Digital Copyright and the Consumer Revolution: Hands Off My IPod (Google eBook)

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Edward Elgar Publishing, Jan 1, 2007 - Law - 384 pages
2 Reviews
A very helpful and accessible collection of contemporary issues in digital copyright law. . . Rimmer s book is quite possibly the most enjoyable and easy to read guide to selected issues of digital copyright law on the market today. . . Its core strength is undoubtedly its accessibility it is a pleasure to read. Martin Arthur Kuppers, Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice Matthew Rimmer s book provides much needed insight into the current status of digital copyright and its relationship to the general purchasing public. . . This book, which has a structure that flows with concinnity and concision, makes it easy to navigate some of the most complicated and controversial issues. Lisa Wong, Osgoode Hall Law Journal This engaging account of US copyright law (and copyright wars) is thorough and informative. Following a comprehensive and compelling introduction, encompassing a literature review and outline of the methodology and arguments to be adopted. . . His deep understanding of the subject matter, as well as his profound empathy with consumers, are evident throughout the work; the book will, no doubt, foster a similar interest in another generation of copyright law scholars. Louise Buckingham, Copyright Reporter Digital Copyright and the Consumer Revolution is a very important and timely book. . . and is a crucial vade mecum on the ever evolving global maze of case law and copyright reform . Colin Steele, Australian Library Journal It will most definitely prove to be an indispensable tool for researchers concerned with recent legal developments in the copyright field, both in America and Australia. Rimmer s Hands Off My iPod is a comprehensive and detailed analysis of current problems facing copyright holders as the struggle (and often fumble) to find a balance between profiting off their property and keeping the newly-powerful, increasingly agile user happy. Adam Sulewski, Journal of High Technology Law Rimmer brings the tension between law and technology to life in this important and accessible work. Digital Copyright and the Consumer Revolution helps make sense of the global maze of caselaw and copyright reform that extend from San Francisco to Sydney. The book provides a terrific guide to the world s thorniest digital legal issues as Rimmer demonstrates how the consumer interest is frequently lost in the crossfire. Michael A. Geist, the Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-Commerce Law, the University of Ottawa, Canada This book documents and evaluates the growing consumer revolution against digital copyright law, and makes a unique theoretical contribution to the debate surrounding this issue. With a focus on recent US copyright law, the book charts the consumer rebellion against the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act 1998 (US) and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998 (US). The author explores the significance of key judicial rulings and considers legal controversies over new technologies, such as the iPod, TiVo, Sony Playstation II, Google Book Search, and peer-to-peer networks. The book also highlights cultural developments, such as the emergence of digital sampling and mash-ups, the construction of the BBC Creative Archive, and the evolution of the Creative Commons. Digital Copyright and the Consumer Revolution will be of prime interest to academics, law students and lawyers interested in the ramifications of copyright law, as well as policymakers given its focus upon recent legislative developments and reform proposals. The book will also appeal to librarians, information managers, creative artists, consumers, technology developers, and other users of copyright material.

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I found a copy of this book at the British Library in London and was totally blown away by it. Dr Rimmer writes a readable and, in parts, a gripping account of how the world has arrived in the copyright mess that it is in. Having been involved in trying to harmonise European copyright law in the early 1990s for the European Commission I can confirm the "polarity" of the debates and discussions.
I have two serious gripes with this work. First is that it does not cover Europe particularly well. This is not surprising given that the author is Australian and the book is clearly aimed at the US market. Dr Rimmer does not know of the machinations and political fixing which went on in Europe from the 1960s involving the copyright industries.
Second is the price at about £80. This is fine if the book is only to be in libraries of record and fancy law firm who can afford to buy anything and everything. But it's true readership should be scholars, students and the general public - so it needs to be priced for them at about one tenth of its current price. Maybe the publisher could be persuade to offer it digitally, or a student edition etc.
That said this book should be in every serious law library and available for loan. It is an important contribution to this key issue which is going to grow in importance over the years ahead.
Alistair Kelman - Barrister and Technologist


the copyright term and the public domain
timeshifting and spaceshifting
copyright law and peertopeer networks
copyright law digital sampling and mashups
copyright law and technological protection measures
copyright law and intermediary liability
search or destroy?
the creative commons and its discontents
a consumers manifesto the declaration of innovation independence

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About the author (2007)

Matthew Rimmer is a senior lecturer and associate director of research at the ANU College of Law, and an associate director of the Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture.

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