWinner: OZBOX: Learning Through Literacy is a comprehensive and engaging program for Years 3–6 that provides full coverage of the Australian Curriculum for Science, and Humanities and Social Sciences, specifically History and Geography.

OZBOX contains highly visual, informative and detailed topic cards, giving students the opportunity to read, comprehend and engage with content aligned explicitly to the
Australian Curriculum. There are four different topic cards for each Australian Curriculum content description. The cards are written at different reading levels – below, on and above – to allow for differentiated instruction.

Secondary Student Resource – Junior – Mathematics/Science

oxford-science-ac_stacked-covers_epaa2016_220x170Winner: Oxford Science has been developed to support teachers with the implementation of the Australian Curriculum (and now ready for 2017, the Victorian Curriculum and Western Australian Curriculum). The series provides a complete science teaching and learning program with a focus on clear and precise concept development across a range of print, digital and blended resources. Each double-page spread of the series has been constructed to cover one concept and one lesson with a summary and review questions included on each. The new ‘dashboard view’ on the Teacher obook assess is an online lesson control centre that delivers an engaging digital learning experience. Teachers are able to instantly preview, access and assign resources including videos, interactives, worksheets and tests.
Commended: Oxford MyMaths AusVELS Edition

Secondary Student Resource – Senior – English/Humanities/Arts/PE

vce-english-series_stacked-covers2_epaa2016_220x170Winner: VCE English
Reading and Creating / Reading and Comparing
Written by a team of four exceptional English educators, Kellie Heintz, Michael Horne, Timothy Nolan and Rachel Williams, and written specifically for the new 2016 VCE English Study Design, Reading and Creating | Reading and Comparing comprehensively covers Area of Study 1 of the new course in a write-in textbook format, using student-friendly language. Using a broad selection of text extracts, the book covers topics including: textual features, understanding texts, analytical writing, creative writing, reading for comparison, making connections and contrasts, and comparative writing. Additionally a helpful toolkit provides templates, annotated sample responses, practice SAC and examination tasks, and a glossary. The text is supplemented digitally with obook assess, with further support for EAL students and clever interactive modules for on-screen text analysis and comparison.

Analysing and Presenting Argument
This new edition of the phenomenally successful Using Language to Persuade by market-leading author Ryan Johnstone. Ideally used at Year 11 and carried into Year 12, Analysing and Presenting Argument is a hybrid write-in workbook / textbook that gradually introduces students to the skills required to develop arguments, persuasive language (written, spoken and visual), reading persuasive texts (including print, digital, spoken and multimodal media), argument analysis (presenting and critiquing) and proficiency in oral presentations. This text assists teachers and students further by providing up-to-date sources for analysis, templates, step-by-step guides, annotated sample responses, practice SAC and examination tasks, and a metalanguage glossary. Analysing and Presenting Argument is supplemented digitally with obook assess, with further support for EAL students and clever interactive modules for on-screen text analysis and comparison.

Secondary Teaching Resource

Joint Winner: Oxford Science Teacher obook assess
Joint Winner: Oxford MyMaths AusVELS Teacher obook assess
Oxford MyMaths Years 7-10 AusVELS edition Teacher obook assess offers a groundbreaking multi-year-level approach to mathematics education by providing full access to all content and resources across Years 7-10, allowing teachers to customise oxford-mymaths-ausvels_stacked-covers_epaa2016_220x170the learning of every child in the classroom. The accompanying assess tool enables teachers to assign work and assessment, schedule tests, monitor student and class progress, and create reports. The Teacher Dashboard is an online lesson control centre and allows teachers to select content and resources appropriate for each student in their class, tailoring the very best learning experience. Interactive tutorials scaffold understanding of key concepts and build student’s confidence.

