Apple Updates — A Comic

sampleEver been utterly frustrated, made furious, by an Apple upgrade that made things worse?  This post is for you.  (With apologies to Randall Munroe.)

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Friday, November 7th, 2014 comic, Creative Commons, Culture Comments Off

Open Coursebook in Intellectual Property

Cover of Intellectual Property: Law & the Information Society and link to purchase at Amazon.comDuke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain is announcing the publication of Intellectual Property: Law & the Information Society—Cases and Materials by James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins. This book, the first in a series of Duke Open Coursebooks, is available for free download under a Creative Commons license. It can also be purchased in a glossy paperback print edition for $29.99, $130 cheaper than other intellectual property casebooks.

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 Creative Commons, Excerpts from our forthcoming Open Coursebook, Uncategorized Comments Off

So you’ve invented fantasy football, now what?

We are posting excerpts from our new coursebook Intellectual Property: Law and the Information Society which will be published in two weeks is out now! It will be is of course  freely downloadable, and sold in paper for about $135 less than other casebooks.  (And yes, it will include  discussions  of whether one should ever use the term “intellectual property.” )  The book is full of practice examples..  This is one from Chapter One, on the theories behind intellectual property: “What if you came up with the idea of Fantasy Football?”  No legal knowledge necessary.  Why don’t you test your argumentative abilities…? › read more

Saturday, August 16th, 2014 Creative Commons, Excerpts from our forthcoming Open Coursebook Comments Off

Free/Low Cost Intellectual Property Statutory Supplement

Today, we are proud to announce the publication of our 2014 Intellectual Property  Statutory Supplement as a freely downloadable Open Course Book. Statutes Cover  It offers the full text of the Federal Trademark, Copyright and Patent statutes (including edits detailing the changes made by the America Invents Act.)  It also has a number of important international treaties and a  chart which compares the various types of Federal intellectual property rights — their constitutional basis, subject matter, length, exceptions and so on.You can see it here in print, or download it for free, here› read more

Saturday, July 26th, 2014 Creative Commons, Excerpts from our forthcoming Open Coursebook Comments Off

Persnickety Snit

This is the fourth in a series of postings of material drawn from our forthcoming, Creative Commons licensed, open coursebook on Intellectual Property.  It is about lawyers and language.  › read more

Friday, July 25th, 2014 Excerpts from our forthcoming Open Coursebook Comments Off

Macaulay on Copyright

Macaulay’s 1841 speech to the House of Commons on copyright law is often cited and not much read.  In fact, the phrase “cite unseen” gains a new meaning.  That is a shame, because it is masterful.  (And funny.) One fascinating moment?  When Macaulay warns that copyright maximalism will lead to a future of rampant illegality, as all happily violate a law that is presumed to have lost all moral legitimacy.

At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot…  Remember too that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. The wholesome copyright which now exists will share in the disgrace and danger of the new copyright which you are about to create.

The legal change he thought would do that?  Extending copyright to the absurd length of life plus 50 years.  (It is now life plus 70).  Ah, Thomas, if only you could have been there for the Sonny Bono Term Extension debates.

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Thursday, July 24th, 2014 Excerpts from our forthcoming Open Coursebook Comments Off

Mark Twain on the Need for Perpetual Copyright

This is the second in a series of postings of material drawn from our forthcoming, Creative Commons licensed, open coursebook on Intellectual Property.  The first was Victor Hugo: Guardian of the Public Domain The book will be released in late August.

In 1906, Samuel Clemens (who we remember better by his pen name Mark Twain) addressed Congress on the reform of the Copyright Act.  Delicious. › read more

Saturday, July 19th, 2014 Excerpts from our forthcoming Open Coursebook Comments Off

Victor Hugo: Guardian of the Public Domain

Jennifer Jenkins and I are frantically working to put together a new open casebook on Intellectual Property Law.  (It will be available, in beta version, this Fall under a CC license, and freely downloadable in multiple formats of course.  Plus it should sell in paper form for about $130 less than the competing casebooks. The accompanying statutory supplement will be 1/5  the price of most statutory supplements — also freely downloadable.)  More about that later.  While assembling the materials for a casebook, one gets to revisit the archives, reread the great writers.  Today I was revisiting Victor Hugo.  Hugo was a fabulous — inspiring, passionate — proponent of the rights of authors, and the connection of those rights to free expression and free ideas. › read more

Friday, July 18th, 2014 Excerpts from our forthcoming Open Coursebook Comments Off

“We Need To Start Seeing Other Futures..”

Today is the second day of “Copyright Week!” Talk about a lede. That sentence has all the inherent excitement of “Periodontal Health Awareness Week” or “‘Hug Your Proctologist! No, After He’s Washed His Hands’ Week.” And that’s a shame. Copyright Week is a week devoted to our relationship with our own culture. Hint: things aren’t going well. The relationship is on the rocks. › read more

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 Uncategorized Comments Off

Discussion: “The Foolish War Against Song-Lyric Websites”

Professor Alex Sayf Cummings, author of a fascinating book called Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the 20th Century (recommended as a  thought-provoking read)  has an interesting  post up about attempts to shut down music lyric sites such as Rapgenius.com. › read more

Saturday, January 4th, 2014 Uncategorized Comments Off

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