Subject: Re: Re: RE: When can licenses be revoked? (was: License Proliferation)
From: Brendan Scott <>
Date: Fri, 09 Sep 2005 10:36:13 +1000

> Alex Bligh <> wrote:
> --On 08 September 2005 11:31 +1000 Brendan Scott 
> <> 
> wrote:
> > Eg - can a cinema owner eject you from a cinema even though you have 
> paid
> > for a ticket to see the movie?
> Are we talking Hurst v. Picture Theatres Ltd [1915] 1 KB 1 here? If so,
> I remember the ratio being exactly the opposite, which is why Mr Hurst
> won damages in an action for assault as is contractual license (or,
> as the court had it, his non-gratuitous license) was purportedly (and
> unjustifiably) terminated by the cinema, DESPITE the fact it gave him
> no proprietary interest. Or am I remembering wrong?

Yes and no.   I have had a quick look back at the text (Meagher Gummow and Lehane) and
a lot of the cases cited are AU cases (some of which criticise, IMO persuasively, the
Hurst decision), not UK ones.   So I will further refine that last email to be AU specific.
 MGH also say there has been a lot of toing and froing on the issue.

Whether or not a licence is revocable must also be tempered by the availability of alternative
actions (eg in equity or statutory misrespresentation) which might be used to preserve
the effectiveness of the licence (eg to issue an injunction against the revocation).
 Jeremy adverts to this in his article.  

The question is whether the *mere presence* of a contract renders the licence irrevocable
- which to me overstates the case.   There are certainly situations where a contract
will effect this, but it is hard to see how it will in the general case.  If it did
any hire contract would effectively be a lease.  


Brendan Scott IT Law Open Source Law 0414 
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