Tertiary (Wholly Australian) Student Resource

Winner: Writing Right with Text Types
Matthew  Zbaracki

This book helps current and future teachers inspire young writers in exciting and engaging ways. Chapters 1 to 4 explore the critical components of language and writing, including grammar, setting up your classroom for writing, modelling writing to your students, and assessment. Chapters 5 to 13 discuss the common genres taught in primary school and the text types found within these genres. In these chapters, theory is brought to life through numerous teaching ideas and case studies. The final chapter explores recent developments in classrooms and children’s literature; it encourages reflection on how we teach writing to children and how we might do so in the future.

oxford-mymaths-ausvels_stacked-covers_epaa2016_220x170Secondary Student Resource – Junior – Mathematics/Science
Oxford MyMaths AusVELS Edition


Highly Commended:

oxford-psych-12_cover_epaa2016_220x170Secondary Student Resource – Senior – Mathematics/Science
Oxford Psychology Units 1+2 3rd edition

Secondary Teaching Resource
Oxford Psychology Units 1+2 3rd edition Teacher obook assess


9780195527926Tertiary (Wholly Australian) Teaching and Learning Resource
An Introduction to Speech, Language and Literacy
Sharynne McLeod and Jane McCormack


The Oxford English Dictionary celebrates one hundred years of Roald Dahl.

bfgrdLast week marked the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth and to celebrate, the Oxford English Dictionary has published a range of revised and newly drafted entries containing references to Roald Dahl’s writing in its latest update.

The words included are recognisably ‘Dahlesque’ and while not all are coined by him, they have magical qualities that instantly evoke the vibrant worlds that have captivated the imaginations of so many.

Dahl was a true wordsmith, a creative man who jumbled up the letters and presented us with words that are fun to say. He offered us a new spin on old words, such as splendiferous, [splendid/marvellous] which was first used more than five hundred years ago to mean resplendent, and revived other words that hadn’t been used for decades, such as scrumdiddlyumptious, [extremely scrumptious; excellent, splendid; (esp. of food) delicious] because sometimes, scrumptious just isn’t enough.

Many children (and parents alike) were delighted when he introduced us to Oompa Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the diminutive and musical workers from Loompaland. Who could forget the much coveted golden ticket, an all access pass into the magical world of Willy Wonka himself. We learnt that we’re all human beans thanks to The BFG, the big friendly giant so named for his unusual friendliness, and found out about that magical time called the witching hour, described by Dahl as the ‘special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up [is] in a deep deep sleep’ (although it was actually first mentioned in 1762 in a poem by Elizabeth Carter Keene).

That’s the wonderful thing about Dahl, he understood that language shouldn’t be static or limited to our current understanding, rather, that language can be fun and that we should play with it and delight in its possibilities.

Of the inclusions, Dahl’s grandson Luke Kelly (Managing Director of The Roald Dahl Literary Estate) says: “It’s no secret that my grandfather, Roald Dahl, took particular relish in playing with language and making it his own. Of all the many wonderful tributes being paid to him in his centenary year, the inclusion of his words and phrases within the iconic Oxford English Dictionary feels not only one of the most fitting but one that I know would have made him extremely happy and proud.”

The OED is one of the largest and longest-running language research projects in the world. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over 829,000 words, senses, and compounds – past and present – from across the English-speaking world. As a historical dictionary, the OED is very different from those of current English, in which the focus is on present-day meanings. You’ll still find these in the OED, but you’ll also find the history of individual words, and of the language – traced through over 3.3 million quotations, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books.  For more information about the OED please visit the website.

Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary

rd9780192736451To mark the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth this week we are publishing the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary. Books including Matilda, The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Twits have inspired generations to play with language and make up words.

Some Dahlesque words for your everyday:

A word for the weekend…

Hopscotchy – adjective

If you feel hopscotchy, you feel happy and cheerful, as if you have drunk a whole bottle of frobscottle.

‘Whenever I is feeling a bit scrotty,’ the BFG said, ‘a few gollops of frobscottle is always making me hopscotchy again.’ – The BFG.

A term for those you know who let all their hair grow…

Hirsute – adjective

Hirsute is a very useful word to describe The Twits because it means hairy or untrimmed, so Mr Twit is hirsute and so is Mrs Twit’s unweeded garden.

A compliment…

Splendiferous – adjective

Splendid, marvelous.

‘Your grandad,’ he said, ‘my own dad, was a magnificent and splendiferous poacher. It was he who taught me all about it.’ – Danny the Champion of the World.

Did you know? The word splendiferous was not invented by Roald Dahl. It is an old word that was first used more than five hundred years ago. Another old word with the same meaning is splendacious.

