Friday, June 05, 2009

Book: The Illustrated Story of Copyright

There is a possibility that I'll be teaching a copyright course next spring. Although I know a lot about copyright, I know that I need to do more reading and have more information stuffed into my brain on the topic. While browsing in a used bookstore, I came across The Illustrated Story of Copyright by Edward Samuels. This book is out-of-print, but used copies are available and likely available through your library via interlibrary loan. (The hardbound copy originally sold for $40, which makes some of the used prices quite interesting.) If you are okay with an electronic copy, Samuels has actually placed the entire book online for free.

Published in 2000, this book is divided into two parts:
  • Copyright and Technology
  • Copyright Basics
Samuels, who is a law professor, who wrote the book so that you don't have to read the book cover-to-cover. In the introduction, he notes that some may want to read part one first, while others may want to start with part two, depending on the person's focus. He also included many cross-references within the book which "serve as 'hyperlinks' to the parts of the book that discuss other materials." (p. 7) His illustrations (photos) and ability to write so that it doesn't sound like a law book really attracted me. This is indeed a book that I'll be able to curl up with on the porch and enjoy learning from it.

If you're like me, then you have a few questions about the publication date. Yes, it includes information on Sono Bono Copyright Term Extension Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It does not include information on the TEACH Act which became law in 2002. Since this is not the only textbook I'll be using, that omission is not a problem for me.

So I have part of my summer reading in hand, but I know this isn't the only book I'll be devouring...

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