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Faculty Profile


Prof. Lawrence Liang


  • PhD, “Cinematic Justice: The law in/and of Cinema in India” School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU
  • LLM, Law and Development, University of Warwick
  • B.A., LLB (National Law School of India University)

Past Experience

Yale University, 2016-2017
Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore 2000-2015

One of the Co-Founders of Alternative Law Forum, Prof. Liang worked at ALF for fifteen years from 2000-15. ALF is a non profit collective that works on various aspects of law, legality and power. ALF provides legal services to various marginalized groups, focussing on access to the criminal justice system, issues of gender, disability and sexuality. Prof. Liang is also the cofounder of two open access video archives in India, Public Access Digital Media Archive ( and He has published extensively in journals and books and regularly contributes on key debates to leading newspapers and magazines. He has have also taught in a of law schools in India as well as departments of film studies and media studies in India and elsewhere.

My Zone / Area of Expertise

Areas of Research Interest: Law and Public Culture, Intellectual Property, Free Speech, Law and literature, Law, Media and Technology, Visual cultures of law and Justice, Comparative Legal theory

Prof. Liang was the lead researcher and managed numerous research projects for fifteen years and has collaborated with leading institutions globally and nationally including Sarai:CSDS, Columbia University, UNDP, Social Science Research Council, etc


  • Infosys Prize 2017 under Social Sciences category. 
  • Rice Visiting Faculty Fellow, Yale University
  • Hughes Visiting Scholar, Michigan University
  • New India Foundation Awardee
  • Fulbright Scholar, Columbia University
  • Best Outgoing Student, Warwick Law School
  • British Chevening Scholar



  • Co-Editing a book length interview with Prof. Upendra Baxi which traces his intellectual contribution to legal scholarship in India.
  • Invisible Libraries (Yoda 2016)
  • Cinematic Justice: The Law in/and of Films in India, (Forthcoming )
  • 2007 The Public is Watching: Sex, Laws and Videotape, (New Delhi: PSBT, 2007)
  • 2005 Guest Editor, Sarai Reader 05: Bare Acts (New Delhi: Sarai/CSDS, 2005)


  • 2007 Primer on Open Content, UNDP : IOSN, (Elsevier: 2007) 
  • 2004 Guide to Open Content Licenses (Piet Zwart Institute: Rotterdam)

