A broad introduction to the changing roles of intellectual property within society
Intellectual property is one of the most confusing—and widely used—dimensions of the law. By granting exclusive rights to publish, manufacture, copy, or distribute information and technology, IP laws shape our cultures, our industries, and our politics in countless ways, with consequences for everyone, including artists, inventors, entrepreneurs, and citizens at large. In this engaging, accessible study, Aram Sinnreich uncovers what’s behind current debates and what the future holds for copyrights, patents, and trademarks.
About the Author
Aram Sinnreich is associate professor and chair of communication studies at American University. His previous publications include The Piracy Crusade and Mashed Up.
“This book is impressively broad in its inclusion of the various social institutions and dynamics that shape intellectual property and its controversies.”—Larisa Kingston Mann, Temple University
"Aram has brilliantly broken down all the germane issues of this very important topic—all in one compact volume. Highly recommended for anyone looking to get to the heart of what this is all about."—Pete Ganbarg, President, A&R, Atlantic Records
"Sinnreich masterfully—and entertainingly—shows that copyright, trademark, and patent policies aren’t just for the lawyers, but matter for the future of culture, trade, international relations, technological innovation and, of course, the quality of memes."—Patricia Aufderheide, author of Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright
"Aram Sinnreich has given us one of the best tools to analyze the dizzyingly intricate world of copyright law as applied to well... everything. The Essential Guide to Intellectual Property reveals the underlying complexity of how intellectual property issues underline all major issues of our digital era. It offers a critical intervention for our hyper-complex 21st Century data driven world. Incisive and illuminating."—Paul D. Miller, a.k.a. DJ Spooky
“The goal of any introduction should be to offer sufficient information to help readers understand the nature of a topic and sufficient insight to make readers want to find out more. Written in a lively and informal style, Sinnreich’s The Essential Guide to Intellectual Property achieves both goals. Anyone embarking on the study of IP, and in particular copyright, would do well starting here.”—Lionel Bently, University of Cambridge