Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (Fast Track Books)

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9780814788066: Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (Fast Track Books)

Copyright reflects far more than economic interests. Embedded within conflicts over royalties and infringement are cultural values—about race, class, access, ownership, free speech, and democracy—which influence how rights are determined and enforced. Questions of legitimacy—of what constitutes “intellectual property” or “fair use,” and of how to locate a precise moment of cultural creation—have become enormously complicated in recent years, as advances in technology have exponentially increased the speed of cultural reproduction and dissemination.

In Copyrights and Copywrongs, Siva Vaidhyanathan tracks the history of American copyright law through the 20th century, from Mark Twain’s vehement exhortations for “thick” copyright protection, to recent lawsuits regarding sampling in rap music and the “digital moment,” exemplified by the rise of Napster and MP3 technology. He argues persuasively that in its current punitive, highly restrictive form, American copyright law hinders cultural production, thereby contributing to the poverty of civic culture.

In addition to choking cultural expression, recent copyright law, Vaidhyanathan argues, effectively sanctions biases against cultural traditions which differ from the Anglo-European model. In African-based cultures, borrowing from and building upon earlier cultural expressions is not considered a legal trespass, but a tribute. Rap and hip hop artists who practice such “borrowing” by sampling and mixing, however, have been sued for copyright violation and forced to pay substantial monetary damages. Similarly, the oral transmission of culture, which has a centuries-old tradition within African American culture, is complicated by current copyright laws. How, for example, can ownership of music, lyrics, or stories which have been passed down through generations be determined? Upon close examination, strict legal guidelines prove insensitive to the diverse forms of cultural expression prevalent in the United States, and reveal much about the racialized cultural values which permeate our system of laws. Ultimately, copyright is a necessary policy that should balance public and private interests but the recent rise of “intellectual property” as a concept have overthrown that balance. Copyright, Vaidhyanathan asserts, is policy, not property.

Bringing to light the republican principles behind original copyright laws as well as present-day imbalances and future possibilities for freer expression and artistic equity, this volume takes important strides towards unraveling the complex web of culture, law, race, and technology in today's global marketplace.

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About the Author:

Siva Vaidhyanathan is the Robertson Family Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. His work has appeared on public radio, on CNN, BBC, and in publications such as The American Scholar, The Columbia Journalism Review, The Nation, The New York Times Magazine, Washington Post BookWorld, Fast Company, The Chronicle of Higher Education, BookForum, and Dissent.

From Publishers Weekly:

