Some copyright books, Part II

Copyright Enforcement on the Internet, a collection of essays edited by Irini Stamatoudi, is the latest in the excellent Information Law Series which Bernt Hugenholtz edits for Wolters Kluwer Law & Business. Given the current degree of interest in enforcing copyright online, as well as the huge evidential, jurisdictional and financial problems facing anyone who seeks to do so, it is no surprise that authors and publishers are united in their determination to produce saleable titles that address these issues. It also seems to this Kat that, where there are few or no reliable practitioners' manuals, even the most hardened and cynical of practitioners are more than happy to turn to a well-presented argument by an academician.  This book will undoubtedly be of use to them.  According to the publishers:
"Although copyright enforcement has always been a controversial issue, it took the advent of the Internet to raise a fundamental challenge to its very raison d’être. Legislative activity in this area during recent years clearly demonstrates the extent to which enforcement has been brought to the forefront of attention, as owners of copyrights find themselves trying to supersede the limitations of law in order to respond effectively to the reproductive power of new technologies. This timely collection of essays by European and international authorities in the field of copyright law presents a variety of valuable perspectives on the multitude of issues arising in respect of copyright enforcement on the Internet, including the following:
  • the collection of evidence for allegation of infringement;
  • identifying the infringer;
  • jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments;
  • liability of Internet service providers;
  • balancing copyright, data protection, and privacy;
  • considerations of social policy and human rights;
  • cost and efficiency of data availability on the Internet;
  • exchanges of information and mutual assistance among enforcement authorities;
  • criminal liability on the Internet;
  • combating piracy in the digital environment; and
  • prospects for a common regulatory framework. 
Most of the existing European Union and international policies are considered in some depth, and the authors also discuss a variety of national laws and initiatives, technical measures, and the soft law and hard law models that have been proposed. In the years to come, as more and more lawyers are confronted with issues involving copyright enforcement on the Internet, this book’s value as a springboard to the informed future development of this area of legal theory and practice will become more evident. For this reason, as well as for its richly detailed treatment of trends and current reality in the field, it is sure to be read and put to good use by business people, international lawyers, government officials, and interested academics in all parts of the world"
The IPKat wishes that this excellent book (and indeed all collections of essays) had an inter-chapter list of citations of treaties, statutes, conventions, cases etc so that there was a handy way (i) to find them in the first place and (ii) to see whether two or more authors, in their respective chapters, have cited or analysed the same sources.  He appreciates that this takes labour, but isn't that what computers are for?

Bibliographical data: hardback, xviii + 351 pages. ISBN 904 113 346 1; ISBN 13: 978 904113 346 5. Price $182.  Rupture factor: moderate (but the pointy corners are quite sharp). Web page here.

Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights (second edition), edited by the eminent scholar Daniel Gervais (Vanderbilt University Law School), is also published by Wolters Kluwer, though not as part of its Information Law Series.  This Kat has found it difficult to focus on Gervais the Copyright Man rather than on Gervais the TRIPS Commentator since the Daniel Gervais brand is so closely associated in his mind with the patient embroidery of loose threads that constitute the bits leading up to and following on from TRIPS, as well as with the careful, close analysis of the TRIPS text itself.  It's a bit like watching a John Wayne movie in which the late JW, far removed from his military heroics, is playing the role of a bespectacled bank clerk.

Wolters Kluwer presumably has no such trouble, and indeed it is good to see that Daniel Gervais is (as this Kat already knew in his heart of hearts) a lot more than a one-trick pony.  While he doesn't play all the instruments in the orchestra, he certainly knows how to conduct it, since he has fused a number of distinguished soloists into a pretty useful band.

What's the book about? The title's a bit of a giveaway, but the publishers still have this to say:
"In the course of the last decade, collective management organizations (CMOs) have become the nerve centres of copyright licensing in virtually every country. Their expertise and knowledge of copyright law and management have proven essential to make copyright work in the digital age. This book, an extensively revised and updated edition of the only major work on the legal status of CMOs, offers an in-depth analysis of the various operating CMO models, their rights and obligations vis-à-vis both users and members, acquisition of legal authority to license, and (most important) the rights to license digital uses of protected material and build (or improve current) information systems to deal with ever more complex rights management and licensing tasks. All the chapters have been updated since the 2005 edition, and a new chapter on multiterritorial licensing has been added. Factors considered include the following:
• role of ‘families’ such as the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) and the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO);
• cases where the unavailability of adequate licensing options makes authorized use impossible;
• growing importance of extended repertoire systems (also known as extended collective licensing);
• relationship among collective management, rights to remuneration, and the ways in which CMOs acquire authority to license;
• transnational licensing and the possible role of multi-territorial licensing; and
• threat of monopolies or regional oligopolies for the management of online music rights.
Legal underpinnings covered in the course of the analysis include the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaties, the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Napster case, the Santiago Agreement, relevant EU Papers and the Copyright Directive, and work done by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. 
... Whatever the future of copyright holds, it is clear that users will continue to want access and the ability to reuse material lawfully, and authors and other rightsholders will want to ensure that they can put some reasonable limits on those uses. CMOs are sure to be critical intermediaries in this process. The second edition of this important resource, with its key insights into the changing nature of collective management, will be of immeasurable value to all concerned with shaping policy towards collective management or working with the ever more complex legal issues arising in digital age copyright matters".
The subject is an important one and this review still believes that collective management and/or online metrics for pay-per-use and pay-per-access are the most promising means of keeping copyright owners fed for foreseeable future.  The price reflects the fact that many organisations which manage rights will be obliged to buy it -- and they will not be disappointed, unless they like writing notes on the margins of the printed page, in which case they had better shrink their handwriting.

Biblographic data: hardback: xxii + 495 pages.  ISBN 9041127240, ISBN 13: 978 904112 724 2. Price $257.  Rupture factor: moderate. Web page here.
Some copyright books, Part II Some copyright books, Part II Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, April 15, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. Jeremy,

    Rupture factor: moderate (but the pointy corners are quite sharp)

    Can you explain what you mean by "rupture factor"? I initially thought that this expression referred to the risk of a title being unavailable, i.e., something akin to the French «item en rupture de stock», meaning "item sold out".

    The mention of pointy corners makes me believe I was mistaken.

  2. The rupture factor is the extent to which you'll do yourself an injury when trying to lift the book. This feature was added after the IPKat was sent a series of very heavy tomes.

    Recently the books have become lighter, but a fresh source of injury is damage to one's foot when dropping a sharp-cornered tome on to it.


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