If developments in relation to music and the Internet are any guide, writers and publishers will increasingly be addressing the opportunities for self-management on the Internet. For writers, there is a well-established path for sharing copyright works without charge. This is known as the Creative Commons, which publishes generic licences for use by authors in the exchange of copyright materials. These licences are intended to promote an orderly exchange of copyright works, without charge, but within the framework of copyright licensing. By using the Creative Commons licences, writers can facilitate the copyright usage of their work gratis, but in a way which protects legal rights. Blogs and other webpages are enabling self-publication for royalty-free purposes. There has never been a better opportunity for the exchange of ideas online.
The new electronic order
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Colin Golvan is a Queen's Counsel at the Victorian Bar, and author of plays staged by the Melbourne Theatre Company and Playbox Theatre.
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