The art scene today is one of appropriation—of remixing, reusing, and recombining the works of other artists. From the musical mash-ups of Girl Talk to the pop-culture borrowings of Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, it’s clear that the artistic landscape is shifting—which leads to some tricky legal and philosophical questions. In this up-to-date, thorough, and accessible analysis of the right to copyright, Darren Hudson Hick works to reconcile the growing practice of artistic appropriation with innovative views of artists’ rights, both legal and moral.
Engaging with long-standing debates about the nature of originality, authorship, and artists’ rights, Hick examines the philosophical challenges presented by the role of intellectual property in the artworld and vice versa. Using real-life examples of artists who have incorporated copyrighted works into their art, he explores issues of artistic creation and the nature of infringement as they are informed by analytical aesthetics and legal and critical theory. Ultimately, Artistic License provides a critical and systematic analysis of the key philosophical issues that underlie copyright policy, rethinking the relationship between artist, artwork, and the law.
The Author's Due offers an institutional and cultural history of books, the book trade, and the bibliographic ego. Joseph Loewenstein traces the emergence of possessive authorship from the establishment of a printing industry in England to the passage of the 1710 Statute of Anne, which provided the legal underpinnings for modern copyright. Along the way he demonstrates that the culture of books, including the idea of the author, is intimately tied to the practical trade of publishing those books.
As Loewenstein shows, copyright is a form of monopoly that developed alongside a range of related protections such as commercial trusts, manufacturing patents, and censorship, and cannot be understood apart from them. The regulation of the press pitted competing interests and rival monopolistic structures against one another—guildmembers and nonprofessionals, printers and booksellers, authors and publishers. These struggles, in turn, crucially shaped the literary and intellectual practices of early modern authors, as well as early capitalist economic organization.
With its probing look at the origins of modern copyright, The Author's Due will prove to be a watershed for historians, literary critics, and legal scholars alike.
Through a series of vivid case studies, Authors in Court charts the 300-year-long dance between authorship and copyright that has shaped each institution’s response to changing social norms of identity, privacy, and celebrity.
“A literary historian by training, Rose is completely at home in the world of law, as well as the history of photography and art. This is the work of an interdisciplinary scholar at the height of his powers. The arguments are sophisticated and the elegant text is a work of real craftsmanship. It is superb.”
—Lionel Bently, University of Cambridge
“Authors in Court is well-written, erudite, informative, and engaging throughout. As the chapters go along, we see the way that personalities inflect the supposedly impartial law; we see the role of gender in authorial self-fashioning; we see some of the fault lines which produce litigation; and we get a nice history of the evolution of the fair use doctrine. This is a book that should at least be on reserve for any IP–related course. Going forward, no one writing about any of the cases Rose discusses can afford to ignore his contribution.”
—Lewis Hyde, Kenyon College
A documentary is being filmed. A cell phone rings, playing the Rocky theme song. The filmmaker is told she must pay $10,000 to clear the rights to the song. Can this be true? Eyes on the Prize, the great civil rights documentary, was pulled from circulation because the filmmakers’ rights to music and footage had expired. What’s going on here? It’s the collision of documentary filmmaking and intellectual property law, and it’s the inspiration for this comic book. Follow its heroine Akiko as she films her documentary and navigates the twists and turns of intellectual property. Why do we have copyrights? What’s “fair use”? Bound by Law? reaches beyond documentary film to provide a commentary on the most pressing issues facing law, art, property, and an increasingly digital world of remixed culture.
What is an author? What is a text? At a time when the definition of "text" is expanding and the technology whereby texts are produced and disseminated is changing at an explosive rate, the ways "authorship" is defined and rights conferred upon authors must also be reconsidered. This volume argues that contemporary copyright law, rooted as it is in a nineteenth-century Romantic understanding of the author as a solitary creative genius, may be inapposite to the realities of cultural production. Drawing together distinguished scholars from literature, law, and the social sciences, the volume explores the social and cultural construction of authorship as a step toward redefining notions of authorship and copyright for today's world. These essays, illustrating cultural studies in action, are aggressively interdisciplinary and wide-ranging in topic and approach. Questions of collective and collaborative authorship in both contemporary and early modern contexts are addressed. Other topics include moral theory and authorship; copyright and the balance between competing interests of authors and the public; problems of international copyright; musical sampling and its impact on "fair use" doctrine; cinematic authorship; quotation and libel; alternative views of authorship as exemplified by nineteenth-century women's clubs and by the Renaissance commonplace book; authorship in relation to broadcast media and to the teaching of writing; and the material dimension of authorship as demonstrated by Milton's publishing contract.
