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Written on the occasion of copyrightís 300th anniversary, John Tehranianís Infringement Nation presents an engaging, witty and accessible analysis of the history and evolution of copyright law and its profound impact on the lives of ordinary individuals in the twenty-first century. Organized around the trope of the individual in five different copyright-related contexts - as an infringer, transformer, consumer, creator and reformer - the book charts the changing contours of our copyright regime and assesses its vitality in the digital age.† In the process, Tehranian questions some of our most basic assumptions about copyright law.†

 

Drawing both upon theory and the authorís background litigating high-profile copyright suits, the book highlights the unseemly amount of infringement liability an average person rings up in a single day, the counterintuitive role of the fair use doctrine in radically expanding the copyright monopoly, the important expressive interests at play in even the unauthorized use of copyright works, the surprisingly low level of protection that American copyright law grants many creators, and the broader political import of copyright law on social regulation and control.†

 

Tehranian supports his arguments with a rich array of examples - from the unusual origins of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit, the question of numeracy among Amazonian hunter-gatherers, the history of stand-offs at papal nunciatures, and the tradition of judicial plagiarism to contemplations on Slash's criminal record, music as a form of torture, Captain Kirk's reincarnation and Holden Caulfield's maturation. In the end, Infringement Nation makes a sophisticated and lucid case for reform of existing doctrine and the development of a copyright 2.0.

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Infringment Nation

Oxford University Press, 2011

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© 2010 john tehranian