Mr Ian Ó Maolchraoibhe

PhD Student

LLB, LLM (Distinction)


Ian holds an LLB and LLM in Law and Computers in which he graduated with Distinction from Queen’s University, Belfast.   

Prior to completing his LLM Ian worked with The Revenue Commissioners, Collector General’s Division  as Executive Officer within the Insolvency Unit , being responsible for drafting court reports, representing the Revenue Commissioners in creditor’s meetings, monitoring liquidation proceedings and ensuring compliance from solicitors and liquidators  under statutory guidelines.

On completing his LLM, Ian was twice awarded an América Latina—Formació́n Académica (ALFA) research scholarship, renewed  under the auspices of the Legal Framework for the Information Society (LEFIS), an EU sponsored  network based at Universidad de Zaragosa 2005-2006. Under this award, he conducted research on government policy in providing access to Information and Communication technologies in Habana, Cuba and Santiago de Chile, Chile.  Subsequently he received a University of Reading Graduate Scholarship, 2006-2008 and is currently receipt of an Ollscoil na hEireann, National University of Ireland Teaching Fellowship, 2008-2012 .

Ian is also the Copyright Correspondent for Ireland with Kluwer Intellectual Property Cases, Kluwer Law International and provides head-notes, full texts and authoritative summaries of selected Irish copyright cases as and  when they are delivered, paying specific attention to cases with pan-European significance.


Research Interests

Free software and open source software licensing; copyright; intellectual property theory; philosophy  of technology; copyright-contract intersection.

Research Projects

PhD Thesis

‘Freedom of Contract and the Limits of Free Software Licensing’

Abstract: This thesis challenges  the ‘subversive’ and ‘revolutionary’ conceptions of free software licensing, arguing that the licensing  practice represents the codification of private motivations in the space afforded by the principle of  freedom of contract. This argument implies that codification of soft law principles for free software to provide a uniform choice-of-law condition in licenses would reflect this fact on a global level and make it easier for judicial forums to provide uniform results in disputed cases as opposed to leaving  local courts to apply only local law.

Other Projects

Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago de Chile, Chile
América Latina Formación Académica (ALFA) Visiting Scholar  November 2005-June 2006 

Investigated the potential of the ‘Mi Primer PC’ initiative, a government sponsored attempt at  enabling low income families access to ICTs whilst liaising with co-members of the scholarship  network.

Ministerio de Justicia, Habana, Cuba
ALFA Visiting Scholar  October 2005-November 2005

Investigated the use of ICTs in the implementation of government policy whilst liaising with co- members of the scholarship network.

Research Publications

Conference Papers

  • “Free software licensing: revolution, subversion or freedom of ‘contract’?” Campus international  d’ été: Les dynamiques du droit d’auteur. Paris 9-13 July 2012. CERDI, Universités Paris-Sud et  Panthéon-Sorbonne, France.
  • “A Hedeggerian perspective of free software & open source software licensing.” Graduate workshop,  May 2008, University of Reading, UK.
  • “Los problemas con ‘Mi Primer PC’.” ALFA research meeting, March 2006, Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago de Chile, Chile.

Case Reports

  • EMI Records & ORS v. EIRCOM Ltd., High Court Dublin (An Ard-Chúirt), 16 April 2010. Kluwer IP Cases, Kluwer Law International
  • EMI Records (Ireland) Ltd v. Eircom PLC, High Court (An Ard-Chúirt), 24 July 2009. Kluwer IP Cases, Kluwer Law International

Teaching Areas

  • Tutorial Leader - Legal Skills and Methods, NUI Galway (September 2011- ongoing)
  • Tutorial Leader - Company Law, NUI Galway (September 2010 - June 2011)
  • Assistant Lecturer - Intellectual Property Law Theory, NUI Galway (January - June 2009)
  • Tutor - Contract Law and Intellectual Property Law, University of Reading, Reading, UK (October 2006 - September 2008)