An Alternative Primer on National and International Copyright Law

Reading the alternative primer on national and international copyright law.

QuestionCopyright.org recently received a wonderful surprise in the mail: An Alternative Primer on National and International Copyright Law in the Global South, by Prof. Alan C. Story and his colleagues at The CopySouth Research Group. It's a 66 page critical survey of not only international copyright laws and treaties, but of the processes by which those laws and treaties come to be enacted.

I wrote back to Prof. Story:

It's a great relief to see some unembarrassed copyright skepticism in academic legal studies.  In every other field, questioning of assumptions is considered good practice; [copyright] law seems to have somehow been exempt from this for a long time, and I'm not quite sure why.  Too many scholars repeat the same theories of why we have copyright, without looking rigorously at its actual history nor at its effects, quantifiable and otherwise.  Your primer is a breath of fresh air.

He responded with the following offer to all readers:

The Creator-Endorsed Mark in Action: Mars Yau's Sita iPhone apps

Sita_iPhone_FREE

Sita Sings the Blues is now available FREE for the iPhone, rather than for $3.99. The former price was required because for every copy of Sita “sold,” I had to pay almost $2 to extortionate corporate licensors. That’s a flat fee; doesn’t matter what the sale price is. So selling Sita apps for the customary $.99 would result in a huge loss for me, since I’d be paying far more than that to the licensors.

The solution of course was to make it FREE (gratis). They’re all Promotional Copies. No sale, no license fee. To support Mars Yau, who created the app, and me, who created the movie, you can buy the Sita Wallpaper App for $.99. And of course you can always donate to the Sita Distribution Project.

I'm especially gratified by app develope Mars Yau's correct use if the Creator Endorsed Mark. It's displayed prominently on the free app, indicating my authentic endorsement of this particulr distribution. On the $.99 Wallpaper app, he applied the "50% supports the artist" version:

 

Welcome to our new legal interns, Kat Walsh and Victor Cohen.

Question Copyright welcomes two new members: legal interns Kat Walsh and Victor Cohen, who will be working with our counsel Karen Sandler.

Victor is a third-year student at Brooklyn Law School, and has worked with the Brooklyn Law Incubator and Policy (BLIP) Clinic helping to defend artists against copyright infringement suits. Kat is in her last semester at the George Mason University law school, focusing on copyrights, patents, and trademarks, and is currently the Executive Secretary of the Wikimedia Foundation, where she has been a board member since 2006.

You'll see their names appear more and more here in the coming months, as they take a hand in current and upcoming projects. Welcome, Kat and Victor!

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