Vaidyanathan, a professor at the School of Information Studies of the University of Wisconsin and frequent NPR commentator, details the specious ideological evolution of copyright from a set of loose policies intended to encourage cultural expression into a form of property law (now codified in the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 2000) that functions as a seal on creative works. In prose remarkably free of legal and academic jargon, Vaidyanathan begins with a concise, well-paced history of copyright from the framing of the Constitution through the literary world of Mark Twain and the advent of music sampling. The book is surprisingly entertaining, as Vaidyanathan deftly weaves a wide array of episodes from popular culture into a cogent examination of both the creative process and the laws and commercial interests that process dovetails with, then closes with a synthesis and a stern warning for the digital age. Through a combination of copyright laws, contract law and technological controls, Vaidyanathan asserts that corporate control over the use of software, digital music, images, films, books and academic materials. But copyright law, he argues, was designed to be flexible, and this elasticity is essential for the cultural vibrancy and political balance of our democracy. The argument is compelling. In the age of Napster, digital piracy may be the cause c‚lŠbre, but this well-crafted and important book shows that there are graver concerns for the public in the entertainment industry's effort to tighten its grip on intellectual property. (Oct.)Forecast: Copyright used to be of interest only to a gaggle of Hollywood lawyers, but with the advent of technologies like Napster, it has become an issue of major importance to many more. This book is simply the best on the subject to date, and it should receive widespread attention. Random House is publishing a book on a similar subject by the Microsoft trial expert Lawrence Lessig in November, which will only further heighten interest.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Descripción New York University Press, United States, 2001. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Copyright reflects far more than economic interests. Embedded within conflicts over royalties and infringement are cultural values about race, class, access, ownership, free speech, and democracy-which influence how rights are determined and enforced. Questions of legitimacy-of what constitutes intellectual property or fair use, and of how to locate a precise moment of cultural creation-have become enormously complicated in recent years, as advances in technology have exponentially increased the speed of cultural reproduction and dissemination. In Copyrights and Copywrongs, Siva Vaidhyanathan tracks the history of American copyright law through the 20th century, from Mark Twain s vehement exhortations for thick copyright protection, to recent lawsuits regarding sampling in rap music and the digital moment, exemplified by the rise of Napster and MP3 technology. He argues persuasively that in its current punitive, highly restrictive form, American copyright law hinders cultural production, thereby contributing to the poverty of civic culture. In addition to choking cultural expression, recent copyright law, Vaidhyanathan argues, effectively sanctions biases against cultural traditions which differ from the Anglo-European model. In African-based cultures, borrowing from and building upon earlier cultural expressions is not considered a legal trespass, but a tribute. Rap and hip hop artists who practice such borrowing by sampling and mixing, however, have been sued for copyright violation and forced to pay substantial monetary damages. Similarly, the oral transmission of culture, which has a centuries-old tradition within African American culture, is complicated by current copyright laws. How, for example, can ownership of music, lyrics, or stories which have been passed down through generations be determined? Upon close examination, strict legal guidelines prove insensitive to the diverse forms of cultural expression prevalent in the United States, and reveal much about the racialized cultural values which permeate our system of laws. Ultimately, copyright is a necessary policy that should balance public and private interests but the recent rise of intellectual property as a concept have overthrown that balance. Copyright, Vaidhyanathan asserts, is policy, not property. Bringing to light the republican principles behind original copyright laws as well as present-day imbalances and future possibilities for freer expression and artistic equity, this volume takes important strides towards unraveling the complex web of culture, law, race, and technology in today s global marketplace. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780814788066

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Descripción New York University Press, United States, 2001. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Copyright reflects far more than economic interests. Embedded within conflicts over royalties and infringement are cultural values about race, class, access, ownership, free speech, and democracy-which influence how rights are determined and enforced. Questions of legitimacy-of what constitutes intellectual property or fair use, and of how to locate a precise moment of cultural creation-have become enormously complicated in recent years, as advances in technology have exponentially increased the speed of cultural reproduction and dissemination. In Copyrights and Copywrongs, Siva Vaidhyanathan tracks the history of American copyright law through the 20th century, from Mark Twain s vehement exhortations for thick copyright protection, to recent lawsuits regarding sampling in rap music and the digital moment, exemplified by the rise of Napster and MP3 technology. He argues persuasively that in its current punitive, highly restrictive form, American copyright law hinders cultural production, thereby contributing to the poverty of civic culture. In addition to choking cultural expression, recent copyright law, Vaidhyanathan argues, effectively sanctions biases against cultural traditions which differ from the Anglo-European model. In African-based cultures, borrowing from and building upon earlier cultural expressions is not considered a legal trespass, but a tribute. Rap and hip hop artists who practice such borrowing by sampling and mixing, however, have been sued for copyright violation and forced to pay substantial monetary damages. Similarly, the oral transmission of culture, which has a centuries-old tradition within African American culture, is complicated by current copyright laws. How, for example, can ownership of music, lyrics, or stories which have been passed down through generations be determined? Upon close examination, strict legal guidelines prove insensitive to the diverse forms of cultural expression prevalent in the United States, and reveal much about the racialized cultural values which permeate our system of laws. Ultimately, copyright is a necessary policy that should balance public and private interests but the recent rise of intellectual property as a concept have overthrown that balance. Copyright, Vaidhyanathan asserts, is policy, not property. Bringing to light the republican principles behind original copyright laws as well as present-day imbalances and future possibilities for freer expression and artistic equity, this volume takes important strides towards unraveling the complex web of culture, law, race, and technology in today s global marketplace. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780814788066

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