Dr Atkinson is a specialist in intellectual property law and policy and has published several books on copyright law and history.  He is particularly interested in the effect of property relations on the distribution of benefit in society.  His latest book proposes that since the legal purpose of property is to allow the owner to exclude others, property creates social exclusion, which in turn creates distributive inequality.  The most effective way to reduce inequality is to recognise and enlarge the domain of non-ownership – the public domain.  Dr Atkinson has taught a number of public and commercial law subjects and is particularly interested in history, for its own sake and as a guide to future action.  He is also interested in constitutional mutability, the idea that what appears subjective in social relations is objective, and objective factors explain why social consent disappears.



Media and conferences


Interviewed on ABC Radio National about internet piracy and copyright industries – RN’s Background Briefing, ‘Internet Piracy’, 1 November 2009.

Views on copyright term discussed on ABC radio by panellists (after an article in Meanjin literary magazine) – The Book Show ‘Copyfights and literary rights’, 1 June 2009.

Interviewed on Australian Broadcasting Corporation about my comments on moral rights legislation in The Age newspaper (‘Copyright changes a headache for bosses’ January 11 2001) – Radio National Law Report ‘Moral Rights’ 17 April 2001.


Article published (with Brian Fitzgerald) in the Australian Financial Review on licensing and creative commons – ‘Copyright the middle way’ 16 October 2008.


Speaker International Copyright Symposium 27-28 June 2016, Brisbane ACU Law Research.

Speaker, Internet Freedom and the Law in Asia Conference, 10 – 11 December 2012, Deakin University, Melbourne.

Co-convenor, QUT’s Blue Sky: Directions in Copyright Law Conference Balmoral Beach Pavilion, Sydney, February 2011 (keynote Professor Francis Gurry Director General World Intellectual Property Organization).

Co-convenor and speaker at QUT’s Copyright Future: Copyright Freedom Conference Old Parliament House, Canberra, May 2009 (keynote Professor Lawrence Lessig Harvard).

Speaker, Unlocking IP: National and Global Dimensions of the Public Domain Conference University of NSW 2009.

Speaker, Open Access to Knowledge conference Queensland University of Technology Conference Brisbane, June 2008.

Speaker, Creating Commons: The Tasks Ahead in Unlocking IP, University of New South Wales, May 2006.

Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • Associate Member Australian Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators
  • Current Member ACT and NSW law societies
  • 2019 - Member Centre for International Trade and Business in Asia (CITBA Singapore)
  • 2008 to 2012 - Research Fellow at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation Researcher Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Law Project at QUT

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Book Chapters
Conference Papers
  • Atkinson B, Wood J and Jang H (2022) Does Covid-19 Spark the End of Globalisation? Community Empowerment, Sustainable Cities, and Transformative Economies. In: BEMAS: 1st International Conference in Business, Economics, Management, and Sustainability, 2-3 July 2021, Cairns, QLD, Australia
Other research outputs

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