Copyright law was once an esoteric backwater, the special province of professional authors, publishers, and media companies. This is no longer the case. In the age of social media and cloud storage, we have become a copying and sharing culture. Much of our everyday communication, work, and entertainment now directly involves copyright law. Copyright law and policy are ferociously contested. Record labels, movie studios, book publishers, newspapers, and many authors rage that those who share music, video, text, and images over the Internet are âstealingâ their property. By contrast, copyright industry critics celebrate digital technologyâs potential to make the universe of movies, music, books, and art accessible anytime and anywhere â and to empower individuals the world over to express themselves by sharing and remixing those works. These critics argue that excessive copyright enforcement threatens that promise and stifles creativity.
In Copyright: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Neil Weinstock Netanel explains the concepts needed to understand the heated debates about copyright law and policy. He identifies the combatants, unpacks their arguments, and illuminates what is at stake in the debates over copyrightâs present and future.