How to Fix Copyright

Oxford University Press
Free sample

Do copyright laws directly cause people to create works they otherwise wouldn't create? Do those laws directly put substantial amounts of money into authors' pockets? Does culture depend on copyright? Are copyright laws a key driver of competitiveness and of the knowledge economy? These are the key questions William Patry addresses in How to Fix Copyright. We all share the goals of increasing creative works, ensuring authors can make a decent living, furthering culture and competitiveness and ensuring that knowledge is widely shared, but what role does copyright law actually play in making these things come true in the real world? Simply believing in lofty goals isn't enough. If we want our goals to come true, we must go beyond believing in them; we must ensure they come true, through empirical testing and adjustment. Patry argues that laws must be consistent with prevailing markets and technologies because technologies play a large (although not exclusive) role in creating consumer demand; markets then satisfy that demand. Patry discusses how copyright laws arose out of eighteenth-century markets and technology, the most important characteristic of which was artificial scarcity. Artificial scarcity was created by the existence of a small number gatekeepers, by relatively high barriers to entry, and by analog limitations on copying. Markets and technologies change, in a symbiotic way, Patry asserts. New technologies create new demand, requiring new business models. The new markets created by the Internet and digital tools are the greatest ever: Barriers to entry are low, costs of production and distribution are low, the reach is global, and large sums of money can be made off of a multitude of small transactions. Along with these new technologies and markets comes the democratization of creation; digital abundance is replacing analog artificial scarcity. The task of policymakers is to remake our copyright laws to fit our times: our copyright laws, based on the eighteenth century concept of physical copies, gatekeepers, and artificial scarcity, must be replaced with laws based on access not ownership of physical goods, creation by the masses and not by the few, and global rather than regional markets. Patry's view is that of a traditionalist who believes in the goals of copyright but insists that laws must match the times rather than fight against the present and the future.
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About the author

William Patry is Senior Copyright Counsel at Google Inc. He previously served as copyright counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary; as a Policy Planning Advisor to the U.S. Register of Copyrights; as a law professor; and as a private lawyer. He is the author of the definitive eight volume treatise on copyright law, Patry on Copyright, a separate treatise on the fair use doctrine, Patry on Fair Use which has been in print since 1985, as well as many law review articles, including one with Judge Richard Posner.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Jan 2, 2012
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780199912919
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Intellectual Property / Copyright
Law / Intellectual Property / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Metaphors, moral panics, folk devils, Jack Valenti, Joseph Schumpeter, John Maynard Keynes, predictable irrationality, and free market fundamentalism are a few of the topics covered in this lively, unflinching examination of the Copyright Wars: the pitched battles over new technology, business models, and most of all, consumers. In Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars, William Patry lays bare how we got to where we are: a bloated, punitive legal regime that has strayed far from its modest, but important roots. Patry demonstrates how copyright is a utilitarian government program--not a property or moral right. As a government program, copyright must be regulated and held accountable to ensure it is serving its public purpose. Just as Wall Street must serve Main Street, neither can copyright be left to a Reaganite "magic of the market." The way we have come to talk about copyright--metaphoric language demonizing everyone involved--has led to bad business and bad policy decisions. Unless we recognize that the debates over copyright are debates over business models, we will never be able to make the correct business and policy decisions. A centrist and believer in appropriately balanced copyright laws, Patry concludes that calls for strong copyright laws, just like calls for weak copyright laws, miss the point entirely: the only laws we need are effective laws, laws that further the purpose of encouraging the creation of new works and learning. Our current regime, unfortunately, creates too many bad incentives, leading to bad conduct. Just as President Obama has called for re-tooling and re-imagining the auto industry, Patry calls for a remaking of our copyright laws so that they may once again be respected.
In the increasingly complex and combative arena of copyright in the digital age, record companies sue college students over peer-to-peer music sharing, YouTube removes home movies because of a song playing in the background, and filmmakers are denied a distribution deal when a permissions i proves undottable. Analyzing the dampening effect that copyright law can have on scholarship and creativity, Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi urge us to embrace in response a principle embedded in copyright law itself—fair use.
Originally published in 2011, Reclaiming Fair Use challenged the widely held notion that copyright law is obsolete in an age of digital technologies. Beginning with a survey of the contemporary landscape of copyright law, Aufderheide and Jaszi drew on their years of experience advising documentary filmmakers, English teachers, performing arts scholars, and other creative professionals to lay out in detail how the principles of fair-use can be employed to avoid copyright violation. Taking stock of the vibrant remix culture that has only burgeoned since the book’s original publication, this new edition addresses the expanded reach of fair use—tracking the Twitter hashtag #WTFU (where’s the fair use?), the maturing of the transformativeness measure in legal disputes, the ongoing fight against automatic detection software, and the progress and delays of digitization initiatives around the country.
Full of no-nonsense advice and practical examples, Reclaiming Fair Use remains essential reading for anyone interested in law, creativity, and the ever-broadening realm of new media.
Intellectual property law in the United States does not work well and it needs to be reformed—but not for the reasons given by most critics. The issue is not that intellectual property rights are too easily obtained, too broad in scope, and too long in duration. Rather, the primary problem is overreaching by publishers, producers, artists, and others who abuse intellectual property law by claiming stronger rights than the law actually gives them. From copyfraud—like phony copyright notices attached to the U.S. Constitution—to lawsuits designed to prevent people from poking fun at Barbie, from controversies over digital sampling in hip-hop to Major League Baseball's ubiquitous restriction on sharing any "accounts and descriptions of this game," overreaching claims of intellectual property rights are everywhere. Overreaching interferes with legitimate uses and reproduction of a wide variety of works, imposes enormous social and economic costs, and ultimately undermines creative endeavors. As this book reveals, the solution is not to change the scope or content of intellectual property rights, but to create mechanisms to prevent people asserting rights beyond those they legitimately possess. While there are many other books on intellectual property, this is the first to examine overreaching as a distinct problem and to show how to solve it. Jason Mazzone makes a series of timely proposals by which government, organizations, and ordinary people can stand up to creators and content providers when they seek to grab more than the law gives them.
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