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Bound By Law? (Tales from the Public Domain) Paperback – March 15, 2006
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"An indispensable guide for the perplexed (ain't we all!) in this postmodern information age - and all in easy-to-read comics format, a stunt far more difficult than you'd think!" --Art Spiegelman
"Bound By Law riffs expertly on classic comic styles, from the Crypt Keeper to Mad Magazine, superheros to Understanding Comics, and lays out a sparkling, witty, moving and informative story about how the eroded public domain has made documentary filmmaking into a minefield." --Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.net
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Top Customer Reviews
Bound by Law? is a comic book (or graphic novel if you prefer) issued by the <a target="_blank" href="[...]">Center for the Study of the Public Domain</a> at Duke Law School. It seeks to explain to the layperson two of the thornier issues in modern copyright law for writers, musicians, artists and filmmakers.
Basically, the work (written by James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins and illustrated by Keith Aoki) uses a documentary filmmaker to examine the impact of the doctrines of "public domain" and "fair use." The public domain is comprised of material on which copyright never existed or has expired and, hence, can be freely used by the public at large. Fair use is a statutory exception to the copyright laws that allows use of portions of copyrighted material for a variety of purposes as long as the use doesn't exceed the boundaries of a four-factor test the law establishes.
Why a comic book and a focus on documentary filmmaking? Because they are excellent vehicles for exploring the issues.
The work's filmmaker wants to make a documentary of the day in the life of New York City. She encounters what anyone would, albeit perhaps to a greater degree. Almost everywhere she goes there is copyrighted or trademarked material: music on the street or in a nightclub; a program or movie on the television in a particular room; or the logos that are ubiquitous at almost any sporting event.Read more ›
"Bound By Law" is far more fun, and far more informative. For instance, the authors do not only make their characters talk about fair use and parody, but they use parodies themselves, as Cory Doctorow points out in his review, <a href="[...]">Comic book brilliantly explains copyright for documentary filmmakers</a> in Boing Boing (02/03/06).
More information - and a link to the online version - in <a href="[...]">the comics page</a> of Duke Law.
PS there is a new updated version (2008) that is basically the same. The newer version has a great intro by Cory Doctorow but is not a significant improvement for double the price.
If you are an artist, it's a must read.
If you are a law school student or lawyer, it just might be an even more important read for you.
I also recommend the similar titles - The Accidental Law Student & Theft: A History of Music!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great text for people needing to know how copyright works (basic only) - I use it as a supplemental text at my college as a text book.Published 12 months ago by The Grouchy Librarian
Fun explanation. Seems pretty up to date too! (Jan 2015)Published 12 months ago by Wedding Videographer
Well done on information delivery. I wish it said more about narrative film, focus is on docs and I'm not sure if regualtions for narrative is different. Great references in back.Published on November 21, 2012 by Constance Rodgers
This is not for the Kindle touch screen. The page fills up about 3/4 of the screen. When it is made larger to fill the screen, the printing is still too small to read. Read morePublished on April 20, 2012 by Kindle Customer
A concise summation of all things copyright. Explains everything in a way that is funny and super informative. Would highly recommend.Published on March 1, 2012 by C. Westlake
The star-rating is for the Kindle version.
The comic itself was quite good; I'd give it 4/5. Read more