Wednesday 20 October 2010

Book Review: International Copyright 2nd Ed.

imageNormally, I like to sit and read a book cover to cover before reviewing it, but the Second Edition of Paul Goldstein and Bernt Hugenholtz’s International Copyright is not a sit-down-and-read type of book.  It is a reference book, the kind you want to have near your desk at all times.

The book covers the usual suspects, Berne, TRIPs, the UCC, etc.  Sounds not so exciting, but wait.  The neat part comes in how these are approached and what else is included.  The book is arranged in sections of what I can best describe as biggest-issue topics: Norms,

Territoriality, Term of Protection, Economic Rights, Moral Rights, you get the picture.  Each relevant treaty and agreement is addressed under each topic, showing you the interplay between them.  The effects of smaller agreements, such as regional agreements and directives, are also included in these sections.

In addition to the scholar-favorite topics of norms and traditions, the book includes information about the reality of enforcing contracts (Section 4.4.3 specifically address what happens when the law of the protecting country and the law of the contract conflict), and there is an entire chapter devoted to enforcement.

Most of the examples given in the book appear to be from North America or Europe.  While this is a little disappointing, it is also understandable – the main agreements, the underlying principle's of today’s copyright, and the authors are Western in origin.  To the author’s credit, the index indicates that the book does include some information from every region of the world.

The Appendix is a nice addition.  Although all the information in it – copies of the main treaties and lists of their signatories – can be found on or Wikipedia, it’s nice to have the information just a thumb flip away.

From the publishers:

“Written by two of the most experienced practitioners in the United States and abroad, International Copyright: Principles, Law and Practice (Oxford, October 2010) proves to be a great analysis of the principal legal doctrines affecting copyright practice.”

Title: International Copyright: Principles, Law and Practice
Authors: Paul Goldstein (Stanford University) and Bernt Hugenholtz (University of Amsterdam)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages: 407 (book-book), 565 (with appendix and index), 592 (with preface and everything)
Color: very pretty medium green
Sturdy, heavy-weight paper-back cover
List Price: $95.00

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