A snack…

Snozzberry – noun snozzberries

A type of berry you can eat.

‘Lovely stuff, lickable wallpaper!’ cried Mr Wonka, rushing past. ‘It has pictures of fruits on it – bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, pineapples, strawberries, and snozzberries…’ – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary
From aardvark to zozimus, a real dictionary of everyday and extra-usual words.

Available now from all good bookstores.

Connecting with Law Short Film Competition 2016 Winners

he_connecting_with_law_2016_web_featureboxThe Connecting with Law Short Film Competition is an annual event run by Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand. It is open to all students enrolled in an Australian law degree and has proven itself to be unique way of encouraging Australian law students to connect with their field of study and contribute to legal education in Australia.

This year, the ninth consecutive year of the competition, students were invited to make a two- to five-minute film exploring the 2016 theme, ‘Why study law?’ The winning entry was judged to be the most creative, instructive and original, with the team demonstrating an ability to reflect critically and creatively on the theme.

1st prize winner: Day One
Kit Mun Lee, Liam Hartley, Edward Wong, Quang Ngyuen
(University of Melbourne)

This film humorously attempts to capture the reality of those first few classes in law school where students answer ‘that’ question – why study law? Such a question produces an array of responses, ranging from passion for reading and writing to self-empowerment to the chance to do something interesting.

Though valid reasons, often times these incentives are fallible and even steeped in fantasy – such self-driven motivations for studying law can be unrealistic. Therefore, this film satirises these fantasies and contrasts them to the more meaningful motivation for studying law – helping people and effecting positive change in others.

Please note that we have decided to only award first place this year, as we feel the other entries did not meet the criteria of the submission guidelines and were thus ineligible to place.

It is our hope that the 10th Anniversary of the Short Film Competition will see participants embracing the competition with a renewed sense of enthusiasm.

Thank you for supporting the Connecting with Law Short Film Competition. Please stay tuned to our website for details about next year’s competition in early 2017.

Successful copyright regime balances the requirements of creators and users in the clearest possible way

  1. Oxford University Press (“OUP”) is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research scholarship and education by publishing worldwide. OUP supports the wide dissemination of excellent academic and educational materials in the belief that it will enable knowledge to build on knowledge.
  1. We are responding to the recommendations set out in the Productivity Commission’s draft report on Intellectual Property Arrangements (“Report”). Specifically, the Commission has recommended that (i) a broad fair use exception be adopted by Australia; (ii) the term of copyright be reduced to between 15–25 years; (iii) an open access policy for publicly-funded research be introduced, setting a 12-month embargo period; and (iv) parallel import restrictions for books be repealed. We object to these recommendations in the strongest terms, on the basis that they will be bad for Australian authors, bad for Australian students, bad for Australian researchers, and bad for the thousands of Australians who rely on the publishing industry for employment. The community as a whole will not be better off.
  1. As an academic and educational publisher, we fully endorse the Australian Publishers Association’s response to these recommendations. In addition, we shall respond to each of those four recommendations in turn; not just on behalf of Oxford University Press Australia, but also on behalf of OUP as a whole, which publishes a wide range of academic books and journals relied on by Australian researchers.


  1. The purpose of copyright is to incentivize the creation, investment in, and dissemination of original literary, artistic and other such works. This goal is accomplished by providing in law that a creator has, for a limited time, the exclusive right to exploit, and to grant to others the right to exploit, his or her work. With respect to literary works, publishers require this protection in order to sustain ongoing investment in high-quality content. The advancement of the arts and sciences requires appropriate access to the latest knowledge. We share the Report’s public interest concern regarding ensuring appropriate access to educational materials, but we disagree profoundly with the Report’s recommendations on how to achieve such access. There is a crucial balance to be struck between rewarding creators and otherwise providing incentives for the ongoing investment in the development and dissemination of creative and scientific works, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, permitting some free use of otherwise protected works. To ensure this balance, it is important to have sufficient clarity in the law such that creators, those who play a role in dissemination, and users (who of course may themselves be creators) can fulfil their respective roles in a sustainable ecosystem.
  1. Copyright and ideas: In respect of that balance, we find it unfortunate that the Commission would, in the current day and age, link copyright protection with censorship[1]. Whilst it may have originated as a way of maintaining authenticity and accuracy, its purpose now is to protect economic rights – by providing a reliable framework for creation, reward, and use. More specifically within the context of these recommendations, it is important to appreciate that copyright does not generally prevent the free reuse of facts or information within the copyright work. It protects the expression – not the idea. So the argument that copyright law prevents researchers from using knowledge to build on knowledge is a wholly insubstantial one.
  1. The Commission asserts that those who stand to lose most from IP protection are dispersed and less aware of what is at stake whereas those that seek to gain most are concentrated and actively seek to shape policy for their benefit. This is greatly simplifies a complex ecosystem. Authors are widely dispersed, but they rely on copyright protection to earn a living. They in turn rely on intermediaries such as publishers to make significant investments in editorial, sales, and marketing to ensure their works reach a wide audience. Without copyright protection, the ecosystem will grind to a halt.


