Read Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity by Siva Vaidhyanathan Free Online
Book Title: Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity|
The author of the book: Siva Vaidhyanathan
Edition: New York University Press
Date of issue: August 1st 2001
ISBN 13: 9780814788349
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 19.94 MB
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Read full description of the books:
Copyright reflects far more than economic interests. Embedded within conflicts over royalties and infringement are cultural values--about race, class, access, ownership, free speech, and democracy--which influence how rights are determined and enforced. Questions of legitimacy--of what constitutes "intellectual property" or "fair use," and of how to locate a precise moment of cultural creation--have become enormously complicated in recent years, as advances in technology have exponentially increased the speed of cultural reproduction and dissemination.
In Copyrights and Copywrongs, Siva Vaidhyanathan tracks the history of American copyright law through the 20th century, from Mark Twain's vehement exhortations for "thick" copyright protection, to recent lawsuits regarding sampling in rap music and the "digital moment," exemplified by the rise of Napster and MP3 technology. He argues persuasively that in its current punitive, highly restrictive form, American copyright law hinders cultural production, thereby contributing to the poverty of civic culture.
In addition to choking cultural expression, recent copyright law, Vaidhyanathan argues, effectively sanctions biases against cultural traditions which differ from the Anglo-European model. In African-based cultures, borrowing from and building upon earlier cultural expressions is not considered a legal trespass, but a tribute. Rap and hip hop artists who practice such "borrowing" by sampling and mixing, however, have been sued for copyright violation and forced to pay substantial monetary damages. Similarly, the oral transmission of culture, which has a centuries-old tradition within African American culture, is complicated by current copyright laws. How, for example, can ownership of music, lyrics, or stories which have been passed down through generations be determined? Upon close examination, strict legal guidelines prove insensitive to the diverse forms of cultural expression prevalent in the United States, and reveal much about the racialized cultural values which permeate our system of laws. Ultimately, copyright is a necessary policy that should balance public and private interests but the recent rise of "intellectual property" as a concept have overthrown that balance. Copyright, Vaidhyanathan asserts, is policy, not property.
Bringing to light the republican principles behind original copyright laws as well as present-day imbalances and future possibilities for freer expression and artistic equity, this volume takes important strides towards unraveling the complex web of culture, law, race, and technology in today's global marketplace.
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Read information about the authorRobertson Family Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia.
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin.
B.A., University of Texas at Austin.
Siva Vaidhyanathan is a cultural historian and media scholar, and is currently a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. From 1999 through the summer of 2007 he worked in the Department of Culture and Communication at New York University. Vaidhyanathan is a frequent contributor on media and cultural issues in various periodicals including The Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Times Magazine, The Nation, and Salon.com, and he maintains a blog, www.googlizationofeverything.com. He is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio and to MSNBC.COM and has appeared in a segment of "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart. Vaidhyanathan is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities and the Institute for the Future of the Book.
In March 2002, Library Journal cited Vaidhyanathan among its "Movers & Shakers" in the library field. In the feature story, Vaidhyanathan lauded librarians for being "on the front lines of copyright battles" and for being "the custodians of our information and cultural commons." In November 2004 the Chronicle of Higher Education called Vaidhyanathan "one of academe's best-known scholars of intellectual property and its role in contemporary culture." He has testified as an expert before the U.S. Copyright Office on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.