In this postscript, written to accompany the re-release of my book Digital Copyright under a CC-BY-ND Creative Commons License. Story time just got better with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers hand- picked children’s books every 1, 2, or 3 months — at 40% off List Price. : Digital Copyright: Protecting Intellectual Property on the Internet ( ): Jessica Litman: Books.

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Digital Copyright

This paperback edition includes an afterword that comments on recent developments, such as the end of the Napster story, the rise of peer-to-peer file sharing, the escalation of a full-fledged copyright war, the filing of lawsuits against thousands of individuals, and the June Supreme Court decision in the Grokster case. So Digital Copyrightby a law professor highly regarded in the area, is an important and timely publication.

There is also a nice separation between chapters dealing with basic ideas, which are largely relevant world-wide, and others covering the details of lawmaking, which could be skipped by those less interested in the US political process. In any event, public rights — to read and to cite, and to access public domain information within protected works — would need to be made explicit, perhaps along with a Berne convention approach to protecting authorial integrity.

Unsurprisingly, the DMCA failed to resolve the issues raised by new technologies.

The first imagines how we or a hypothetical benevolent despot might go about revising copyright law for the information age.

Litman’s analysis may be objective, but she is certainly not dispassionate — she states her own concerns up front: Protecting Intellectual Property on the Internet Copyright has changed from being a “bargain” between public and author to a “a system of economic incentives”. She argues for reforms that reflect common sense and the way people actually behave in their daily digital interactions.


Account Options Sign in. The efforts to enforce these new rights have resulted in highly publicized legal battles between established media and new upstarts.

Selected pages Title Page. Litman continues with an account of the “copyright wars” of the last few years — over mp3s, Napster, DeCSS, and various systems linking television and the Internet. Should every interaction between ordinary consumers and copyright-protected works be restricted by law? And the “civil disobedience” she describes — diigital using that term — is the unplanned disobedience of ordinary individuals, not the organised action of an activist cadre.

“Digital Copyright” by Jessica D. Litman

The answer is “no”: Digital Copyright Jessica Litman No preview available – Copyright has overtaken censorship as the hottest topic online, but it is often poorly understood — as Litman puts it, “copyright law questions can make delightful cocktail-party small talk, but copyright law answers tend to make eyes glaze over everywhere”.

Is it practical to enforce such laws, or expect consumers to obey them? And we risk limiting the potential of new forms — what Litman calls “unbooks” — if we insist on applying law designed for old ones. What are the effects of such laws on the exchange of information in a free society? The longest chapter, “Copyright and Compromise”, then recounts the history of copyright lawmaking from the beginning of the twentieth century down to the copyright statute.

Digital Copyright – Jessica Litman – Google Books

What are the effects of such laws on the exchange of information in a free society? Description Incopyright lobbyists succeeded in persuading Congress to enact laws greatly expanding copyright owners’ control over individuals’ private uses of their works. Litman law, Wayne State Univ. Litman also looks at the effects of changing metaphors. Copyright Law in the Digital Millennium.


Just Say Yes to Licensing. If we want to impose digitall same set of rules on film studios and high school jesaica, Litman argues that we need to pay some attention to how the latter think — and what they want. In the absence of a benevolent despot or an overhaul of the legislative process, Litman suggests that copyright stakeholders may eventually come around: But popular failure to understand copyright law is not new: And “fair use” privileges have been narrowed, but “piracy” expanded to include any unlicensed use, not just large-scale commercial duplication.

The Art of Making Copyright Laws. Fought over by vested interests, bounced between House and Senate and committees competing for jurisdiction, and even tied up with international treaties and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, this ended up “long, internally inconsistent, difficult even for copyright experts to parse and harder still to explain.

Of course, as the earlier chapters on lawmaking make clear, such an approach is unlikely. The last two chapters offer some suggestions for the future. Should every cigital between ordinary consumers and copyright-protected works be restricted copyrightt law?