  1. Risks of introducing a general exception for fair use for educational purposes. If a wide-ranging “fair use” exception to copyright protection is introduced into Australian law, the quality and relevance of materials available in Australian primary and secondary schools and higher education institutions will be put at risk. There will be little incentive for Australian educational writers to spend time and effort creating new works, given that they will no longer be rewarded for the use of their materials in the same way, and little incentive for local publishers to invest in specifically Australian curriculum-based texts. The result will be that Australian students will find themselves having to rely on generic resources, which are (1) likely not specifically linked to the local curriculum and (2) almost certainly not Australian.
  1. The example of Canada: The Report does not address the real issue in Canada, which is the decline of local educational publishing and the connection between the decline and the changes in the copyright law. The Report contests that the reason for OUP’s closure of its Schools publishing in Canada was the change to copyright legislation. We are best placed to assure you that the main contributing factor to the decision to close our domestic Schools publishing program in Canada was the change in practice around fair use by educational institutions, as encouraged by the interpretation of a change in Canadian legislation. We can also say that, as the government has changed, new ministers have come to realize the threat this legislative change poses to Canadian cultural heritage.
  1. Further, the issue is far broader than OUP. The key question is: how has the Canadian court’s interpretation of the law and the legal drafting regarding fair use impacted educational publishing in Canada? We therefore refer the report to some non-OUP sources. We suggest Australia looks very carefully at the precedent in Canada. We provide links here to a selection of such sources:
  1. A lack of clarity is an impediment to bringing in wide ranging “fair use” provisions. The Report is misguided on this point. As was pointed out by two separate parties in response to the UK’s 2011 Review of Intellectual Property and Growth[2]: Fair use leads to a system of “economic regulation by litigation”; and LexisNexis holds records of some 233 cases in the US that went to trial around the complexities of fair use interpretation, with likely many thousands more being settled before reaching court. If publishers view the new legislation as insufficiently clear they will not, as the Report seems to think, simply be inclined to rely on the courts to provide guidance – since this is an expensive and often protracted process. In Canada, for example, Access Copyright v York University has run since 2013 (http://cas-cdc-www02.cas-satj.gc.ca/IndexingQueries/infp_RE_info_e.php?court_no=T-578-13). By the same token, educational publishers will not want to find themselves in a series of litigious exchanges with the educational institutions they seek to provide for. A less risky route for publishers would be not to publish for the educational sector at all, or to publish generic texts that have such a wide reach (outside Australia) that they can withstand widespread copying in Australia. Primary and Secondary schools and Higher Education Institutions will be left with generic content, parallel imports, and cheaply produced materials. Australian authors and Australian students will suffer. We argue that comparisons with the USA’s copyright regime are not necessarily helpful given the vast market and the extensive case law. (That said, Cambridge v Becker has been going on for eight years, and has proven a volatile case.)
  2. The report does not distinguish between materials that are specifically designed for education and those that are not. A general “fair use” for educational purposes might not be so damaging where the protected work is music or film – i.e. where the main market is elsewhere. But if this exception is applicable to educational materials then the permitted copying will be done by the core users. To that end, it is essential that core users should be pointed towards a licensing regime such as the one currently in place under CAL. See in particular Box 5.10 in the Report which suggests one of the fairness factors should be “nature of the copyright material” to which should be added “including its intended market” – meaning copying by a target end user is not acceptable whereas copying by an adjacent user might be fair.
  3. How an amended exception could work. As Canada has shown, the introduction of a broad fair use exception can cause irreparable damage both to the publishing industry and the students it caters for. Any change to the current fair dealing exception would therefore need to be accompanied by clear specific legislation and a robust Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) licensing regime. CAL should be seen as facilitating access to excellent materials, not as a barrier. If Australian curricula require Australian specific content then someone, somewhere has to pay for it – and if authors and publishers are not remunerated for use of their materials by core target markets, then the costs of creating those materials (including the cost of an author’s time) will not be recovered, which is unsustainable. As mentioned above, it is likely that this would result in a reduction in the quality of educational content produced for Australian primary and secondary schools and higher education institutions by Australian authors and publishers. Essentially we see a distinction between limited use or access to short excerpts from educational material for a non-commercial, instructional purpose (i.e. to illustrate a point) and the systematic copying of educational material in order to avoid paying for it.
  1. It would be easier and clearer to retain the existing fair dealing exceptions and to add to them as necessary to provide greater flexibility. In the UK, for example, education is carved out as being a fair dealing exception to copyright infringement where use of materials is solely for the purpose of instruction. What’s been made very clear in the UK Act, however, is that schools still cannot make or use such copies if licences are available in relation to that kind of usage which the establishment was aware of, or should have been aware of. In other words schools don’t have a blanket right to use and copy valuable content for free. The UK Act also limits the amount of copying of a work which can be undertaken in any one quarter. This clarity protects authors and publishers whilst also giving schools the flexibility they need to use materials in the classroom.