Contributors. Rosemary J. Coombe, Margreta de Grazia, Marvin D'Lugo, John Feather, N. N. Feltes, Ann Ruggles Gere, Peter Jaszi, Gerhard Joseph, Peter Lindenbaum, Andrea A. Lunsford and Lisa Ede, Jeffrey A. Masten, Thomas Pfau, Monroe E. Price and Malla Pollack, Mark Rose, Marlon B. Ross, David Sanjek, Thomas Streeter, Jim Swan, Max W. Thomas, Martha Woodmansee, Alfred C. Yen
The recent lawsuit against Kinko's Copies for copyright infringement has exposed the confusion and heightened the fear of liability surrounding copyright issues in colleges and universities. This volume offers an enlightening explanation of copyright and the ambiguous concept of fair use as they affect and are affected by higher education.
In the first large-scale study of its kind, Kenneth D. Crews surveys the copyright policies of ninety-eight American research universities. His analysis reveals a variety of ways in which universities have responded to—and how they could better manage—the conflicting goals of copyright policies: avoiding infringements while promoting lawful uses that serve teaching and research. He explains in detail the background of copyright law and congressional guidelines affecting familiar uses of photocopies, videotapes, software, and reserve rooms. Crews concludes that most universities are overly conservative in their interpretation of copyright and often neglect their own interests, adding unnecessary costs and obstacles to the lawful dissemination of information.
Copyright, Fair Use, and the Challenge for Universities provides administrators, instructors, lawyers, librarians, and educational leaders a much-needed exegesis of copyright and how it can better serve higher education.
How did the Depression-era folk-song collector Alan Lomax end up with a songwriting credit on Jay-Z’s song “Takeover”? Why doesn’t Clyde Stubblefield, the primary drummer on James Brown recordings from the late 1960s such as “Funky Drummer” and “Cold Sweat,” get paid for other musicians’ frequent use of the beats he performed on those songs? The music industry’s approach to digital sampling—the act of incorporating snippets of existing recordings into new ones—holds the answers. Exploring the complexities and contradictions in how samples are licensed, Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola interviewed more than 100 musicians, managers, lawyers, industry professionals, journalists, and scholars. Based on those interviews, Creative License puts digital sampling into historical, cultural, and legal context. It describes hip-hop during its sample-heavy golden age in the 1980s and early 1990s, the lawsuits that shaped U.S. copyright law on sampling, and the labyrinthine licensing process that musicians must now navigate. The authors argue that the current system for licensing samples is inefficient and limits creativity. For instance, by estimating the present-day licensing fees for the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique (1989) and Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet (1990), two albums from hip-hop’s golden age, the authors show that neither album could be released commercially today. Observing that the same dynamics that create problems for remixers now reverberate throughout all culture industries, the authors conclude by examining ideas for reform.
Interviewees include David Byrne, Cee Lo Green, George Clinton, De La Soul, DJ Premier, DJ Qbert, Eclectic Method, El-P, Girl Talk, Matmos, Mix Master Mike, Negativland, Public Enemy, RZA, Clyde Stubblefield, T.S. Monk.
Creativity and Its Discontents is a sharp critique of the intellectual property rights (IPR)–based creative economy, particularly as it is embraced or ignored in China. Laikwan Pang argues that the creative economy—in which creativity is an individual asset to be commodified and protected as property—is an intensification of Western modernity and capitalism at odds with key aspects of Chinese culture. Nevertheless, globalization has compelled China to undertake endeavors involving intellectual property rights. Pang examines China's IPR-compliant industries, as well as its numerous copyright violations. She describes how China promotes intellectual property rights in projects such as the development of cultural tourism in the World Heritage city of Lijiang, the transformation of Hong Kong cinema, and the cultural branding of Beijing. Meanwhile, copyright infringement proliferates, angering international trade organizations. Pang argues that piracy and counterfeiting embody the intimate connection between creativity and copying. She points to the lack of copyright protections for Japanese anime as the motor of China's dynamic anime culture. Theorizing the relationship between knockoffs and appropriation art, Pang offers an incisive interpretation of China's flourishing art scene. Creativity and Its Discontents is a refreshing rejoinder to uncritical celebrations of the creative economy.
