Monday, October 8, 2012

Graphic Book Offers Great Primer on Copyright and Fair Use

While doing some recent research, I stumbled on a graphic book -- a comic book, if you like -- that is one of the best short primers I've found on the law of copyright and fair use.

Bound by Law: Tales from the Public Domain looks like a comic book, or maybe more accurately, a graphic novel.  But don't let its for fool you.  This is maybe the best short-hand treatment of the law of copyright and fair use that I've come across. Sit down with this paperback and 40 minutes later you will have a pretty good foundation on laws that are essential to writers and other creative artists.

The book is written and illustrated by Keith Aoki, James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins, and was published by Duke University Press in 2008.  It features a foreword by Davis Guggenheim, Academy Award winning director of "An Inconvenient Truth," with a very insightful introduction by Cory Doctorow, award winning Sci-Fi writer & co-editor of Boing Boing website.   

The book is geared toward documentary film makers, but the approach and content is equally useful for writers as it is for film makers.  If you feel at a loss about your intellectual property rights, or your right to use or comment on the works of others, this is a great place to start.

Bound by Law is available on Amazon in a new expanded Fifth Edition.  To view the book on Amazon, click here.

*Image by by Keith Aoki, James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins, used pursuant to Creative Commons non-commercial use license.

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