  1. Cutting the term of copyright protection from 70 years after the death of the author to 15 – 25 years from creation (draft finding 4.2) would pose a major problem for the authors of both educational and academic textbooks. Our own experience does not support the Report’s assertion that the commercial life of most works is less than 5 years. Textbooks frequently take many years to draft and, in our experience, it’s often the case that they won’t reach peak sales until their 5th or 6th edition (which can be 25 years after initial publication). The length of time during which authors are able to earn royalties must reflect the years of labour that will have gone into writing their materials – and for publishers, the significant costs of developing and marketing a text effectively. If an original edition goes into the public domain just as the 5th edition is published, this will inevitably undermine sales and have a seriously detrimental effect on that author’s income. Further the idea of the period running “from creation” must be clarified. The process of creation can take many years, as we’ve said: surely the date of publication can be identified more readily?


  1. “Open Access” must be more carefully defined. There is no generally accepted definition of “Open Access” and it is commonly used to describe a wide variety of conditions. The US government instead uses “Public Access” to describe their policy (the significant difference being that Open Access usually denotes liberal reuse terms under a Creative Commons license, while Public Access denotes making a copy of the article freely available to readers.) Further, the international policies described in the Report require access only to the author’s Accepted Manuscript version of such articles, rather than the published Version of Record. Such clarifications must be made clear in any potential policy. If the policy requires the use of Creative Commons licensing or the use of the Version of Record, authors will be required to pay Open Access charges in order to comply, creating increased costs which must be accounted for.
  1. Great care should be taken in designing and implementing effective open access policies for funded research. There is a wealth of experience that has been gained from similar policies instituted throughout the world. Any such policy must, for instance, acknowledge the significant costs involved in the careful vetting and publication of this material. While funding may pay for the costs of the research itself, it frequently does not pay for publication costs. The use of public repositories also comes with significant costs. The US National Institute of Health’s PubMed Central reported an annual budget[3] of USD $4.5M in 2013 and NIH officials have noted significant increased costs in the intervening years. Policies that lack significant oversight, including monitoring and enforcement of compliance, have consistently shown low levels of success. In the UK, administrative costs in the first year of the RCUK policy were over £9.2M[4] and achieved only 20–30% compliance. Low cost alternatives, such as the CHORUS initiative[5] being used by the US National Science Foundation (amongst others) should be investigated as potential alternative mechanisms.
  1. “One size fits all” policies are inappropriate for scholarly literature. Intellectual property concerns and reader behavior differ vastly between different research communities. Because of this, great care must be taken in setting appropriate embargo periods for the amount of time allowed before public access to articles based on funded research is required. While much of the world has settled upon a 12-month embargo period as appropriate for biomedical research literature, longer embargo periods are generally employed for other areas of funded research, particularly in the Humanities and Social Sciences. If embargo periods are too short, authors will be required to pay publication charges in order to comply with such policies, increasing costs and taking vital funding away from research itself.


