Friday, November 7, 2014

The Copyright Wars by Peter Baldwin

This was a hard book to read. Hard is in, technically difficult, dense and rather dry. But, I think if you have an academic interest in copyright law, you may want to use this as a textbook.

It's hard to describe the book without giving a summary of what it's about, but I'll try. Basically, it's a historically look at how the Continent (Europe), Britain and America dealt with copyright law at various points in time. Generally, Europe has been all about the author and his/her rights, while the Anglophone countries have been more about the public. However, the Berne convention brought America more in line with Europe. The book ends with a look at how the internet is changing the way people view copyright today.

And hey look, it appears that I learnt something. So even though the book was very difficult for me to understand, it looks like enough got in for me to actually do a summary.

Oh, and to answer a class question. I was in a just-started class when my teacher asked me something that roughly translates to "So why didn't England join?". Unfortunately, I misheard and thought the question was "So why didn't you go to England" and made a reply. So, to salvage whatever dignity I had, the "actual" answer had to be decent. Thankfully, parts of this book was stuck in my head and I managed to give a good enough reason that didn't make the teacher sigh or shake his head.

I wouldn't really recommend this if you're new to copyright law. It's a bit dense, and if you have no idea about what it's about, this might scare you. But, if you're looking to dig deeper into copyright law, then you'd be interested in this book. It's tough, but it does contain a lot of information.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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