Recent books reviewed

Although the introduction of a sui generis database right in European Union member states never turned out to be the New Dawn for investment in the information-based industries that the European Commission foolishly believed it might, the protection of databases remains a matter of concern and importance as much in the era of Web 2.0 as it did in the days when data was something stored in shoe-boxes and on-line was where you hung the washing. That's why The Legal Protection of Databases: a Comparative Analysis by Estelle Derclaye (Lecturer in Law, University of Nottingham) remains a more important book than ECJ jurisprudence might indicate.

What the publisher's blurb says:
"The protection of the investment made in collecting, verifying or presenting database contents is still not harmonised internationally. Some laws over-protect database contents, whilst others under-protect them. This book examines and compares several methods available for the protection of investment in database creation – namely, intellectual property, unfair competition, contract and technological protection measures – in order to find an adequate type and level of protection. To this effect, the author uses criteria based on a combination of the economics of information goods, the human rights to intellectual property and to information, and the public interest, proposing a model that can be adopted at international and national levels.

The Legal Protection of Databases will be of interest to intellectual property lawyers, competition lawyers, as well as general commercial lawyers because of the breadth of laws reviewed. It will also appeal to practitioners, policymakers, economists and students".
What the IPKat says: "Unlike many IP books published by Edward Elgar, which specialises in multi-authored works, this one is all written by Estelle herself. The fruit of this is that each chapter benefits from her ability to combine breadth of perspective with attention to detail. Although she freely confesses that this is the 'book of the thesis', it is plainly very much more than that: the book is a confident assertion of her mastery of both civil and common law thought as well as the subject's technical and commercial dimensions. Of particular interest is the tenth chapter, which deals with remedial steps to deal with both the over-protection and under-protection of database right, proposing a workable model which deserves more serious attention than it will probably receive".

Bibliographic data: xxviii + 362 pages. Hardback. ISBN 978 1 84720 133 1. Full price £85.00; price with online discount £76.50. Rupture factor: small. Book's webpage here.

Anything with the name 'Nimmer' on it attracts the attention of this member of the IPKat team, who sat at the feet of the late Melville B. Nimmer when learning his US copyright and enjoyed some tight games of Scrabble with his son David -- then a young and easy-going student, but now a toweringly authoritative voice in the field of American copyright law. Copyright Illuminated: Refocusing the Diffuse U.S Statute is David Nimmer 's latest offering.

What the publisher's blurb says:

"For several decades now David Nimmer has maintained a steady flow of insightful, witty, and deeply-informed commentary on copyright in the law journals. His well-earned reputation as a major authority and theorist on copyright law is unassailable.

In this new volume—a companion to his very well received Copyright: Sacred Text, Technology, and the DMCA, published by Kluwer in 2003—Nimmer once again tackles some of the thorniest issues that arise in the practice of copyright law, including the following and much more:

• the work for hire doctrine;
• repeat infringers;
• fair use determination; and
• substantial similarity of computer programs.

Although the volume collects articles originally published between 1988 and 2006 (mostly in the past few years), Nimmer has scrupulously updated the texts and woven them together into a unified whole. What the book offers as a result is a microscopic scrutiny of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 and all its amendments, with an immeasurable abundance of interpretation grounded in the author’s unmatched familiarity with the law and its application. This is a work that no lawyer handling copyright cases—or indeed no student or scholar of any branch of intellectual property law—will want to be without".

What the IPKat says: "For those who want to read David Nimmer's articles without the hassle and expense of subscribing to the periodicals for which he writes, and without going to the inconvenience of having to thumb the pages penned by others till he finds them, this is the perfect volume. Incidentally, Professor Nimmer is no mere copyright technician -- his footnotes reveal a cultured and intellectually curious polymath for whom US copyright legislation is a sort of prism through which philosophy, economics, literature and many other subjects are refracted. He also has a delightful sense of humour, which speed-readers and literalists may possibly miss. This is a great Christmas stocking-filler for the enthusiastic copyright lawyer".

Bibliographic data: xxiii + 571 pages. ISBNs 9041124942 , 13: 9789041124944. Hardcover. £123. Rupture factor: mild. Book's webpage here.

Every one of the first five volumes in Edward Elgar's New Directions In Copyright Law series has been warmly welcomed by the IPKat and this, the sixth edition, is no exception. Directed by Professor Fiona Macmillan (School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London), this series has turned regular thinking on copyright inside-out and upside-down, making it at once (i) an absurdly arbitrary and frequently illogical set of rules and (ii) a magnificently flexible catalyst for the protection, commercialisation, self-expression, transformation and consumption of a multitude of messages.

What the publisher's blurb says:

"This volume, and the series of which it is the final part, is structured around the six themes of the AHRC Network on New Directions in Copyright Law, which are: (1) Theoretical Framework of Copyright Law; (2) Globalisation, Convergence and Divergence; (3) Developments in Rights Neighbouring on Copyright; (4) Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Culture; (5) Copyright and the New Technologies; and (6) Copyright, Corporate Power and Human Rights. Accordingly, the volume addresses itself to all those with an interest in copyright, regardless of discipline".

What the IPKat says: "There's some great content in this volume. Paul Heald's "Property Rights and the Efficient Exploitation of Copyrighted Works: an Empirical Analysis of Public Domain and Copyrighted Fiction Best Sellers" -- though originally published in the Minnesota Law Review -- is one of the best, daring to suggest that the fact that books are in the public domain does not mean that they are commercially under-exploited. It's sad to think that this volume marks the end of the series; if there's sufficient demand, perhaps we'll see a sequel ...".

Bibliographic data: x + 388 pages. Hardback. ISBN 978 1 84542 265 3. Price £ 85 (with online discount £ 76.50). Rupture factor: mild. Book's webpage here.

Recent books reviewed Recent books reviewed Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 Rating: 5

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