  1. Repeal of parallel import restrictions may have unfortunate consequences for the Australian economy, publishers, and authors. In OUP’s experience, if it is permitted for print (or even digital) textbooks, including those published by Australian publishers, to be imported into Australia after having been purchased by importers in low-priced markets, the publishers and authors will suffer between 30 and 50% reduction in revenue for each title, and resulting in the reduction of the number of Australian books published for Australian educators and students. The Australian publishing industry will go the way of the Australian automobile manufacturing industry. While we agree that Australian consumers should not be subject to artificial price inflations for luxury goods, there must logically be a link between pricing and the local GDP per person. Local economies inform the price at which items like books are sold – the idea of having a single, lowest price for all across different markets is unrealistic.
  1. Geographic price differentiation for books is done to achieve two laudable goals: (i) To make high-quality books available in developing markets that otherwise would not be able to afford them (one could do this so long as the low-priced market price was at or above the margin cost of production), and (ii) to further reduce the prices of those books in the home market by allowing for longer print-runs and providing small incremental revenue to offset other costs. If the US experience is replicated, publishers would have no choice but to respond to a relaxation of restrictions on re-importation. And there are only three ways a publisher can do so (these are essentially mutually exclusive for any one title):
    1. They can decide not to resell or license their books outside of the markets that support higher prices. This will effectively cause a drop in the value of Australian exports.
    2. They can par-price their product globally at the higher market price. In the case of Australian-produced products, this will result in an only-slightly-less significant drop in exports of books by Australian authors published by Australian publishers. This will also cause a rise in prices on the books in Australia.
    3. They can invest in producing adapted version of books for export markets, these adapted books being different enough that they cannot substitute for the book in the home market. This causes local price rises, as the significant costs of adaptations are recovered from the higher-priced markets. This is only worthwhile in cases where the books are big sellers in low-priced markets.


  1. In summary, Oxford University Press strongly opposes these four suggested changes to Australian IP law, and fully endorses the APA’s submission on this. As a mission-led member of the Australian educational community, we assert that these proposed amendments would cause irreversible damage to local, Australian publishing. Of course we speak from a publishing point of view, but from our experiences (and those of our peers) regarding the implementation of fair use in Canada, we also know what a fundamentally damaging impact these sorts of amendments can have on local authors, educators and students. In essence a successful copyright regime is one which balances the requirements of creators and users in the clearest way possible. Ambiguity only leads to litigation, generic content, and economic uncertainty at all levels of the creative ecosystem.

Peter Van Noorden
Managing Director of Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand
Date: 03.06.16


[1] p.74 of the Report: “Copyright law was first introduced by churches and the state, in Europe, following the introduction of printing presses in the mid-15th century, as a way to prevent the dissemination of ideas.”
[2] Supporting Document Q: Fair Use and the Independent Review
[3] https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2013/07/16/the-price-of-posting-pubmed-central-spends-most-of-its-budget-handling-author-manuscripts/
[4] http://www.researchconsulting.co.uk/new-report-highlights-9m-compliance-cost-of-uk-open-access-requirements/
[5] http://www.chorusaccess.org/

Top tips for entering the Connecting with Law Short Film Competition


Have you been thinking about entering the Connecting with Law Short Film Competition this year?
Are you having trouble getting started with your film?
Do you need help getting your creative juices flowing?

We recently spoke to some of our previous film competition winners about their filmmaking experiences and asked if they had any advice for law students thinking of submitting an entry in 2016. Here are their top tips:

Molly Clarke, University of Notre Dame Sydney
Connecting with Law Short Film Competition Winner 2015

Choose an area of law or case that you are passionate about. If you are passionate about it, it’ll make you want to work so much harder.

