Brand Name Bullies: The Quest to Own and Control Culture

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Wiley, Jan 17, 2005 - History - 320 pages
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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.

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Brand name bullies: the quest to own and control culture

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Society's growing mania to "propertize" every idea, image, sound and scent that impinges on our consciousness is ably dissected in this hilarious and appalling expose of intellectual property law ... Read full review


Use Only as Directed
The Crusade to Lock Up Music
Creativity and Captive Images
Appropriating the Peoples Culture
PART TWO Trademarking Public Life 4 Trademark Owners Whine No Making Fun of Me
The Corporate Privatization of Words
Property Rights in Public Image
Stifling Public Dialogue through Copyright
The DMCAs Attacks on Free Speech
PART FOUR Absurd New Frontiers of Control
The Quest for Perfect Control
Intellectual Property Goes Over the Top
Just Kidding or Dead Serious?
Reclaiming the Cultural Commons

PART THREE The Copyright Wars against an Open Society
The Theft of the Public Domain

About the author (2005)

DAVID BOLLIER has worked for twenty years as a journalist, activist, and public policy analyst. He is cofounder of Public Knowledge, a public interest advocacy organization dedicated to defending the information commons, as well as Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center, USC Annenberg School for Communication. His previous book was Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth.

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