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Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity

Customer Reviews:

highly recommended

By A Customer - May 8, 2002

I really enjoyed this book, not least because I am an academic and feel quite strongly about the importance of access to information. The public's rights to fair use of material for research, teaching, criticism, etc. are being infringed upon or ignored, and Vaidhyanathan does a fine job of explaining where those rights came from, how they have changed over the past hundred years or so, and the reasons why they are now in danger. Many current ideas about intellectual property do indeed threaten creativity. I enjoyed particularly the section on sampling in rap music, as well as the author's discussion of current efforts by large companies and organizations to exact payment for viewing any and all "content" (including scientific information, news, and other data that should not fall under copyright). Vaidhyanathan's discussion of the history of copyright law before the twentieth century was not as good as the rest of his analysis; I thought that the English precidents in the eighteenth... read more

Entertaining and Informative

By Andrew - September 19, 2002

I read this book as part of my research for a paper on the history of copyright policy. I found Vaidhyanathan to be both well-informed and a good writer. Unlike many resources on this topic, Copyrights and Copywrongs was quite interesting to read. Vaidhyanathan's book is both insightful and entertaining. If you've ever wondered how in the world something like Copyright policy could be interesting or relevant, you should pick up this book. Once you do, you'll almost certainly keep reading until you've reached the end. If you want to learn about the history of Copyright policy and how it affects you, you should definitely read this book. ... read more

Siva makes this tough subject understandable. Kudos!

By R. Shaff "Velocipede" - November 22, 2001

Siva Vaidyanathan had translated a sometimes incredibly misunderstood concept/subject into a reasonably understandable story. And, even more incredibly, it was written by a non-attorney (Siva is a professor at the U. of Wisconsin, School of Information Studies). "Copyrights and Copywrongs" covers the history and bastardization of American copyright law. Siva attempts to make relatively simple suggestions for fixing our complex, arcane system of protecting intellectual property rights. Siva begins his "story" recounting in incredibly understandable terms, the history of the copyright ranging from the framing of the U.S. Constitution, the rights afforded musicians (recently challenged by the likes of ...) and of course, literary and digital works. Siva does not concentrate on the theoretical nature of this quagmire rather, he examines the issues as it relates to current issues and events making the content interesting and readable. He argues, very persuasively, that the current... read more

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