- Hardcover: 292 pages
- Publisher: OUP USA; 1 edition (17 Sept. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195385640
- ISBN-13: 978-0195385649
- Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 2.5 x 15.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,002,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars (0) Hardcover – 17 Sep 2009
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A thought-provoking and highly readable book by one of America's top copyright scholars. Anyone interested in modern copyright debates needs to read it (Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law)
Patry's insight into copyright law itself has long been established, but with this book he takes us deep into how the debate surrounding copyright law has been twisted and distorted. This is a must-read for anyone looking to understand the real issues in the copyright debate, both from the business-model and policy perspectives (Mike Masnick, Founder and CEO, Floor64)
Patry makes real policy prescriptions and emphasizes hard economic data, combined with his characteristic morality, innovation, and learning. This is an important book. (Carl Malamud, Founder, Public.Resource.Org)
Patry's argument for reforming copyright law to promote modern day innovation is both engaging and meticulously supported by history and facts - an essential read for copyright practitioners and policymakers alike. (R. David Donoghue, Partner, Holland & Knight)
A bold and brilliant analysis of key cultural, business, economic, philosophical, and legal issues. Do we need creative destruction? A must for the copyright community and its onlooker (Howard Knopf, Counsel, Macera & Jarzyna, LLP)
Written with an energetic style that is consistently engaging, and with 50 pages of notes which attest to the wide sweep of author interests, the book can be recommended as one of the livliest and most thought-provoking works on the law of copyright (David Lewisohn, Entertainment Law Review)
Patry's text offers a liguistic and philosophical view of copyright over the last 250 years in the USA. For those interested in linguistics, philosophy and Copyright issues in the 21st century, it provides a fascinating read. (Stephen A. Bowman, Managing Information)
For those interested in linguistics, philosophy and Copyright issues in the 21st century, it provides a fascinating read. (Stephen A. Bowman, Managing Information)
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, a Policy Planning Advisor to the Register of Copyrights, a law professor, and in the private practice of law. He is the most prolific scholar of copyright in history, including being the author of an eight-volume treatise and a separate treatise on the fair use doctrine.
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P.S. I had to rate the book to post these remarks, and was not being presumptuous. I obviously would have preferred to post without rating myself.
In fact, he bills himself (and no doubt his clients) as the "most prolific scholar of copyright in history." He also defines himself as a centrist on the topic of copyrights. In his book he is given to such citations as "the greatest speech ever given on copyrights". Which, of course, the most prolific scholar would be in a position to assess the greatest speech, wouldn't he? Well, talk about an opportunity to get in some serious lawyer-bashing. This guy is leaves himself wide open.
And since he is pro-copyright, he is necessarily to me an implacable enemy. I should make clear, as a content-creator, I am against all copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc. It is the only rational position for a creative person to take.
Now, having said that, the book is probably the best thing written on copyrights, ever. He is probably the most prolific scholar of copyright in history. The thing is a stunning tour de force. It's a mere 200 pages of content, and I am only through page 84, but I must pause and report.
Only at page 84 and he has destroyed all arguments for "intellectual" "property" "rights". And I mean he catalogs each one that is used today, traces the history of the argument, and destroys them. All of them.
He examines the pro-IPR data regarding the losses incurred by industry. This is a particularly delightful section, demonstrating the entire oeuvre is bogus, and forensically it could not rise to the level of social interest. There is nothing to support the claims of losses by anyone in any industry. Now, I have said the same thing many times, from a practical level, but Patry hits it from a forensics angle. All taxpayer money directed at enforcement of "intellectual" "property" "rights" is now clearly a waste.
Nonetheless, the full federal power of policing of "intellectual" "property" "rights" is brought down upon 12 year old girls. Edgar Bronfman, when not leveraging the holocaust to shake down Swiss bankers, and Jack Valenti are the villains in this piece. But the gallery of pro-IPR rogues is vast. I suppose if Diane Von Furstenberg had made her greedy demands before the book was printed she too would have been included.
And Patry is no idiot savant who solely mastered copyrights, he ranges outside his field with breathtaking perspicacity. Like a Chomsky-grade linguist, Patry takes on metaphors used in the copyright wars to defend "intellectual" "property" "rights". He asks us to pause and reflect on in what way is a 12 year old girl who downloads music like a pirate?
Pirates vs. downloader. Does this matter? Well, very much. As you see, a 12 year old girl who downloaded a song feels the weight of the law, like a pirate, if we call her one. If Federal Prosecutor can call Aaron Swartz a pirate, the Federal Prosecutor can hound Swartz literally to death. And did. China is so taken by the pirate argument its new laws in fact make provision for the death penalty of copyright violators.
So far Patry has destroyed any basis for "intellectual" "property" "rights" and destroyed any argument for damage done by violation thereof, and exposed the moral bankruptcy of anyone advocating "intellectual" "property" "rights." Not much left. Not bad for 84 pages. Not to mention if his book has any effect, he'll no doubt save lives.
Yet he has asserted a few times there is a warrant for copyrights, and I will read through to see what this warrant is. He is not anti-copyright, he is anti "intellectual" "property" "rights."
Potential readers should note that the book is often pedantic and repetitive, and may focus on issues of terminology and philosophy of argument that are likely of more interest to attorneys than other folks. It is nevertheless a very valuable read for anyone concerned about redressing the balance of copyright so as to further the progress of science and the useful arts, rather than criminalizing our children.