This blog is about copyright law, and it’s for creative people who make stuff that they’re interested in protecting against bad guys who think it’s perfectly OK to steal other peoples’ stuff.
If you’ve already read Copyright for Creatives, then you know what you’re getting into here. If you haven’t, you should: this blog is for people who’ve read Copyright for Creatives, and who want to keep up with new developments, new laws, and new stories about copyright that will help them protect their creative work. You can pick up a copy of the book here.
For this first outing, though, let’s just preview the kinds of things we’ll be looking at here.
Copyright law is not carved in stone, it isn’t forever, and it changes all the time. Sometimes it changes because Congress passes a new law; sometimes it changes because a judge decides to interpret the law in a new way. But whatever the reason, it’s important that you know what the current law is that governs your particular creative work.
As you know (if you read the book), sometimes the most interesting copyright conflicts don’t happen in court. More often than not, a copyright holder and an alleged infringer will write nasty notes to each other, say rude things in social media about each other, and then settle their disagreement quietly–often with a check. Those stories get covered in the news (well, not all the news; mostly in niche news sources that are interested in copyright goings-on), and they’ll be summarized and discussed here.
And sometimes, interesting copyright stories don’t make the news, or happened a long time ago, or otherwise don’t really fit neatly into the “new law” or “news” categories. Sometimes those stories are what I think are intriguing things that went on in my own professional life as a publisher. Sometimes they’re stories someone else shared with me. And sometimes they’re just stories I’ve made up to illustrate a point.
COPYRIGHT AND BEYOND!
We won’t be talking only about copyright. Like the book, we’ll also dip our toes into other aspects of intellectual property law, from trademarks and trade secrets and patents to libel, slander, and contract law. So if you think I’m just going to bore you with copyright law, take heart: I’m going to bore you about a lot of different things!
I hope you enjoy this blog, and come back frequently for new stuff.