Books

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Men at Work were found liable for copying two bars from Kookaburra Sits on the Old Gum Tree – a ‘fair use’ exception would have prevented this. Jolene Bertoldi

The Down Under book and film remind us our copyright law’s still unfair for artists

A new book and documentary tell us more about the story behind Men at Work's song Down Under – and the court case it eventually led to. They also prompt questions about current Australian copyright law.
In reading, we feel ourselves able to get up close and personal with a dead author. glassghost

What do we love when we love books by dead authors?

The reader who loves literature of the past seeks to forge intimate connections with those who are no longer alive. In reading, we feel ourselves able to get up close and personal with a dead author.
Paperback and hardback editions of The Book of Days, an illustrated anthology edited, designed and produced in three weeks. Zoë Sadokierski

The Book of Days: creating an anthology live at the Sydney Writers' Festival

As well as a souvenir of the 2015 Sydney Writers' Festival this anthology is a compelling argument for the future of books in print. Book objects are talismans as much as vessels for the content they carry.
Deciding on the winner of a literary award is, in the end, a highly subjective process. RebeccaVC1

Literary awards and Joan London’s The Golden Age

Joan London's The Golden Age won the Kibble Award last week, having been shortlisted – but unsuccessful – in several high-profile prizes previously. Deciding on winners is a highly subjective process.
EL Doctorow, pictured here in 2007, has died. His work in its entirety bespeaks a profound humanity. Radim Beznoska/AAP

Remembering EL Doctorow, the conscience of the USA

Over the course of almost six decades, Doctorow – who has died – wrote himself into the canon of American literature. He embodied the virtues of a classical storyteller.
Making a splash in letters may be harder under changes to Australian arts funding. Orange County Archives Follow

Writers and publishers are all at sea under Brandis and the NPEA

It's hard to work out how funding for literature – if at all – fits into the draft guidelines of the new National Program for Excellence in the Arts. So what are the politics, and problems, at play?
Already having baby-naming regret? Don’t worry – look to the past for alternative role models. Still of Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). Universal Pictures

What’s in a name? Atticus Finch and his Roman forebears

Some parents have been horrified to discover that, in Harper Lee’s new book, Atticus Finch – long admired as a paragon of virtue – is a racist. Why? Because their kids are named after him. So, what now?
Mishani’s novels centre on rather ordinary Israelis, their ordinary lives and the tragedies that befall them.

Never read an Israeli crime novel? Try some Dror Mishani

Not every crime novel needs a Jason Bourne. Mishani eschews the obvious world of Mossad agents and terrorist plots you might expect in an Israeli crime novel – and the results are thrilling.

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