Jani McCutcheon

Jani McCutcheon

Ms, BA LLB Monash, LLM W.Aust.

  • The University of Western Australia (M253), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


I teach and research in the areas of intellectual property law. My research focuses on copyright and moral rights, particularly in the context of literature and visual art. I obtained my LLB and a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Monash University, and a LLM by research from UWA which focused on the potential registration of non-traditional trade marks. Before joining UWA in 1999, I worked as a solicitor for Freehill, Hollingdale and Page, and a Legal Research Officer for a Member of the WA Legislative Assembly. Since joining UWA, I have from time to time worked part-time as a solicitor and as a consultant to specialist intellectual property law firms. I have published internationally in numerous peer-reviewed journals and edited collections and presented my work at conferences and workshops in many countries, a number of which I have convened or co-convened. I have been a visiting scholar at Berkeley Law school.

Roles and responsibilities

I am a member of the Law School's Teaching and Learning Committee (2016 - ).

Previously, I served as the Deputy Head of School, Learning and Teaching (July 2019- July 2021), the Director of the Law and Society Major (2016 - 2019) and on the University Academic Board (December 2014- December 216; December 2016 - December 2018).


Current projects


I am currently writing a book, Literary Characters in Intellectual Property Law, to be published by Edward Elgar in 2022. 

Recent publications:


Book chapters:

  • McCutcheon, JL, ‘Making Art From Words: the Picturisation Adaptation Right Under Copyright Law’ , in McCutcheon, JL and McCaughey, F (eds), A Research Handbook on Art and Law, Edward Elgar, 2020
  • McCutcheon, JL, ‘On The Nullians’, in McCutcheon, JL and McCaughey, F (eds), A Research Handbook on Art and Law, Edward Elgar, 2020
  • Denby, E, Armytage, P and McCutcheon, JL, ‘Demystifying Colour Regulation In Art – Protecting Substances, Appearances And Beyond’ in McCutcheon, JL and McCaughey, F (eds), A Research Handbook on Art and Law, Edward Elgar, 2020
  • McCutcheon, JL and McGaughey, F, ‘Introduction’ in McCutcheon, JL and McCaughey, F (eds), A Research Handbook on Art and Law, Edward Elgar, 2020
  • McCutcheon, JL, ‘Bioart and Copyright’, in E Bonadio and N Lucchi (eds) Unconventional Copyright (Edward Elgar, 2018)


Conference presentations and speaking engagements:

  • Jani McCutcheon, 6 May 2021, 'Artists and Curators: Exploring key Legal Issues in Curating Art', Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia
  • Jani McCutcheon, 12 April 2021, guest lecture, ‘Translation and the Law’, Master of Translation Studies, University of Western Australia
  • Jani McCutcheon, 7 August 2019 ‘Point And Shoot: Modern Photography And Copyright Law’, Federal Court Of Australia Intellectual Property Twilight Seminar
  • Jani McCutcheon, 24 May 2019, ‘Copyright in Bioart’, SymbioticA
  • Jani McCutcheon, 3 April 2019, ‘Property in Digital Surrogates’, University of Western Australia seminar, Technology and the Public Interest Network
  • Jani McCutcheon, February 2019, ‘Digital Access To Culture: Copyright In Photographic Surrogates of Two-Dimensional Cultural Objects’, IP Academics Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference, Tasmania, Australia
  • Jani McCutcheon, September 2018, ‘Authorship, Art and Copyright Law’, Art + Law series, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia
  • Remedies Forum, Aix en Provence, France (June 2018): Copyright, Illegal Works and the Remedial Discretion of the Court
  • Feeling Art: Disability Exceptions and their Application to 3D Printing, International experts Workshop, University of Maastricht, June 2018

Future research

Immediate short term:

Completion of Literary Characters in Intellectual Property Law (Edward Elgar, 2022).

Future projects:

  • The Translation Right in Copyright Law
  • AI, IP and Designs
  • Feeling Art, Interrogating Intellectual Property Rights Exceptions for 3D Printing of 2D Art to Facilitate Access by the Visually Impaired
  • Copyright and Illustrated Fiction in the 19th C
  • Contextual Infringement of the Moral Right of Integrity

Funding overview

Awarded grants:

  1. Jani McCutcheon CI and Fiona McGaughey CI, University of Western Australia Educational Enhancement Unit for modifying LAWS5227 as a flipped learning mode unit ($5000, December 2018)
  2. Jani McCutcheon CI, ‘Feeling Art: Enhancing Disability Access to Artistic Works – International Experts Workshop’, Maastricht University Law School travel grant (€1600, 2018)
  3. Jani McCutcheon CI, ‘A Pilot Study Ascertaining The Extent Of Intellectual Property Law Teaching To Australia’s Future Creators And Innovators’ Law School Teaching-Research Nexus grant, (2017, $2500)
  4. Jani McCutcheon CI, Art in Law in Art Conference, key note speaker travel grant, Ian Potter Foundation, $2700 (2017)
  5. Jani McCutcheon CI, Art in Law in Art Conference support grant, Perth Convention Bureau, $1000, 2017
  6. Jani McCutcheon CI, numerous Law school internally funded competitive sabbatical and travel research and conference grants (2006 – 2017 totalling more than $25,000)
  7. Jani McCutcheon CI, ‘Old Law, New Art: the Dissonance between Copyright and Contemporary Art’, UWA Research Development Office ARC Discovery Project research development grant , $2000 (2013)
  8. Jani McCutcheon CI, research publication support grant, Faculty of Economics, Commerce, Education and Law, $2500 (2002).

Previous positions

- Solicitor, Freehill Hollingdae and Page
- Legal Research Officer for a Member of the WA Legislative Assembly

Teaching overview

I teach Intellectual Property Law at post graduate level in the JD and LLM, Business Law in Practice (an undergraduate capstone unit in the Business Law Major),  Creative Expression and the Law, an undergraduate unit offered in the Law and Society Major, and LAWS4227 Foundations of Law and Legal Institutions. I also guest lectures in the Law and Society major undergraduate unit LAWS3316 Law, Advocacy, Activism and Change.


- Intellectual Property Law
- literary characters and intellectual property law
- copyright
- moral rights
- trade marks
- artifical intelligence and intellectual property law

- literature and the law
- art and the law
- Internet Law



some proficiency in French

Research expertise keywords

  • Copyright
  • Moral Rights
  • Intellectual Property
  • Law And The Arts
  • Intellectual property law
  • Internet law
  • law and literary characters


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