FINDING YOUR WAY AROUND COPYRIGHT IN THE DIGITAL AGE
An appreciation by Elizabeth Robson Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers and Reviews Editor, “The Barrister”
As we progress relentlessly into the digital age, with new ideas and technical innovations emerging almost every day, the importance of copyright looms ever larger across numerous aspects of everyday life.
‘Copyright is encountered by people in a great many walks of life,’ say the erudite editors of this excellent “User’s Guide to Copyright”, ‘from television executives to authors, architects, artists, film producers, school teachers and museum curators’. A variety of other endeavours are also dealt with in this book which despite the complexity of the subject, is clear, concise, logically organised and relatively easy to understand.
Now in its seventh edition (the original was first published 1979), from Bloomsbury Professional, this is a highly regarded and long-established work, with each subsequent edition (as you would expect) longer than that published previously. This current edition is the longest one yet, although still reassuringly compact.
A useful feature for busy readers of this volume is that it is divided into two parts. Part I defines and outline copyright law generally. Part 2 – and this is the convenient bit –applies copyright law to specific activities and professions, each listed under appropriate categories in the carefully detailed table of contents under the general heading of ‘copyright in use.’
Included are – and this is just a partial list – publishers and periodicals… schools and universities… the music industry… film and television production… broadcasting, internet and mobile… artists, photographers, advertising agencies, software… and of course more. Very handy this is, for those who wish to look up a particular area of concern very quickly.
Other ease-of-use features include the section on ‘How to Use the User Guide’, a glossary of commonly used terms and a detailed index. The two appendices include a list of relevant organisations.
It should be noted that fundamentally, this is a book for practitioners by practitioners, all of whom are not only experienced, but prominent in this area of law.
Michael Flint has presided over all editions of this work, having written the first three singlehanded. Clive Thorne, now General Editor, is Special Counsel with Baker Botts LLP, specialising in all areas of intellectual property.
Jonathan Cornthwaite, a partner at Wedlake Bell, specialises in IP law, the law of IT and other related areas of law, notably commerce and competition. There are other expert contributors too, including music lawyer Alexander Ross, who has advised ‘an eclectic mix of artists’ from David Bowie and Bjork to Joss Stone.
The purpose of this book, writes founding editor Michael Flint is ‘to enable people whose jobs, businesses and even hobbies -- have any involvement with copyright law -- to acquire a general understanding of it’ -- and in this aim, the book amply succeeds. Covering all recent relevant legislative developments, notably in network communications in the digital age, this up-to-date and compact quick-reference guide should be considered a must-have purchase for any practitioner involved with any matter relating to copyright.
The publication date is cited as at 21st December 2017.