  • Utilize any technology that is available to you. We shot some of the film on an iPhone 6! Some things you already have, like your phone or your computer, will be nearly as good as professional equipment.
  • Take this opportunity to collaborate with students that study law with you. We had such a great time working on the film together and we are excited to get the group together to make another one again this year!

Watch Molly’s team entry, Chester v Waverly Council (1939) 62 CLR 1

Katy Milne, Monash University
Connecting with Law Short Film Competition Winner 2014

  • Choose an aspect of the topic that you are personally drawn to and explore this fully rather than trying to cover the whole field. I read a whole lot of different cases about lawyers doing naughty things (the topic was legal ethics) before I decided how to proceed. This was very entertaining in itself.
  • Be quite brutal with yourself. I wrote out a narrative before I started and then listened to how it sounded. Some bits just didn’t work so I removed or reworked them. There were parts of the story that I really quite liked but cut because I couldn’t get the story to flow well with them present.
  • Leave a good amount of time for the technical stuff. I used an iPhone and tripod to make my film however, the sound from the iPhone was not of sufficient quality. As a consequence, I recorded the voiced narration directly on to my computer. As someone with no film making experience, it took a fair bit of experimentation and time to work out the best combination of equipment to make the film.

Watch Katy’s entry, Ethics in Social Media: Advice for the legal hound-dog

Jason Allen, Deakin University
Connecting with Law Short Film Competition Joint winner 2013

  • Focus on sound.  Given the choice between working on your picture or your sound it seems most people focus on the video.  Think of your experiences with YouTube – most people will put up with less than cinema quality video, far fewer people stick through a video with annoying, poor quality sound.  If you have limited resources you’ll get more “bang for your buck” in terms of the quality of your overall end product by focusing more on your audio than you otherwise might.

    As a side note every camera going around works off of light.  Almost invariably adding more light will get you a better quality picture – grab some cheap Bunnings floodlights and use them to look a TON better.

  • Aim for humour. All things being equal funny but wrong probably wins over a boring yet scholarly lecture (think of your Uni lectures).  It doesn’t need to be a ROFL comedy but try and make your work at least funny enough so as not to be dry.  Not much worse than a boring educational video…
  • Take the road less travelled.  There’s probably going to be one or two fairly obvious angles you could take on whatever the topic is.  Spend the time to try and come up with something unique, a bit more creative – an idea that you don’t think anyone else will go with.  It’s far easier to stand out in a crowd of one than a crowd of dozens.

Watch Jason’s entry, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Law

Learn more about the competition, read our submission guidelines and download an entry form from the Connecting with Law Short Film Competition homepage.

Written by Stephanie Swain, Higher Education – Marketing and Product Specialist

Connecting with Law Short Film Competition launches for 2016


The Connecting with Law Short Film Competition is an annual event run by Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand. Now in its ninth year, the Connecting with Law Short Film Competition is open to all tertiary students currently enrolled in a law unit at an Australian university.

This year, we are asking students ‘why study law?’ To enter, students need to create a 2 – 5 minute film about what inspires them to study law that will educate, entertain and engage other law students and help them connect with law. Films could explore this theme from a number of angles, including the law school experience, how studying law can positively affect your life and understanding of the world, or why future students should start law school.

Not only are there great cash prizes to be won, but here are three reasons why you consider entering the Connecting with Law Short Film Competition this year:

  • Showcase your creativity: the competition allows you to apply your legal skills and knowledge in a creative setting and think outside of the lecture theatre. We understand that studying law can be a sizeable academic commitment – so why not take a brain break between readings and start filming?
  • Bond with other law students: this is a great opportunity to pair up with a classmate to work on an entry. Struggling to find a collaborator? Why not place a call-out through your campus law society and build your dream team.
  • Get your name known in law: The winning entries are shared with law schools across Australia, so you can get your name known in law before you start your legal career (and add breadth to your LinkedIn profile!)

Want to learn more? Visit the Connecting with Law Short Film Competition homepage to read our submission guidelines, download an entry form or watch the 2015 winners.

All of the winning and commended entries from previous years can be viewed online at the Connecting with Law Film Library.

Written by Stephanie Swain, Higher Education – Marketing and Product Specialist