Jani McCutcheon

Ms, BA LLB Monash, LLM W.Aust.

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

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

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 and how these laws apply in the creative industries. 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 written a major monograph, Literary Characters in Intellectual Property Law (2023), co-edited two interntional collections,  and published internationally in numerous peer-reviewed journals and edited collections as well as presenting 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

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), and as a  member of the Law School's Teaching and Learning Committee 2016 - 2021.


Current projects

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)



Fiona McGaughey; Tsitsi Gotora; Natalie Skead; Jani McCutcheon, Tackling Forced Marriage in Western Australia: a Pilot Project

Conference presentations and speaking engagements:

  • Jani McCutcheon, Public lecture, ‘Image Rights and Image Use: Mobilising Culture Through Photographic Surrogates’, UWA School of Design, 12 March 2024
  • Jani McCutcheon, ‘Using Peer Review in Teaching Business Law’, WA Teaching and Learning Forum, 3 February 2024.
  • Jani McCutcheon, ‘Protecting Characters Under the Law’, Australian Society of Authors, 28 June 2023
  • 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, ‘When Copyright Remedies Harm Art’, 9 December 2022, Private and Commercial Law Annual Conference (Civil Remedies), UWA Law School, University of Western Australia
  • Jani McCutcheon, Public Lecture, 1 March 2022, ‘AI, music and copyright law’, UWA conservatorium of music.
  • Jani McCutcheon, public lecture, 6 May 2021 ‘Artists and Curators: Exploring key Legal Issues in Curating Art’, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery
  • Jani McCutcheon, 12 April 2021, guest lecture, ‘Translation and the Law’, Master of Translation Studies, University of Western Australia
  • Jani McCutcheon, ‘International Perspectives on Disability Exceptions in Copyright Law and the Visual Arts: Feeling Art’, Remaking the Maker Movement, QUT Faculty of Business and Law, 3 February 2021, https://youtu.be/Zl_c-tzMX24
  • Jani McCutcheon and Camilla Andersen, co-presented at UWA 2020 Teaching Excellence Webinar Series - Lessons Learned-2020
  • Jani McCutcheon, 30 October 2019 ‘Fakes, Copyright and Authenticity’, a panel event hosted by the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery and the University of Western Australia Centre for the History of Emotions
  • 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:

AI, Copyright and creator rights

Future projects:

  • The Translation Right in Copyright Law
  • AI, IP and Designs
  • Copyright and Illustrated Fiction in the 19th C
  • Authorship of Conceptual Art Through a Copyright Lens
  • The Art of Litigation - When Artists Sue

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

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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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