In this collection of essays, leading academics, critics, and artists historicize collage and appropriation tactics that cut across diverse media and genres. They take up issues of appropriation in the popular and the avant-garde, in altered billboards and the work of the renowned painter Chris Ofili, in hip-hop and the compositions of Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály, and in audio mash-ups, remixed news broadcasts, pranks, culture jamming, and numerous other cultural forms. The borrowing practices that they consider often run afoul of intellectual property regimes, and many of the contributors address the effects of copyright and trademark law on creativity. Among the contributors are the novelist and essayist Jonathan Lethem, the poet and cultural critic Joshua Clover, the filmmaker Craig Baldwin, the hip-hop historian Jeff Chang, the ’zine-maker and sound collage artist Lloyd Dunn, and Negativland, the infamous collective that was sued in 1991 for sampling U2 in a satirical sound collage. Cutting Across Media is both a serious examination of collage and appropriation practices and a celebration of their transformative political and cultural possibilities.
Contributors. Craig Baldwin, David Banash, Marcus Boon, Jeff Chang, Joshua Clover, Lorraine Morales Cox, Lloyd Dunn, Philo T. Farnsworth, Pierre Joris, Douglas Kahn, Rudolf Kuenzli, Rob Latham, Jonathan Lethem, Carrie McLaren, Kembrew McLeod, Negativland, Davis Schneiderman, David Tetzlaff, Gábor Vályi, Warner Special Products, Eva Hemmungs Wirtén
Jessica Litman Michigan Publishing Services Library of Congress KF3030.1.L58 2017
The general public is used to thinking of copyright (if it thinks of it at all) as marginal and arcane. But copyright is central to our society’s information policy and affects what we can read, view, hear, use, or learn. In 1998 Congress enacted new laws greatly expanding copyright owners’ control over individuals’ private uses of their works. The efforts to enforce these new rights laws have resulted in highly publicized legal battles between established media, including major record labels and motion picture studios, and new upstart internet companies such as MP3.com and Napster.
Jessica Litman questions whether copyright laws crafted by lawyers and their lobbyists really make sense for the vast majority of us. Should every interaction between ordinary consumers and copyright-protected works be restricted by law? Is it practical to enforce such laws, or expect consumers to obey them? What are the effects of such laws on the exchange of information in a free society? Litman’s critique exposes the 1998 copyright law as an incoherent patchwork. She argues for reforms that reflect the way people actually behave in their daily digital interactions.
The Maize Books edition includes both an afterword written in 2006 exploring the rise of peer-to-peer file sharing and a new Postscript reflecting on the consequences of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as it nears its twentieth birthday.
Copyright is meant to do something—several things—to accomplish socially desirable ends. One of those ends is to create a space for a free exchange of ideas that allows us to build upon a universe of expression that came before. How can I tell if something is in the public domain? This is the central question addressed daily by the Copyright Review Management System (CRMS) project. It is a special question and one essential to the social bargain that society has struck with authors and rights holders.
It is also a deceptively simple question. There should be a straightforward answer, especially for books. It should be easy to know when something is—or is not—subject to copyright. And yet, in an age of absolute fluidity of media and medium, even plain old books can be highly complex embodiments of copyright. We need to make it easier to ascertain whether a work is in the public domain. If the rights of copyright holders are to be respected and valued as part of the social bargain, the public domain as a matter of copyright law should be ascertainable and enjoyed
Given this complexity, consider the determination of the copyright status of a given creative work as a design problem. How do we move the copyright status of works in the collections of our libraries, museums, and archives from confusion and uncertainty to clarity and opportunity? Working over a span of nearly eight years, the University of Michigan Library received three grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to generously fund CRMS, a cooperative effort by partner research libraries to identify books in the public domain in HathiTrust. The Toolkit is a resource that aims to allow others to understand and replicate the work done by CRMS.
In an age of digital technology and renewed anxiety about media piracy, Inherent Vice revisits the recent analog past with an eye-opening exploration of the aesthetic and legal innovations of home video. Analog videotape was introduced to consumers as a blank format, essentially as a bootleg technology, for recording television without permission. The studios initially resisted VCRs and began legal action to oppose their marketing. In turn, U.S. courts controversially reinterpreted copyright law to protect users’ right to record, while content owners eventually developed ways to exploit the video market. Lucas Hilderbrand shows how videotape and fair use offer essential lessons relevant to contemporary progressive media policy.
