More end-of-year reading suggestions

A week and a half ago, this Kat spotted a couple of new intellectual property books that you might want to snuggle up with on a cold dark December night in front of the blazing log fire in your hearth. In the alternative, if you happen to be in the southern hemisphere or anywhere else where it's not dark and cold at this time of year, these were a couple of books which you might have cared to peruse when enjoying the sunny pleasures of beach or barbecue. Well, if neither of those titles found favour with you, or even if they did, here are a couple more suggestions ...


The Principle Of National Treatment In International Economic Law Trade, Investment and Intellectual Property, edited by Anselm Kamperman Sanders (Professor of Intellectual Property Law, Director of the Advanced Masters Intellectual Property Law and Knowledge Management and Academic Director of the Institute for Globalisation and International Regulation, Maastricht University, the Netherlands), is the product of the work of EIPIN -- the European Intellectual Property Institutes Network.  Each year EIPIN holds a Congress which generates papers which are then published; this, the third set, is published by Edward Elgar Publishing, The publisher's web-blurb explains the context of this collation:
The principle of national treatment, or the non-discrimination clause, applies across many fields of international economic law. This book provides a unique horizontal examination of the principle as it applies within international trade law, international investment law and intellectual property law, whilst also offering challenging and perceptive views on commercial practices, trade law and policy.

Combining perspectives from practitioners, academics and members of the judiciary, the book is the first to cover the national treatment principle across the whole field of international economic law – including not only in the domain of WTO law, but also in treaty and contractual settings involving investment and in intellectual property law. It also provides practical insights regarding the application of the principle relevant to inter-state relations, state-investor relations and in the context of intellectual property protection. ...
The list of contributors is impressive, including luminaries such as Thomas Cottier and Christopher Heath as well as the editor himself. The chapters work through a number of topics that this blogger had either taken for granted or had failed to take on board at all in his active lecturing days: issues such as "most favoured nation" status may not concern the average high-street (or internet) trader, but their cumulative impact on IP-driven trade can be immense.

Bibliographic data: publication date December 2014. xxxiii + 312 pp. Hardback ISBN 978 1 78347 121 8; ebook ISBN 978 1 78347 122 5. Price: US$140 (online from the publisher $126). Rupture factor: minimal. Web page here.


The Copyright Wars: Three Centuries of Trans-Atlantic Battle, written by Peter Baldwin and published by Princeton University Press, is a big, well-produced volume which demonstrates the reality of the fact that, while IP text books and reference works with day-to-day relevance are often flimsy, tacky things, ready to be recycled within a couple of years of their publication, books that tackle IP history are more likely to be sturdy tomes, built to last for decades.

Peter Baldwin is not an IP lawyer but a professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles (where this blogger spent a year while writing his PhD) and Global Distinguished Professor at New York University. He has also written The Narcissism of Minor Differences: How America and Europe Are Alike -- a book with a subtitle which a copyright lawyer, conscious of matters such as fair use/fair dealing and term of protection, would be unlikely to have chosen.

But what about this book? According to the web-blurb:
Today’s copyright wars can seem unprecedented. Sparked by the digital revolution that has made copyright—and its violation—a part of everyday life, fights over intellectual property have pitted creators, Hollywood, and governments against consumers, pirates, Silicon Valley, and open-access advocates. But while the digital generation can be forgiven for thinking the dispute between, for example, the publishing industry and Google is completely new, the copyright wars in fact stretch back three centuries—and their history is essential to understanding today’s battles. The Copyright Wars—the first major trans-Atlantic history of copyright from its origins to today—tells this important story.

Peter Baldwin explains why the copyright wars have always been driven by a fundamental tension. Should copyright assure authors and rights holders lasting claims, much like conventional property rights, as in Continental Europe? Or should copyright be primarily concerned with giving consumers cheap and easy access to a shared culture, as in Britain and America? The Copyright Wars describes how the Continental approach triumphed, dramatically increasing the claims of rights holders. The book also tells the widely forgotten [but not forgotten by us Brits and Charles Dickens enthusiasts] story of how America went from being a leading copyright opponent and pirate in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to become the world’s intellectual property policeman in the late twentieth. As it became a net cultural exporter and its content industries saw their advantage in the Continental ideology of strong authors’ rights, the United States reversed position on copyright, weakening its commitment to the ideal of universal enlightenment—a history that reveals that today’s open-access advocates are heirs of a venerable American tradition.
The text actually stops a long way before the end of the book, when endnotes and the index kick in. It is plain that the author's or publisher's aesthetic sense is straining in favour of giving the reader a clean reading experience, unencumbered by the cluster of ibids, op. cits and urls to which we have become accustomed.  Be that as it may, this blogger prefers the functional to the aesthetic when he is reading anything to do with his beloved IP and misses the footnotes.

Bibliographic data: Hardcover, published 2014. Price US$35 or £24.95. ISBN 9780691161822. 533 pp. e-book ISBN: 9781400851911. Rupture factor: medium. Web page here.
More end-of-year reading suggestions More end-of-year reading suggestions Reviewed by Jeremy on Sunday, December 07, 2014 Rating: 5

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