Book reviews

The second edition of Simon Smith's popular Image, Persona and the Law was published late last year by Sweet & Maxwell. Simon Smith, a Partner at London law firm Schillings, handles defamation, privacy, image endorsement, confidence and contract work.

The IPKat says, this is a book that is more designed for a front-to-back read than for reference purposes. The author, who is both knowledgeable and enthusiastic, rushes to engage the reader and to share with him his opinions and his experience, rather than adopt the somewhat detached and magisterial style of the traditional British law book.  Deploying some telling quotes from leading judges, he paints a picture of a set of rules which, while disparate and sometimes theoretically quite unrelated (for example passing off and data protection) create a cumulative image that reflects the strains and tensions of a society that is forever at odds with itself -- a society that reveres and values celebrity yet recognises that there should exist a point at which celebrity dissolves into the discreet anonymity of the individual, private persona.  All in all, it's a great read -- bright but not irreverent -- and surprisingly up-to-date.  Shame about the price, which is criminal.

Bibliographic details: hardback, xxv + 235 pages. ISBN: 9781847037893. Price £160. Rupture factor: insignificant. Publisher's web pages here (good page) and here (not so good page).

The third edition of Adrian Sterling's highly respected World Copyright Law, also published late last year, demonstrates the enduring and persistent excellence of its author's scholarship (Adrian is a long-term visiting professorial fellow of the Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute and one of its most prized assets). Says the publisher:
"World Copyright Law provides an authoritative and comparative analysis of copyright law and decided cases on a national, international and regional scale. Practitioners, academics and scholars will find that this comprehensive treatise provides essential resource and reference material".
The copy continues in the same vein.  As an enemy of all stock cliches the IPKat squirms at the sight of so many of the standard Sweet & Maxwell laudatory epithets being trotted out one after the other: authoritative, comprehensive, essential, expert, readable, lucid, insight ...  As a lover of the truth, he must concede that this is one book that justifies them all.  Although the Kat quite liked the first edition he wasn't particularly devoted to it and wondered whether it was just a first shot, a sort of "work in progress".  He liked the second edition a good deal more, and thinks this one better still.   And for what you get, the price isn't that bad either. As the law becomes more voluminous and unwieldy, World Copyright Law will no doubt gently drift from paper to the electronic format. Meanwhile, the Kat is happy enough with what he has.

Bibliographic data: cvi + 1678 pages. ISBN 978 1 847 03280 5. Hardback. Price: £255. Rupture factor: serious. Web page -- that's a problem, since attempts to search it on the publisher's website kept attracting "no result" responses.
Book reviews Book reviews Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, March 02, 2009 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review, as always I like your open honesty. I just tried to search for it on thier website using the title and found it first time. Granted it was 4th on the list of resuts. but I found it all the same.


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