Videotape not only radically changed how audiences accessed the content they wanted and loved but also altered how they watched it. Hilderbrand develops an aesthetic theory of analog video, an “aesthetics of access” most boldly embodied by bootleg videos. He contends that the medium specificity of videotape becomes most apparent through repeated duplication, wear, and technical failure; video’s visible and audible degeneration signals its uses for legal transgressions and illicit pleasures. Bringing formal and cultural analysis into dialogue with industrial history and case law, Hilderbrand examines four decades of often overlooked histories of video recording, including the first network news archive, the underground circulation of Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, a feminist tape-sharing network, and the phenomenally popular website YouTube. This book reveals the creative uses of videotape that have made essential content more accessible and expanded our understanding of copyright law. It is a politically provocative, unabashedly nostalgic ode to analog.
Providing a sweeping millennium-plus history of the learned book in the West, John Willinsky puts current debates over intellectual property into context, asking what it is about learning that helped to create the concept even as it gave the products of knowledge a different legal and economic standing than other sorts of property.
Willinsky begins with Saint Jerome in the fifth century, then traces the evolution of reading, writing, and editing practices in monasteries, schools, universities, and among independent scholars through the medieval period and into the Renaissance. He delves into the influx of Islamic learning and the rediscovery of classical texts, the dissolution of the monasteries, and the founding of the Bodleian Library before finally arriving at John Locke, whose influential lobbying helped bring about the first copyright law, the Statute of Anne of 1710. Willinsky’s bravura tour through this history shows that learning gave rise to our idea of intellectual property while remaining distinct from, if not wholly uncompromised by, the commercial economy that this concept inspired, making it clear that today’s push for marketable intellectual property threatens the very nature of the quest for learning on which it rests.
This is the first empirical, mixed-methods study of copyright issues that speaks to writing specialists and legal scholars about the complicated intersections of rhetoric, technology, copyright law, and writing for the Internet. Martine Courant Rife opens up new conversations about how invention and copyright work together in the composing process for digital writers and how this relationship is central to contemporary issues in composition pedagogy and curriculum.
In this era of digital writing and publishing, composition and legal scholars have identified various problems with writers’ processes and the law’s construction of textual ownership, such as issues of appropriation, infringement, and fair use within academic and online contexts. Invention, Copyright, and Digital Writing unpacks digital writers’ complex perceptions of copyright, revealing how it influences what they choose to write and how it complicates their work. Rife uses quantitative and qualitative approaches and focuses on writing as a tool and a technology-mediated activity, arguing the copyright problem is about not law but invention and the attendant issues of authorship.
Looking at copyright and writing through a rhetorical lens, Rife leverages the tools and history of rhetoric to offer insights into how some of our most ancient concepts inform our understanding of the problems copyright law creates for writers. In this innovative study that will be of interest to professional and technical writers, scholars and students of writing and rhetoric, and legal professionals, Rife offers possibilities for future research, teaching, curriculum design, and public advocacy in regard to composition and changing copyright laws.
Laws of Creation
Ronald A. Cass Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress K1401.C375 2012 | Dewey Decimal 346.048
Cass and Hylton explain how technological advances strengthen the case for intellectual property laws, and argue convincingly that IP laws help create a wealthier, more successful, more innovative society than alternative legal systems. Ignoring the social value of IP rights and making what others create “free” would be a costly mistake indeed.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then it's a good bet that at least half of those words relate to the picture's copyright status. Art historians, artists, and anyone who wants to use the images of others will find themselves awash in byzantine legal terms, constantly evolving copyright law, varying interpretations by museums and estates, and despair over the complexity of the whole situation. Here, on a white—not a high—horse, Susan Bielstein offers her decades of experience as an editor working with illustrated books. In doing so, she unsnarls the threads of permissions that have ensnared scholars, critics, and artists for years.
