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Copyfraud and Other Abuses of Intellectual…

Copyfraud and Other Abuses of Intellectual Property Law

by Jason Mazzone

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I picked this up from the library as a bit of light reading. Ever since taking an intellectual property class in my program I have been really interested in it. When I saw this book I knew that it would be something I would want to read. I thought this book would be about all intellectual property but the author really focuses on copyright mostly with some mention of trademarks and barely anything about patents.

The author does a great job of explaining copyright and trademarks. I also feel that he explained fair use (which he is constantly mentioning) and public domain works well. He does seem to harp on fair use and public domain a lot. I do agree with him that fair use is being eroded and that the public domain is not being protected.

While I agree with him that content providers, publishers, archives, museums and the like are over-expanding their copyright and trademark rights I don't quite agree with his solutions. He seems a bit naive when he talks about his solutions. Creating a new agency just to deal with fair use or having a private attorney general, those won't be abused, right?? He does acknowledge that the private attorney general idea could be abused by unsavory lawyers but I don't think his measures to stop the abuse were harsh enough. I have to give him credit for actually coming up with some solutions when many are just ignoring the problem.

I would recommend this book to people wanting to learn more about copyright law and the problems we are having with it. ( )
  dpappas | Oct 21, 2013 |
Another book about intellectual property owners’ overreaching, with a chapter on trademark but mostly about copyright claims—claims to own public domain works, claims that there’s no such thing as fair use, contracts that deny fair use rights, and so on. Mazzone suggests administrative solutions—have an agency make rules for what’s fair use, and overriding private agreements to the contrary. I’m not a fan of agency determinations; I don’t think they’d solve the basic problem of resource disparities and intimidation, but I do like the idea of imposing public policy limits on corporations, and making it easier to recover damages from someone who wrongly asserts copyright claims over a public domain work or a fair use. But unfortunately, the law is moving further away from that—Congress recently amended the patent law to make it harder to recover against false patent claims, and it’s all we can do to beat back increases in copyright protection. Changing norms may be our only feasible defense in the US, though matters are potentially more balanced elsewhere. ( )
  rivkat | Jun 1, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804760063, Hardcover)

Intellectual property law in the United States is on the verge of breakdown and needs to be reformed--but, according to law professor Jason Mazzone, the author of Copyfraud and Other Abuses of Intellectual Property Law, not for the reasons given by most critics.  Most Americans are familiar with the problems of illicit downloading and stolen software. But in this compulsively readable book, Mazzone argues that these familiar problems mask a greater threat to creativity and commerce--the ever-growing overreaching by publishers, producers, artists and corporations that claim stronger ownership rights than the law gives them.  

 As Mazzone argues, something is wrong in a society where:

·      Comics can be sued for making fun of Barbie
·      The Hells Angels stop production of Hollywood movies by charging misappropriation of images
·      Major League Baseball announces it can stop any human being from even describing a baseball game
·      Starbucks convinces customers that they don't have the right to take photos in coffee shops
·      Electronic book and music distributors are stripping away the entire idea of ownership
·      Universities spend millions of dollars each year requesting permission to reproduce public domain works by long dead authors.

Mazzone shows how growing abuse of intellectual property law has been abetted by confusion, unclear legal standards, outmoded law and economic bullying--and he illustrates the pervasive cost of these abuses.  Finally, he introduces specific measures by which we can cure these problems.

Erudite, surprising and accessible, Copyfraud and Other Abuses of Intellectual Property Law is a breakthrough title that will change forever how we look at creativity, law and commerce.  

ISBN: 9780804760065

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:23 -0400)

"Intellectual property law in the United States does not work well and it needs to be reformed--but not for the reasons given by most critics. The issue is not that intellectual property rights are too easily obtained, too broad in scope, and too long in duration. Rather, the primary problem is overreaching by publishers, producers, artists, and others who abuse intellectual property law by claiming stronger rights than the law actually gives them. From copyfraud--like phony copyright notices attached to the U.S. Constitution--to lawsuits designed to prevent people from poking fun at Barbie, from controversies over digital sampling in hip-hop to Major League Baseball's ubiquitous restriction on sharing any 'accounts and descriptions of this game,' overreaching claims of intellectual property rights are everywhere. Overreaching interferes with legitimate uses and reproduction of a wide variety of works, imposes enormous social and economic costs, and ultimately undermines creative endeavors. As this book reveals, the solution is not to change the scope or content of intellectual property rights, but to create mechanisms to prevent people asserting rights beyond those they legitimately possess. While there are many other books on intellectual property, this is the first to examine overreaching as a distinct problem and to show how to solve it. Jason Mazzone makes a series of timely proposals by which government, organizations, and ordinary people can stand up to creators and content providers when they seek to grab more than the law gives them"--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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