An impassioned, darkly amusing look at how corporations misuse copyright law to stifle creativity and free speech
If you want to make fun of Mickey or Barbie on your Web site, you may be hearing from some corporate lawyers. You should also think twice about calling something “fair and balanced” or publicly using Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I Have a Dream” speech. It may be illegal. Or it may be entirely legal, but the distinction doesn't matter if you can't afford a lawyer. More and more, corporations are grabbing and asserting rights over every idea and creation in our world, regardless of the law's intent or the public interest. But beyond the humorous absurdity of all this, there lies a darker problem, as David Bollier shows in this important new book. Lawsuits and legal bullying clearly prevent the creation of legitimate new software, new art and music, new literature, new businesses, and worst of all, new scientific and medical research.
David Bollier (Amherst, MA) is cofounder of Public Knowledge and Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center, USC Annenberg School for Communication. His books include Silent Theft.