Organized as a series of “takes” that range from short sidebars to extended discussions, Permissions, A Survival Guide explores intellectual property law as it pertains to visual imagery. How can you determine whether an artwork is copyrighted? How do you procure a high-quality reproduction of an image? What does “fair use” really mean? Is it ever legitimate to use the work of an artist without permission? Bielstein discusses the many uncertainties that plague writers who work with images in this highly visual age, and she does so based on her years navigating precisely these issues. As an editor who has hired a photographer to shoot an incredibly obscure work in the Italian mountains (a plan that backfired hilariously), who has tried to reason with artists' estates in languages she doesn't speak, and who has spent her time in the archival trenches, she offers a snappy and humane guide to this difficult terrain.
Filled with anecdotes, asides, and real courage, Permissions, A Survival Guide is a unique handbook that anyone working in the visual arts will find invaluable, if not indispensable.
Today, copyright is everywhere, surrounded by a thicket of no trespassing signs that mark creative work as private property. Caren Irr’s Pink Pirates asks how contemporary novelists—represented by Ursula Le Guin, Andrea Barrett, Kathy Acker, and Leslie Marmon Silko—have read those signs, arguing that for feminist writers in particular copyright often conjures up the persistent exclusion of women from ownership. Bringing together voices from law schools, courtrooms, and the writer's desk, Irr shows how some of the most inventive contemporary feminist novelists have reacted to this history.
Explaining the complex, three-century lineage of Anglo-American copyright law in clear, accessible terms and wrestling with some of copyright law's most deeply rooted assumptions, Irr sets the stage for a feminist reappraisal of the figure of the literary pirate in the late twentieth century—a figure outside the restrictive bounds of U.S. copyright statutes.
Going beyond her readings of contemporary women authors, Irr’s exhaustive history of how women have fared under intellectual property regimes speaks to broader political, social, and economic implications and engages digital-era excitement about the commons with the most utopian and materialist strains in feminist criticism.
The music industry’s ongoing battle against digital piracy is just the latest skirmish in a long conflict over who has the right to distribute music. Starting with music publishers’ efforts to stamp out bootleg compilations of lyric sheets in 1929, Barry Kernfeld’s Pop Song Piracy details nearly a century of disobedient music distribution from song sheets to MP3s.
In the 1940s and ’50s, Kernfeld reveals, song sheets were succeeded by fake books, unofficial volumes of melodies and lyrics for popular songs that were a key tool for musicians. Music publishers attempted to wipe out fake books, but after their efforts proved unsuccessful they published their own. Pop Song Piracy shows that this pattern of disobedience, prohibition, and assimilation recurred in each conflict over unauthorized music distribution, from European pirate radio stations to bootlegged live shows. Beneath this pattern, Kernfeld argues, there exists a complex give and take between distribution methods that merely copy existing songs (such as counterfeit CDs) and ones that transform songs into new products (such as file sharing). Ultimately, he contends, it was the music industry’s persistent lagging behind in creating innovative products that led to the very piracy it sought to eliminate.
In 1849—months before the term “confidence man” was coined to identify a New York crook—Thomas Powell (1809–1887), a spherical, monocled, English poetaster, dramatist, journalist, embezzler, and forger, landed in Manhattan. Powell in London had capped a career of grand theft and literary peccadilloes by feigning a suicide attempt and having himself committed to a madhouse, after which he fled England. He had been an intimate of William Wordsworth, Elizabeth Barrett, Robert Browning, Charles Dickens, and a crowd of lesser literary folk.
Thoughtfully bearing what he presented as a volume of Tennyson with a few trifling revisions in the hand of the poet, Powell was embraced by the slavishly Anglophile New York literary establishment, including a young Herman Melville. In two pot-boilers—The Living Authors of England (1849) and The Living Authors of America (1850)—Powell denounced the most revered American author, Washington Irving, for plagiarism; provoked Charles Dickens to vengeful trans-Atlantic outrage and then panic; and capped his insolence by identified Irving and Melville as the two worst “enemies of the American mind.” For almost four more decades he sniped at Dickens, put words in Melville’s mouth, and survived even the most conscientious efforts to expose him. Long fascinated by this incorrigible rogue, Hershel Parker in The Powell Papers uses a few familiar documents and a mass of freshly discovered material (including a devastating portrait of Powell in a serialized novel) to unfold a captivating tale of skullduggery through the words of great artists and then-admired journalists alike.
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 some permissions “i” proves undottable. Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi chart a clear path through the confusion by urging a robust embrace of a principle long-embedded in copyright law, but too often poorly understood—fair use. By challenging the widely held notion that current copyright law has become unworkable and obsolete in the era of digital technologies, Reclaiming Fair Use promises to reshape the debate in both scholarly circles and the creative community.
