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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

Cover of Goode on Commercial Law

Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Hollywood's Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet

ISBN13: 9780231159470
Published: September 2013
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Paperback
Price: £18.00

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Copyright law is important to every stage of media production and reception. It helps determine filmmakers' artistic decisions, Hollywood's corporate structure, and the varieties of media consumption.

The rise of digital media and the internet has only expanded copyright's reach. Everyone from producers and sceenwriters to amateur video makers, file sharers, and internet entrepreneurs has a stake in the history and future of piracy, copy protection, and the public domain.

Beginning with Thomas Edison's aggressive copyright disputes and concluding with recent lawsuits against YouTube, Hollywood's Copyright Wars follows the struggle of the film, television, and digital media industries to influence and adapt to copyright law. Many of Hollywood's most valued treasures, from Modern Times (1936) to Star Wars (1977), cannot be fully understood without appreciating their legal controversies.

Peter Decherney shows that the history of intellectual property in Hollywood has not always mirrored the evolution of the law. Many landmark decisions have barely changed the industry's behavior, while some quieter policies have had revolutionary effects. His most remarkable contributions uncover Hollywood's reliance on self-regulation. Rather than involve congress, judges, or juries in settling copyright disputes, studio heads and filmmakers have often kept such arguments "in house," turning to talent guilds and other groups for solutions.

Whether the issue has been battling piracy in the 1900s, controlling the threat of home video, or managing modern amateur and noncommercial uses of protected content, much of Hollywood's engagement with the law has occurred offstage, in the larger theater of copyright. Decherney's unique history recounts these extralegal solutions and their impact on American media and culture.

Intellectual Property Law, Internet Law, Media and Entertainment Law
List of Illustrations
Introduction: The Theater of Copyright
1. Piracy and the Birth of Film
2. Hollywood's Golden Age of Plagiarism
3. Auteurism on Trial: Moral Rights and Films on Television
4. Hollywood's Guerrilla War: Fair Use and Home Video
5. Digital Hollywood: Too Much Control and Too Much Freedom
Conclusion: The Copyright Reform Movement