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1st (en)lightening talk with Thorsten Lauterbach - 29 April

Updated: May 15, 2021

On the 29th of April (h. 14.00-15.00), Thorsten Lauterbach (Robert Gordon University) will open our series of (en)lightening talks on 'What's my share?’ Are the stars aligning for non-dominant joint authors after Martin v Kogan?


Copyright law has long recognised collaboration - rather than the romantic view of the individual genius - as source of creative output. In many situations, collaborators contribute to a work unequally, and it is here where non-dominant contributors have often met unsurmountable obstacles along the path towards being acknowledged as joint authors.

Thorsten's talk seeks to explore some of the aspects that feed into the debate in the context of the recent Martin v Kogan litigation on the screenplay for the Florence Foster Jenkins movie. Has the traditional discrepancy between the originality requirement for the purposes of copyright infringement on the one hand and joint authorship contribution been finally overcome? Is there a willingness by courts to embark on a more detailed analysis of authorial contribution when assessing its corresponding pro rata ownership share, replacing the rigidity of the common property concept with some flexibility? While some of these principles seem to have aligned for the benefit of Ms Kogan, questions remain whether floodgates may give way to claims based on fragmental contributions and the potentially stifling impact of the decision on innovation and creativity.

Participation is free, but registration is mandatory. You can register here.

Thorsten is a Law Lecturer and Teaching Excellence Fellow at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. He teaches contract law, consumer law & policy, and intellectual property law at the Law School, with a keen interest in copyright and authorship. While his role has taken him more into the direction of pedagogy and enhancement of learning and teaching, he remains keen on engaging with scholarly research.

The event will be moderated by Maeve Malone.

Maeve is a Lecturer and Early Career Researcher at the Law School, University of Dundee. She teaches Intellectual Property Law and Healthcare Law and Ethics at the Law School, with particular interest in biotechnology law, clinical trial regulation and copyright law. Having previously qualified as a solicitor with the Law Society of Ireland, Maeve brings her practical legal experience to academia. She has worked on an entrepreneurial ecosystems project at the University of St. Andrews, and is currently working on two collaborative research projects with MEMO, Clinical Trial Research Unit and with PICTURES (a platform to tackle major health issues) at the University of Dundee and is an Observing Member of the Advisory Network for the Future of Blockchain.

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