The Changes Around Us

One of the things I have noticed over the past few years is how much easier the type of research I like to do is getting. No longer do I have to go to one of the massive university libraries; no longer do I have to wait for inter-library loan. No longer do I have … Continue reading The Changes Around Us

Constricting Art Through "Ownership"

In yesterday's New York Times, a lawyer named Michael Rips presented a piece entitled "Fair Use, Art, Swiss Cheese and Me" about the artist DavideSalle's use of a picture of him. He ends:It is David Salle and the artistic movement with which he is associated, and to which he has greatly contributed, that give value … Continue reading Constricting Art Through "Ownership"

Copyright Reversion

After enactment of the first copyright law in England in 1710 (the Statute of Anne), rights to works reverted to the author after a period of 14 years--if the author were alive. If not, the works entered the public domain. A living writer could renew copyright for an additional 14 years. Reversion to authorial control, … Continue reading Copyright Reversion

Perhaps It’s the Terms that Are the Culprits

An Australian musician named Dan Beazley has written a nice essay on music "piracy" that reminds me once again how we have allowed corporate copyright defenders define the debate over "intellectual property." Beazley writes:Music fans who colonise the world wide web have embraced the remixing, curative, collaborative and sharing capabilities of Web 2.0 Technologies. They are motivated … Continue reading Perhaps It’s the Terms that Are the Culprits

The ‘First Sale’ Conundrum and Intellectual Property

In its next term, the Supreme Court will take up the case Supap Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons where Kirtsaeng purchased Wiley textbooks at their low price in Thailand, shipped them to the US, and resold them. While I do think that Wiley is overstepping its copyright prerogatives (if they want to stop this sort … Continue reading The ‘First Sale’ Conundrum and Intellectual Property

Stealing a Copy?

In one of my chapters, "Intellectual Property in a Digital Age," of Robert Leston's and my book Beyond the Blogosphere: Information and Its Children, I write:The laws and economic models in use today do not reflect... changing realities of either IP [Intellectual Property] or of the possibilities of copying. At some point, in law at … Continue reading Stealing a Copy?

Theft of Intellectual Property: Defining the Debate

In his column "Steal This Column" in today's New York Times, Bill Keller quotes Sandra Day O'Connor on copyright and the Constitution (from a decision I also quote, in my chapter on Intellectual Property in Beyond the Blogosphere). The quote, though, deals with only one side of the question, protection of Intellectual Property through law … Continue reading Theft of Intellectual Property: Defining the Debate

SOPA and PIPA: Who Are the Pirates?

We forget, in our discussions of piracy of Intellectual Property, that those complaining loudest about piracy are pirates themselves.Or, at least, are the descendants of pirates, still profiting by the piracy of their ancestors.The initial patent and copyright laws in England, in the 17th and 18th centuries, allowed for "ownership" for a period of 14 … Continue reading SOPA and PIPA: Who Are the Pirates?

SOPA, PIPA, and the Strangling of Creativity

There's not much I want to add to this today, except to applaud those sites going black to draw attention to what happens when we constrict the commons, as we have been doing slowly over the past two centuries, expanding copyright protections and contracting just what one can do in terms of new creative work.The … Continue reading SOPA, PIPA, and the Strangling of Creativity