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Professor Melissa de Zwart

Telephone +61 8 8313 5304
Position Professor
Fax +61 8 8313 4344
Building Ligertwood Building
Floor/Room 2 11
Campus North Terrace
Org Unit Law School

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Biography/ Background

Prior to joining academia, Melissa was Legal Manager, CSIRO, where she specialised in technology transfer and licensing of intellectual property. Melissa taught in the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at Monash University for 13 years, and has a special interest in copyright, digital technology, social networking, virtual communities and online games.


BA (Hons), LL B (Hons), LL M (Melb), Ph D (Monash), Grad Cert Higher ED (Monash)

Research Interests

Copyright, fair dealing, digital technology, content regulation, online games, social networking, governance of online environments, digital identity, new media, convergence.


View some of my research on my SSRN Author page: 

Other publications include:

'Whistleblowers and the Media: Friends or 'frenemies' (2013) 38:4 Alternative Law Journal 250


‘For fun rather than profit’: Playing around with online games’ (2013) 18 Media and Arts Law Review 106


‘Griefing, Massacres, Discrimination, and Art: The Limits of Overlapping Rule Sets in Online Games’ (2012) 2 UC Irvine Law Review 507- 536 (with Sal Humphreys).


‘Don’t Shoot the Messenger: Wikileaks and the Future of the Internet’ (2012) 62.4 Telecommunications Journal of Australia 60.1-60.12.


‘Playing in Contested Zones: norms, laws and rules in MMOGs’ (2012) 17 Media and Arts Law Review 1-22 (with Sal Humphreys).



‘Randoms vs Weirdos: Teen use of social networking sites and perceptions of legal risk’ (2011) 36.3 Alternative Law Journal 153-157. (with David Lindsay, Michael Henderson, and Michael Phillips).

 ‘Understanding legal risks facing children and young people using social network sites’ (2011) Telecommunications Journal of Australia. 61 (1): pp. 9.1 to 9.18. (with David Lindsay, Michael Henderson and Michel Phillips)


(with Ren Reynolds) ''The Duty to Play' Ethics, EULAS and MMOS' (2010) 3.1 International Journal of Internet Research Ethics,

'Contractual Communities: Effective Governance of Virtual Worlds' (2010) 33(2) University of New South Wales Law Journal 605- 627

‘Japanese Lessons: What can otaku teach us about copyright and gothic girls?’ (2010) 35.1 Alternative Law Journal 27-30

‘Piracy vs. Control: Models of Virtual World Governance and Their Impact on Player and User Experience’ (2009) 2.3 Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, available at:


‘The role of copyright in innovation’ (2009) 27.2 Copyright Reporter 40-51


‘Virtual Worlds: Copyright vs Contract- the new frontier?’ (2008) Copyright Reporter 79- 90


‘Regulating Internet and Convergent Mobile Content: The New Content Services Regime’ (2008) 58 Telecommunications Journal of Australia 32.1- 32.29 (with David Lindsay and Sharon Rodrick)


‘An Historical Analysis of the Birth of Fair Dealing and Fair Use: Lessons for the Digital Age’ (2007) 1 Intellectual Property Quarterly 60-91 (UK)


‘The Future of Fair Dealing in Australia: Protecting Freedom of Communication’ (2007) 4:1 SCRIPT-ed 95-116 (UK)


‘Technological enclosure of copyright: The end of fair dealing’ (2007) 18 Australian Intellectual Property Journal 7-38


‘Mobile phones: Copyright in content’ (2007) Mobile Media 2007, Proceedings of an international conference on social and cultural aspects of mobile phones, media and wireless technologies, 2-4 July 2007, 276-287 (with David Lindsay and Sharon Rodrick)


‘The Copyright Amendment Act 2006: the new copyright exceptions’ (2007) 25.1 Copyright Reporter 4-20


‘Fair Use? Fair Dealing?’ (2006) 24.1 Copyright Reporter 20-37


‘Copyright in Television Broadcasts: Network Ten v TCN Channel Nine- “A case which can excite emotions”’ (2004) 9.4 Media & Arts Law Review 277-294


‘Seriously Entertaining: The Panel and the future of fair dealing’ (2003) 8.1 Media & Arts Law Review 1-17


‘The Experience of Online Learning: Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Innovation in Web-based Legal Education’ (2000) in R. Sims, M. O’Reilly and S. Sawkins (ed.) Learning to Choose: Choosing to Learn: Proceedings of the 17th Annual ASCILITE Conference, Southern Cross University Press, 425-434 (with Robyn Benson, CeLTS, Monash University).


