Music and Copyright, by Ronald S. Rosen, which is a fascinating and informative book. The author, a partner in LA law firm TroyGould, is a seasoned copyright and trade mark litigator. If the little portrait photo on the back cover is anything to go by, he is small, grey and happy.
"The highly topical area of copyright law, as applied to music, is widely misunderstood by lawyers, business people, and - perhaps most seriously - the federal judiciary [That the judiciary should misunderstand copyright is something that has always baffled this reviewer, since the judges have the benefit of so much advice from litigation lawyers for both sides. Or perhaps that's why they misunderstand it ...]. More than ever, there is a need to understand music infringement issues within the context of copyright litigation [Potential defendants in infringement proceedings certainly need to understand it, but they're a not an easy market to reach]. In Music and Copyright , Ron Rosen provides readers with a practical and strategic roadmap to the music-infringement litigation process, beginning with the client's claim or defense and continuing through the selection and use of trial experts, discovery, motion practice, and trial.Apart from the fact that the author is obviously a skilled and passionate litigator, there is another way in which this book is tilted towards the contentious rather than the non-contentious dimension of music copyright -- that is the consequence of the fact that the case law which interprets, explains and develops the bare words of statute law is itself the product of litigation. In any event, in an era in which so much non-contentious copyright is boringly ritualised into boilerplates and collective rites of administration, litigation is clearly where all the real fun is. In short, this is not the book for you if you want to conjure up a new scheme for licensing ringtones -- but it is ever so useful if you either have an infringement dispute or want to calculate your changes of emerging from one unscathed.
Renowned for his expertise and career-long commitment to entertainment, intellectual property, and commercial litigation, Ron Rosen has condensed his experience into an essential guide for anyone involved in music-infringement litigation. Packed with elucidating examples from the author's own practice, Music and Copyright navigates the often thorny terrain between notions of the legal and the musical providing practical advice, case studies, forms, and commentary along the way".
Bibliographic details: ISBN13: 9780195338362, ISBN10: 0195338367. Paperback, xxii + 596 pages. Price: $185. Web page here.
Publishing Forms and Contracts, by Roy S. Kaufman, is a bit of an oddity -- a book on publishing contracts which, written by the Legal Director of one publishing house (the Wiley-Blackwell division of John Wiley & Sons), is published by another. Once upon a time this might have been regarded as a case of sleeping with the enemy, but now things are different: the common foe of all publishers is the major shift in purchasing and reading habits generated by the first decade of broadband-assisted internet use. It is in the interests of all paper-product publishers to streamline their production, smooth over the jagged edges of legal uncertainty and provide a litigation-free income stream for their products while the online sector grapples with business models that are more like income-free litigation streams.
Anyway, according to the publisher,
"Publishing continues to be a major industry worldwide [From a publisher like OUP one would expect nothing less], and this book is designed to assist the thousands of entities that regularly contract into a variety of agreements and need advice in drafting or negotiating the best terms for a deal, or otherwise employing or understanding specific terms used. This book-written and compiled by the in-house counsel of a major publishing house-offers more than 80 forms and templates of all of the major agreements regularly encountered by a publishing company, with strategic commentary on their use.
Topics covered include book publishing, periodical publishing, electronic publishing, litigation/litigation avoidance, e-commerce and permissions/subsidiary rights. Each chapter begins with introductory text setting forth key issues and other insights, and then presents the related forms, which in turn are accompanied by drafting and negotiating tips".
Bibliographic details: ISBN13: 9780195367348, ISBN10: 0195367340. Paperback, xvii + 462 pages. Price: $145. Book's web page here. An accompanying CD-ROM to the book contains all of the forms in electronic format, which can easily be modified for the customer's use.
The third book in this little trilogy of reviews is An Associate's Guide to the Practice of Copyright Law, by Meaghan Hemmings Kent and Joshua J. Kaufman. Both authors practise with the venerable Venable LLP (Meaghan being a senior associate, Joshua being a partner). It is not apparent whether Joshua is related to Roy, author of the book reviewed immediately above.
According to the publisher,
"An Associate's Guide to the Practice of Copyright Law guides associates through what is typically the most challenging part of their job: knowing where to find information and what specifically they need to complete a particular task or assignment. Written by a senior associate and a supervising partner, the authors reign [Should this be 'rein'? Or is it a subtle allusion to 'royalties'?] in the work process for associates and give practice-oriented advice on important topics such as what questions to ask a client, what research to conduct, what elements must be met for various causes of action, the potential repercussions for various actions and the proper alternatives to be considered. The book also includes sample documents and pleadings, references to secondary sources and key cases in copyright law".
Bibliographic details: ISBN13: 9780195373479, ISBN10: 0195373472. Paperback, xi + 327 pages. Price: $150. Book's web page here. A CD-ROM containing many forms in electronic format, is included.