Virtual Book Launch: The Origin of Copyright: Expression as Knowing in Being and Copyright Onto-Epistemology”

CityU School of Law, in cooperation with Routledge and EU-China Legal and Judicial Cooperation (EUPLANT) Project, have jointly held a book launch via Zoom on 22 July 2021. We are honoured to have Dr. GUAN Wenwei, Associate Professor of School of Law at City University of Hong Kong, to introduce his latest publication “The Origin of Copyright: Expression as Knowing in Being and Copyright Onto-Epistemology”.

The moderator, Dr. Hui JING (Assistant Professor, CityU School of Law) first invited Professor TAN Cheng Han (Dean, SLW, CityU) to give an opening remarks for the event. Professor Tan congratulated Dr. Guan for his new publication and thanked all the participants for their support for the book launch.

Dr. Guan Wenwei presented his latest publication “The Origin of Copyright: Expression as Knowing in Being and Copyright Onto-Epistemology” in three parts, namely (i) “Copyright in historical perspective”; (ii) “Copyright Evolution’s WWH (Who, What & How) Framework”; and (iii) “Copyright Onto-Epistemology”. He explained that copyright was once born in the heroic Gutenbergian era, establishing an onto-epistemologically independent authorship upon the rise of creativity, capitalism, and individual autonomy. According to Dr. Guan, upon going digital, technological advances and free trade proliferation in last several decades have significantly reshaped copyright, especially the technology’s role in copyright and the changing author-reader dynamics in a digital environment. He concluded that the future of copyright will be more balanced and humane since the internet era reveals the beauty of intra-dependence between the authors, readers and entrepreneurs around the creation, communication and use of ideas and knowledge.

After the book presentation by Dr. Guan Wenwei, Dr. David MUSKER (Professor, Queen Mary University of London School of Law) and Dr. Yahong LI (Associate Professor, HKU Faculty of Law) joined the book launch as panelists. Dr. Musker commented that the book offers a refreshing look of the copyright law and shared two virtues in the book. The first virtue is the nature of copyright and how it changes in the digital age; the second one is the book as a lens to examine other areas of intellectual property rights. Dr. Li appreciated the analytical structure of the book’s analysis of the copyright ontological dynamics between the authors, readers and entrepreneurs, and the book’s grand trilogy of the stakeholders, force, and mechanism of copyright evolution. Dr. Li highlighted the book’s touch of issues of human rights and parody, found the examination of the relationship between copyright and free speech an interesting topic in the book and she is interested to see more discussion on the censorship and proposals on how the intellectual framework could help reform the current copyright regime in promoting the protection of the user generated content (UGC).

The webinar was concluded with the closing remarks by Mr. Barry Clarke, Managing Director at Routledge, who thanked Dr. Guan and the two panelists, Dr. Musker and Dr Li for their valuable contributions, as well as the attendance of all audiences which made this event a great success and fruitful.

Moderator, Dr. Hui Jing (left) and opening remarks by Prof. Tan Cheng Han (right)

Book presentation by Dr. Guan Wenwei (above) and Panelist, Dr. David Musker (below)

Panelist, Dr. Yahong Li (above) and closing remarks by Mr. Barry Clarke (below)