‘Some Legal Aspects of the Internet: An Australian Perspective’ (1999) 1 Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics 103- 116


'The Future of the Internet: Content Regulation and its Potential Impact on the Shape of Cyberspace' (1998) 9.2 Entertainment Law Review 86-94 (UK)


‘The Music on Hold Case’ (1998) 5 Journal of Intellectual Property 397-415 (US)


‘Electronic Commerce: Promises, Problems and Proposals’ (1998) 21(3) The University of New South Wales Law Journal 1-19


‘Information Wants to be Free: How Cyberspace Challenges traditional legal concepts of information use and ownership’ (1998) 26 Archives & Manuscripts 368-389


'Controlling Content on the Information Superhighway - Liability of Internet Service Providers For Copyright Infringement' (1997) 5.1 Current Commercial Law 1-14


'Keeping Your Site Nice - Unfair Practices on the World Wide Web' (1997) 8.4 Australian Intellectual Property Journal 181-191


'Copyright in Cyberspace' (1996) 21.6 Alternative Law Journal 266-270




‘Cosplay, creativity and immaterial labours of love’ in Dan Hunter, Ramon Lobato, Megan Richardson and Julian Thomas, Amateur Media: Social, cultural and legal perspectives, Routledge, London and New York, 2013.

 ‘Anyone for a Vampwich? True Blood, Online Identity and Copyright’ in Gareth Schott and Kirstine Moffat, Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire, New Academia Publishing, 2011.


‘My Self, My Avatar, My Rights? Rights of Avatar Identity and Integrity in Virtual Worlds’ in Daniel Riha (ed) Humanity in Cybernetic Environments, Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxford, 2010 (with David Lindsay and Francesca Collins).


 ‘The Panel Case’ in Sam Ricketson, Megan Richardson and Andrew T Kenyon Landmarks in Australian Intellectual Property, Cambridge University Press, 2009


‘Governance and the Global Metaverse’ in Daniel Riha and Anna Maj (ed) The Real and the Virtual, Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxford, United Kingdom, 2009 (with David Lindsay)


 ‘Australia’s Fair Dealing Exceptions: Do They Facilitate or Inhibit Creativity in the Production of Television Comedy?’ in Andrew T Kenyon (ed) TV Futures: Digital Television Policy in Australia, Melbourne University Press, 2007, pp 166-195




Students’ Guide to Legal Writing, Law Exams and Self-Assessment (3rd ed.) (2010) Enid Campbell, Richard Fox and Melissa de Zwart, The Federation Press, Sydney




‘Students' use of social networking tools: legal risks and other implications’, Michael Henderson, Melissa de Zwart, Michael Phillips, David Lindsay, ACEC2010 (Australian Computers in Education Conference) 6-9 April 2010


‘ “I like Stalk them on Facebook”: Teachers’ ‘privacy’ and the risks of social networking sites’, Melissa de Zwart, Michael Henderson, Michael Phillips and David Lindsay,

 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society, ISTAS2010, Social Implications of Emerging Technologies, 7-9 June 2010





Professional Associations

Member, Classifications Review Board

Member, Copyright Society of Australia

Member, IPSANZ

Advisory Board, Virtual Policy Network

Expertise for Media Contact

CategoriesLaw, Crime & Justice, Media & Journalism
Expertisesocial networking; online media; virtual worlds; online games; copyright
NotesBoard Member, Classification Review Board Member,Copyright Council Expert Advisory Group Member, Virtual Policy Network

Entry last updated: Sunday, 24 Jan 2016

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