- Hardcover: 311 pages
- Publisher: Stanford Law Books; 1 edition (October 5, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804760063
- ISBN-13: 978-0804760065
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,208,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Copyfraud and Other Abuses of Intellectual Property Law 1st Edition
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"I highly recommend this long-awaited and important book."--Lawrence B. Solum, Legal Theory Blog
"A reasoned, calm manifesto for reform; the trouble is that it's easier for the little guy to pay a ransom than to fight in court. A must-read for all content creators."--Library Journal
About the Author
Jason Mazzone has taught intellectual property law and constitutional law at Brooklyn Law School since 2003; he is the youngest faculty member in the school's history to hold an endowed chair. A renowned legal scholar, Mazzone has written about legal issues for the New York Times and other national newspapers, and he is a regular media commentator and a blogger at the popular legal blog, Balkinization. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University, a master's degree from Stanford University, and a master's and doctorate from Yale University. Before entering academia, he was a law clerk to two federal judges and he practiced intellectual property law in New York City.
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Top customer reviews
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Mazzone explains what the copyright laws are and how they are being abused in the first six chapters, tackles trademarks in one chapter, then presents detailed proposals for "how to stop copyfraud, protect fair use, and restore the public domain." He begins with copyfraud, the most straightforward form of overreaching, which is simply "the act of falsely claiming a copyright in a public domain work." This commonly occurs with works for which the copyright has expired and is exploited to force people to pay licensing fees for public domain works. The uncertainty built into the definition of "fair use" causes even more expensive problems, when companies insist that every snippet of their work be licensed. -Having attended NYU, I wondered when someone would get around to suing them for all those photocopied course packets. Mazzone talks about that too.
As expected, digital materials get a lot of attention: the crackdown on sampling and mash-ups that has hit hip-hop artists hard, the disaster of DMCA takedown notices that remove web content before the validity of the claim is evaluated, the strategy that businesses have adopted to license digital products rather than sell them, depriving consumers of the benefits of first-sale doctrine. And there is a chapter dedicated to "contracting around contract law". Museums, libraries and archival collections commonly require people to sign a contract promising not to publish or excerpt a public domain work. Stories of Disney and Mattel being overzealous in their trademark enforcement are all over the news, but Mazzone draws attention to the costs to documentary filmmakers when they inadvertently get a trademark in the frame, among other uses of trademark that should be non-infringing.
Each chapter presents notable court cases and concludes with a section on what can be done about the problem, but the last three chapters offer legal remedies in more detail. These chapters are drier than the rest of the book and contain no narrative. There are numerous proposals to choose from, legislation at the state and local level and how existing law may be used to defend the public domain. Mazzone also proposes a catalog of public domain works that would clearly establish what is in the public domain. Many forms of overreaching are known to the general public, but "Copyfraud and Other Abuses of Intellectual Property Law" is an eye-opener of how widespread the problem is and how much money is involved. Jason Mazzone clearly explains intellectual property laws and their abuses and makes a strong case for doing something about it.
But with much bigger cultural problems like policing the world to support the military-industrial complex, and how to not spend money on social programs, I doubt if the copyright problem will get much traction in Congress. As an example, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission doesn't get adequate funding or power to police illegal trading or sale of evil trading instruments like sub-prime mortgage packages which the designer sells and then balances with credit-default swaps.
Please feel free to correct me on any of this.
As an artist in the visual arts, I have a minor interest in copyright, but my standing is also minor, so I haven't had to deal with licensing or infringement. I have however improvised on some public domain art and some that's not.
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I for one hope the someone someday will take this material, build a case and save "Fair Use".Read more