This indispensable guide distills the authors’ years of experience advising documentary filmmakers, English teachers, performing arts scholars, and other creative professionals into no-nonsense advice and practical examples for content producers. Reclaiming Fair Use begins by surveying the landscape of contemporary copyright law—and the dampening effect it can have on creativity—before laying out how the fair-use principle can be employed to avoid copyright violation. Finally, Aufderheide and Jaszi summarize their work with artists and professional groups to develop best practice documents for fair use and discuss fair use in an international context. Appendixes address common myths about fair use and provide a template for creating the reader’s own best practices. Reclaiming Fair Use will be essential reading for anyone concerned with the law, creativity, and the ever-broadening realm of new media.
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.
Who owns your genetic information? Might it be the doctors who, in the course of removing your spleen, decode a few cells and turn them into a patented product? In 1990 the Supreme Court of California said yes, marking another milestone on the information superhighway. This extraordinary case is one of the many that James Boyle takes up in Shamans, Software, and Spleens, a timely look at the infinitely tricky problems posed by the information society. Discussing topics ranging from blackmail and insider trading to artificial intelligence (with good-humored stops in microeconomics, intellectual property, and cultural studies along the way), Boyle has produced a work that can fairly be called the first social theory of the information age.
Now more than ever, information is power, and questions about who owns it, who controls it, and who gets to use it carry powerful implications. These are the questions Boyle explores in matters as diverse as autodialers and direct advertising, electronic bulletin boards and consumer databases, ethno-botany and indigenous pharmaceuticals, the right of publicity (why Johnny Carson owns the phrase "Here's Johnny!"), and the right to privacy (does J. D. Salinger "own" the letters he's sent?). Boyle finds that our ideas about intellectual property rights rest on the notion of the Romantic author--a notion that Boyle maintains is not only outmoded but actually counterproductive, restricting debate, slowing innovation, and widening the gap between rich and poor nations. What emerges from this lively discussion is a compelling argument for relaxing the initial protection of authors' works and expanding the concept of the fair use of information. For those with an interest in the legal, ethical, and economic ramifications of the dissemination of information--in short, for every member of the information society, willing or unwilling--this book makes a case that cannot be ignored.
What's Wrong with Copying?
Abraham Drassinower Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress K1447.15.D73 2015 | Dewey Decimal 346.0482
Abraham Drassinower presents a new way to balance the needs of creators and users of authored works. Disentangling copyright theory from its focus on the economic value of a work as a commodity, he views a work instead as a communicative act. Infringement, according to this perspective, is an unauthorized appropriation of another’s speech.
In the works and letters of his later years, Wilkie Collins continually expressed his displeasure over copyright violations. Wilkie Collins and Copyright: Artistic Ownership in the Age of the Borderless Word by Sundeep Bisla asks whether that discontent might not also have affected the composition of Collins’s major early works of the 1850s and 60s. Bisla’s investigation into this question, surprisingly, does not find an uncomplicated author uncomplicatedly launched on a defense of what he believes to be rightfully his. Instead, Bisla finds an author locked in fierce negotiation with the theoretical underpinnings of his medium, the written word, underpinnings best delineated by the twentieth-century deconstructionist Jacques Derrida. Collins’s discomfort with copyright violation comes to be in tension with his budding understanding of the paradoxical nature of the “iterability” of the word, a nature presenting itself as a conflict between the settling and breaking manifestations of linguistic repetition. In his efforts at resolving this paradox, Collins adopts a mechanism of recursive self-reflexivity through which each story reflects upon itself to a more fundamental extent than had its predecessor. This self-reflexive exploration has significant consequences for the author’s own iterability-menaced subjectivity, a striking example of which can be seen in the fact that the name being sought in Collins’s last masterpiece, The Moonstone, will end up being “MY OWN NAME” — in other words, “WILKIE COLLINS.”
Writing for Hire
Catherine L. Fisk Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress K1440.F57 2016 | Dewey Decimal 346.730482
Professional writers may earn a tidy living for their work, but they seldom own their writing. Catherine Fisk traces the history of labor relations that defined authorship in film, TV, and advertising in the mid-twentieth century, showing why strikingly different norms of attribution emerged in these overlapping industries.