Articles in Journals and Books

  • 2016 Untimely Justice: Law and the temporal ordering of justice, NUJS Law Rev (Forthcoming). Text of the 10th KC Basu memorial lecture
  • The Dominant, the residual and the emergent in Archival imagination, Spheres, Vol. 2, Ecologies of Change
  • 2015 Freedom of speech and expression in India, Oxford Handbook of Constitutional Law in India, 2015
  • Sharing Instinct: An annotation of the social contract through shadow libraries, E-flux, 56th Venice Biennale Special Issue, July 2015
  • 2014 Bullies in Armani Suits: Himal Quarterly Journal 2014
  • Ultranationalism: A proposal for a quiet withdrawal, E-flux, Volume 56, June 2014
  • Beyond Representation: The figure of the pirate in Lars Eckstein, Ed. Postcolonial Piracy, 2014
  • 2013 Following Fans: The Curious case of the man from Japan, Artconnect, IFA Quarterly Journal, September 2013
  • The Woman who pretended to be who she was (online), Himal Quarterly Journal, 2013
  • Terrorism, Media Trials and the right to Fair Trial, in Media and Terrorism, Students Islamic Organization, 2013
  • Sensuous Encounters: Law, Affect and the Media Event, in Ravi Sundaram (Ed.), No Limits: Media Studies form India, OUP, 2013
  • 2011 Is it a bird? A plane? No, it’s a magic chair, E-flux, Issue 27, 2011
  • Media’s Law: From Representation to Affect, in Ravi Sundaram, Ed., After Media
  • Songlines for our times, Preview, Sternberg Press, 2010
  • 2010 Media’s Law: From Representation to Affect, BioScope 2(1) 23–40
  • Exceptions and Limitations in Indian Copyright Law for Education: An Assessment, The Law and Development Review, Volume 3, Issue 2 2010 Article 7 SPECIAL ISSUE (2010):
  • Striving for Magic in the city of Words: Law and the Pursuit of Happiness in the Naz Judgment, in Gautam Bhan, Arvind Narrain et al (Eds.), Law like Love, Yoda, New Delhi, 2010
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Book in Gaëlle Krikorian and Amy Kapczynski (Ed.s), Access to knowledge in the age of intellectual property, Zone Books, NY, 2010
  • Beyond Representation: The Figure of the PirateGaëlle Krikorian and Amy Kapczynski (Ed.s), Access to knowledge in the age of intellectual property, Zone Books, NY, 2010
  • 2009 Piracy, Temporality and the Question of Asia, Indian Journal of Intellectual Property Law Vol. 3 (2009)
  • Piracy, Temporality and the Question of Asia, Journal of the Moving Image Vol. 7 (2009)
  • Pandora’s Index of Curiosity and Punishment, in Kajsa Dahlberg, Jane Jin Kaisen, Sreshta Rit Premnath Eds., Shifter Vol. 12.
  • 2008 Mixing Memory and Desire, in Rana Dasgupta Ed., The Rest of Now: The Manifesta Catalogue,
  • Pirate Aesthetics (Japanese Translation), in Dominic Chen, Network Cultures in Asia
  • Copyright and Documentary Film in India in Peter Jaszi (Ed.), Copyright and Documentary Film in the Commonwealth (2008)
  • Voice and Vocabulary, in Manuela Zechner (Ed.), Vocabulaboratories (2008)
  • A Brief history of the Internet in the 15th Century, in Nalini Rajan, The Digitzed Imagination, (New Delhi: Routledge)
  • Beyond Representation: The Dilemma of the Pirate for Intellectual Property in Peter Jaszi and Martha Woodmansee, (Con)texts of Invention, University of Chicago Press, 2008
  • And nothing but the Truth so help me science, Sarai Reader 08: Frontiers, New Delhi, 2008
  • 2007 The Man who mistook his wife for a Book: Property and personhood in the Knowledge Era, in Correen Kumar, Ed., Asking, we walk, (Streelekha: Bangalore, 2007)
  • 2006 Shoot, Share and Create, in Rajiv Mehrotra, Ed., Reframing: The World of Indian Documentary Films, (New Delhi: PSBT, 2006)
  • 2005 Copyright and the Politics of Cultural production, Indian Journal of Law and technology, Vol.1, Issue 1, 2005
  • Porous legalities and avenues of participation, Sarai Reader 05: Bare Acts, 2005
  • Cinematic citizenship and the Illegal city, Inter Asia Cultural Studies, Vol.6, 1 (2005)
  • 2004 Reasonable restrictions and Unreasonable Speech, Sarai Reader 04 : Crisis Media (New Delhi: Sarai/CSDS, 2004)
  • Copyright, Cultural production and Open Content Licensing, published by Piet Zwart Institute,
  • The Ghost in the machine: Legal Capture of Technology, Sarai Reader 03: Shaping technology, (New Delhi: Sarai/CSDS, 2003)
  • 2003 Conceptualizing law and culture: Copyright, Rajnikant and the politics of contemporary signage, Seminar Issue No. 525, Unsettling Cinema, May 2003
  • Mapping the global commons upon the National and Local: Media Development Vol. 1(2003)
  • Alternate Lawyering in India, LGD 2001 (2)
  • 2002 Whose convergence is it anyway? A critical introduction to the Convergence Bill, 1 Combat L.J (2002).
  • Criminal Law seen through bi-foucaults: A postmodern critique of the criminal justice system, 7 Stud. Advocate, 1996.
  • Tata Yellow Pages v. Union of India: A review, 7 Student Advocate, 1996.
  • P.Rathinam v. Union of India: The right to die under the constitution, 6 Stud. Advocate, 1995.

Articles in Newspapers and Magazines

(Sample List)

  • Ultra-nationalists make light of patriotism, Asian Age, Feb 2016
  • Plan B for free speech, Indian express, Febuary 16th 2016
  • Sedition and the status of subversive speech in India, The Wire 14th febuary 2016
  • Vocabulary of justice and being, The Hindu
  • What do we talk about when we talk about pornography? The Wire, 4th August 2015
  • Free Speech Ver. 2.0 The Hindu March 25th 2015
  • Cultural Ignorance and Prejudice, The Hindu, February 4th 2014
  • 100 years of film censorship, Frontline , September 2013
  • The Erotics of Law, Scandal and Technology, Caravan February 2013
  • A guide to infantalising and trivialising the public sphere, January 30th 2013
  • A Ludicrous Ban, Open Magazine, June 2nd 2012
  • Strangers in a place they call home, The Hindu, August 18th 2012
  • Work of art in the age of mechanical injunctions, The Hindu, May 23rd 2012
  • Chilling effects and frozen words, The Hindu, April 30th 2012
  • Mickey mouse Gandhi and copyright, Prajavani 15th August June 2012
  • The pros and cons of the Copyright Act, Prajavani 9th June 2012
  • Indian express op ed
  • Indian Express Article on Pirate Aesthetics
  • Pirate Aesthetics (in Malayalam), Matrbhoomi
  • Copyright v. The right to Copy, Indian Express
  • Pirate Aesthetics, Magazine of the Streishcer Herbts Festival 2006
  • How Rambo lost to the Green Papaya, Tehelka, October 7th 2006
  • The Black, White and grey of Copyright, World Information City Newspaper, November 2005
  • Bangalored: The Politics of the world information city, Indian Express, November 20th, 2005
  • Media Empires and Renegade Pirates, Humanscape, August 2004
  • Encountering the sustaining myths of Copyright (Co authored with Atrayee Mazumdar and Mayur Suresh),
  • Regulating Cyber- A space or a technology, 1 Voices (2002) 32.
  • We are watching An introduction to privacy issues in cyberspace,2 Voices (2001) 14.