The artist is a thief: A book review

Rimmer, Matthew (2001) The artist is a thief: A book review. Muse Magazine.

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Stephen Gray is a writer and law lecturer who has been living in Darwin since 1989. He started out writing formal legal pieces about how copyright law had unsuccessfully sought to accommodate Aboriginal art. Such work led him to further investigate the philosophical questions underlying the legal issues affecting both traditional and urban Indigenous people. Gray has also explored matters of bioprospecting in relation to Indigenous biological resources. He has investigated the introduction of a label of authenticity into Australia. Gray has also published a number of articles about other legal issues affecting Indigenous people. He has explored such topics as native title, customary law, alternative dispute resolution, and criminal law. Gray has recently been awarded The Australian/ Vogel Literary Award for his novel The Artist is a Thief. He was inspired to write a book after being sent out to a community on a possible copyright claim as part of his job in the law faculty of Northern Territory University: "I wrote an academic article and then a more philosophical piece talking about the copyright act and the way it doesn't really protect traditional artists who have a very different view of the place of their art. The pieces were interesting, but I felt there was something more there that needed a fictional expression as well." It is ironic that such a self-conscious and sophisticated meditation upon appropriation and authenticity should win The Australian/ Vogel Literary Award. The inaugural award in 1980 was won by Paul Radley, who later revealed his books were mostly written by his uncle, and in 1993 it was won by Helen Demidenko, aka Darville, who had lied about her Ukrainian background and family history.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 86797
Item Type: Review
Refereed: No
Keywords: Intellectual Property and Innovation Law Research Group
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 [please consult author]
Deposited On: 13 Nov 2015 02:31
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2015 02:31

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