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Academic Talk - Private Law Influences on Copyright Law: An Example of Implied Copyright Licences

When: Monday, February 24, 2020 - 16:00 to 17:30
Venue: SMU School of Law, 55 Armenian Street, Meeting room 5.04, Level 5, Singapore 179943


A person infringes copyright if she exercises one of the exclusive rights without the licence of the copyright owner. An express licence granted by the copyright owner is the most common example of such a licence. Copyright law in most jurisdictions also provides for statutory limitations and exceptions, to balance the competing interests, including those of content users and the public. Such limitations and exceptions address specific instances of permitted uses of copyright works to achieve specific policy objectives. If a person’s actions are covered neither by an express licence, nor by the statutory limitations or exceptions, it does not automatically mean that the person has infringed copyright. It may be possible to imply a licence to cover her actions. In contrast to the rigidity of statutory limitations and exceptions, implied licences are characterised by their malleability in being able to address a more diverse set of circumstances as the need arises, providing an additional mechanism to achieve the copyright balance. However, implication as a process is contentious, and there are no established rules for implying a copyright licence. Given the uncertainty surrounding the doctrine of implied licence, courts have not embraced them as readily as they should. This presentation argues that to allay the fears of uncertainty, one must address the process of implication itself, and make it more methodical and transparent. It draws from aspects of private law, including contract law and property law, to guide the process of implication.



Dr Poorna Mysoor’s project explores how the structure of tangible property can be transposed to copyright to achieve a balance between ownership and user rights. At its core, Poorna’s research examines how private law principles enable better conceptualisation of copyright law. She will pursue an historical and comparative analysis of property and copyright law in various common law jurisdictions.

Dr Poorna completed her DPhil at the Law Faculty at Oxford in 2017 on implied licences in copyright law supervised by Professor Graeme Dinwoodie. Over the last few years, she has taught several core private law subjects such as Land Law, Contract Law and Tort Law at various colleges in Oxford and Copyright Law at the Law Faculty.

Dr Poorna is affiliated to the Queen's College, Oxford as an Extraordinary Junior Research Fellow. She is also an Academic Member of the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre.  Dr Poorna obtained her undergraduate law degree from National Law School of India University and her LLM from SOAS, University of London. Before embarking on her DPhil, she practised intellectual property law in Hong Kong and was a litigator in India.  



Kung-Chung LIU holds an LL.B. and LL.M. from National Taiwan University and a Doctorate from the Ludwig Maximilian Universitaet (University of Munich). He was a Research Fellow at Academia Sinica, Taiwan until 2017. In 2003, he was a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow for the IP Academy of Singapore. Professor Liu has served as one of the founding Commissioners of the National Communications Commission in Taiwan between 2006 and 2007. In 2014-15, he was a Visiting Professor at the School of Law, Singapore Management University, and the Founding Director of the Applied Research Centre for Intellectual Assets and the Law in Asia (ARCIALA). In addition, he has been co-appointed Professor at the Renmin University, China (2017), and the Graduate Institute of Technology, Innovation & Intellectual Property Management, National Chengchi University, Taiwan (since 2010).



The event is by-invitation only.

Last updated on 18 Feb 2020 .