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Vol 23 No 3 March/April 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

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From Maimonides to Microsoft: The Jewish Law of Copyright Since the Birth of Print

ISBN13: 9780195371994
Published: April 2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £75.00
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780190868772

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Jewish copyright law is a rich body of copyright doctrine and jurisprudence that developed in parallel with Anglo-American and Continental European copyright laws and the printers' privileges that preceded them.

Jewish copyright law traces its origins to a dispute adjudicated in 1550, over 150 years before modern copyright law is typically said to have emerged with the Statute of Anne of 1709. It continues to be applied today, notably in a rabbinic ruling outlawing pirated software, issued at Microsoft's request.

In From Maimonides to Microsoft, Professors Netanel and Nimmer trace the development of Jewish copyright law by relaying the stories of five dramatic disputes, running from the sixteenth century to the present. They describe each dispute in its historical context and examine the rabbinic rulings that sought to resolve it.

Remarkably, these disputes address some of the same issues that animate copyright jurisprudence today: Is copyright a property right or a limited regulatory prerogative? What is copyright's rationale? What is its scope? How can copyright be enforced against an infringer who is beyond the applicable legal authority's reach? This book introduces copyright scholars, students, and practitioners to an entirely new narrative and body of copyright jurisprudence.

Presenting new material regarding the operation of the Jewish book trade and some of the leading disputes affecting it, Professors Netanel and Nimmer examine how copyright disputes arose from their respective historical contexts and, in turn, reverberated through Jewish life.

From Maimonides to Microsoft examines how one area of Jewish law has developed in historical context and how Jewish copyright law compares with its Anglo-American and Continental European counterparts.

Intellectual Property Law, Legal History
Note Regarding Translation and Transliteration
1. Introduction: Microsoft in Bnei Brak
2. From Privileges and Printers' Guilds to Copyright
3. Rabbinic Reprinting Bans: Between Ktav Da'at and Privilege
4. Maharam of Padua versus Giustiniani: Rival Editions of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah
5. Rabbinic Reprinting Bans Take Hold
6. From a Yiddish Bible to a German Prayer Book
7. Internecine Battles and the Slavuta Talmud
8. Moving Beyond Reprinting Bans: From Property to the Law of the Sovereign
9. The Present-Day Debate: Is Copyright Infringement "Stealing"?