Something else to read: International Copyright (2nd edn)

Back in 2000, the first edition of Prof Paul Goldstein’s (Stanford) famous work International Copyright: Principles, Law and Practice was ground-breaking for providing a complete analysis of copyright worldwide. The text was well-structured, knowledgeable, accessible, and covered not only national laws, but international treaties and their practical application.

In the previous decade enormous changes have taken place to the law of copyright, such as the development of the internet and digital technology, which have (not surprisingly) necessitated a thorough revision of the work.This Kat notes that there are three main differences between the two editions. First, Prof Goldstein has brought Prof P Bernt Hugenholtz (Amsterdam) on board as a co-author in order for this edition to have a more expansive treatment of copyright in the European Union and its member states. Second, this edition contains updates on the case law and legislation in the principle jurisdictions of the United States, France Germany and the United Kingdom. Comparisons with other jurisdictions, such as Australia, Canada and The Netherlands are included when they make a useful contribution to the existing discussion. Third, this edition adopts a new format of twelve chapters instead of five together with an extensive bibliography in order to make the work even more accessible to advanced students and professional readers alike.

In its marketing blurb, publisher Oxford University Press states that: 
International Copyright: Principles, Law and Practice, Second Edition surveys and analyzes the principal legal doctrines affecting copyright law and practice around the world. It provides a step-by-step methodology for advising clients involved in exploiting creative works in or from foreign countries, while also serving as a comprehensive treatise on international copyright for scholars and advanced students alike. Written by two of the most esteemed experts of copyright law in the United States and Europe, this volume is a unique synthesis of copyright law and practice, taking into account the Berne Convention, the TRIPs Agreement, the ongoing harmonization of copyright in the European Union, and the impact of the Internet. National copyright rules on protectable subject matter, ownership, term, and rights are covered in detail and compared from country to country, as are topics on moral rights and neighboring rights. Separate sections cover such important topics as territoriality, national treatment, and choice of law, as well as the treaties and trade arrangements that underlie substantive copyright norms.  
International Copyright is an indispensable reference work for professionals involved with international intellectual property transactions or litigation. It is essential reading for scholars and for intellectual property practitioners worldwide, yet is also accessible for advanced students of copyright law.
This Kat believes that this book will be tremendously useful as a reference work for anyone with international dimension to their copyright practice, whether it be foreign clients seeking copyright protection under national laws or local clients entering into copyright contracts with foreign entities. The new structure, whilst retaining much of the substance of the first edition, is very effective. Part II on ‘Substantive Copyright Law’ contains the usual headings one would expect with a copyright work, such as subject matter and neighbouring rights, authorship and ownership, term of protection, economic rights, moral rights, exemptions and enforcement. Accordingly, a reader can easily locate their particular issue in the detailed table of contents and find a detailed and well-written comparative answer in the main text. The copies of the international treaties in the Appendix are also helpful. This work makes a welcome addition to this Kat’s library and she looks forward to referring to it in her future copyright practice.

Merpel notes that on its website OUP suggests that the readership for this work is ‘IP practitioners who work with patents, in-house counsel, and members of the executive suite’. Practitioners who work solely in patents will (obviously) be disappointed by the content of this work, but Merpel hopes that, through encountering this fascinating exploration of copyright on the global stage, they can be persuaded to broaden their area of expertise!

Bibliographic data:
 paperback, xxii + 565 pages. ISBN 978-0-19-973710-9. Rupture factor: minimal. Price: £70 from OUP or £66.50 from Amazon.
Something else to read: International Copyright (2nd edn) Something else to read: International Copyright (2nd edn) Reviewed by Catherine Lee on Thursday, May 05, 2011 Rating: 5

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