UCL Faculty of Laws


Copyright and Collective Authorship: Locating the Authors of Collaborative Work

As large-scale collaboration becomes increasingly common, this book considers the challenges that collective authorship poses to copyright law.


2 May 2019

Publication details

Simone, Daniela (2019). Copyright and Collective Authorship: Locating the Authors of Collaborative Work (Cambridge University Press).


As technology makes it easier for people to work together, large-scale collaboration is becoming increasingly prevalent. In this context, the question of who are the authors and hence first owners of copyright in collaborative works is an important question to which current copyright law fails to provide a coherent or consistent answer.

In Copyright and Collective Authorship, Daniela Simone engages with the problem of how authorship of highly collaborative works should be determined. The book not only undertakes a thorough doctrinal and theoretical analysis of the concepts of authorship and joint authorship under UK law (considering the impact of recent CJEU copyright jurisprudence), it also incorporates four case studies – Wikipedia, Australian Indigenous art, scientific collaborations and film. These exemplify the mismatch between creative norms in environments in which collaboration evidently flourishes and copyright law's rules on authorship. Employing insights from the ways in which collaborators understand and regulate issues of authorship, the book argues that a recalibration of copyright law is necessary, proposing an inclusive and contextual approach to joint authorship that is true to the legal concept of authorship but is also more aligned with creative reality.

Find out more about the book here.