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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

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Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Infringement Nation: Copyright 2.0 and You

ISBN13: 9780199733170
Published: March 2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press USA
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Hardback
Price: £39.99

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Written on the occasion of copyright's 300th anniversary, John Tehranian's Infringement Nation presents an engaging and accessible analysis of the history and evolution of copyright law and its profound impact on the lives of ordinary individuals in the twenty-first century.

Organized around the trope of the individual in five different copyright-related contexts - as an infringer, transformer, pure user, creator and reformer - the book charts the changing contours of our copyright regime and assesses its vitality in the digital age.

In the process, Tehranian questions some of our most basic assumptions about copyright law by highlighting the unseemly amount of infringement liability an average person rings up in a single day, the counterintuitive role of the fair use doctrine in radically expanding the copyright monopoly, the important expressive interests at play in even the unauthorized use of copyright works, the surprisingly low level of protection that American copyright law grants many creators, and the broader political import of copyright law on the exertion of social regulation and control.

Drawing upon both theory and the author's own experiences representing clients in various high-profile copyright infringement suits, Tehranian supports his arguments with a rich array of diverse examples crossing various subject matters:-

  • from the unusual origins of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit,"
  • the question of numeracy among Amazonian hunter-gatherers,
  • the history of stand-offs at papal nunciatures,
  • and the tradition of judicial plagiarism to contemplations on Slash's criminal record,
  • Barbie's retroussé nose,
  • the poisonous tomato,
  • flag burning,
  • music as a form of torture,
  • the smell of rotting film,
  • William Shakespeare as a man of the people,
  • Charles Dickens as a lobbyist,
  • Ashley Wilkes's sexual orientation,
  • Captain Kirk's reincarnation,
  • and Holden Caulfield's maturation.
In the end, Infringement Nation makes a sophisticated yet lucid case for reform of existing doctrine and the development of a copyright 2.0