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Copyright, Contracts, Creators
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Copyright, Contracts, Creators

New Media, New Rules

9780857934543 Edward Elgar Publishing
Giuseppina D’Agostino, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Canada and Founding Director of IP Osgoode, www.iposgoode.ca
Publication Date: 2012 ISBN: 978 0 85793 454 3 Extent: 352 pp
Copyright, Contracts, Creators evaluates the efficacy of current copyright law to address the contracting and use of creative works. It looks in particular at freelance works and argues that their copyright treatment on a national and international level is inadequate to resolve ambiguities in the contracting and uses of the work. Giuseppina D’Agostino discusses how historically laws and courts were more sympathetic to creators, and how the Internet revolution has shifted the scales to favor owners. Consequently, creators often find themselves at opposing ends with copyright owners, and in a disproportionately weaker bargaining position that places tremendous strain on their livelihoods. She argues that this predicament puts society at risk of losing its most valued asset: professional creators. The author calls for a new framework to justify legislative provisions and resolve ambiguities while suggesting principles and mechanisms to address the inadequate treatment of freelance work.

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The digital world has put content within arm’s reach of desire. No longer can an author be satisfied that her intellectual property is safely encased in a bound book, nor can a photographer know where his work will be displayed or shared, nor can a writer rest assured that her article will be consumed in the intended magazine or newspaper. The Internet-fueled recycling of existing works into new media is the greatest challenge to copyright law.

Copyright, Contracts, Creators evaluates the efficacy of current copyright law to address the contracting and use of creative works. It looks in particular at freelance works and argues that their copyright treatment on a national and international level is inadequate to resolve ambiguities in the contracting and uses of the work. Giuseppina D’Agostino discusses how historically laws and courts were more sympathetic to creators, and how the Internet revolution has shifted the scales to favor owners. Consequently, creators often find themselves at opposing ends with copyright owners, and in a disproportionately weaker bargaining position that places tremendous strain on their livelihoods. She argues that this predicament puts society at risk of losing its most valued asset: professional creators. The author calls for a new framework to justify legislative provisions and resolve ambiguities while suggesting principles and mechanisms to address the inadequate treatment of freelance work.

Scholars and students of law, cultural studies, and intellectual property will find this volume a critical addition to their libraries. Beyond these, policymakers, lawyers and anyone concerned with the blurring lines of intellectual property in the age of cyberspace will welcome the author’s insights.
Critical Acclaim
‘Copyright, Contracts, Creators presents an exhaustive and thoroughly researched and documented treatment of copyright protection for independent authors, or freelancers.’
– AALL Spectrum

‘This hardback publication is an interesting exposition on the application of copyright law to the protection of the rights of freelancers. . . Within this subject the book is thoroughly and professionally written and easy to read. It would actually serve as a good introduction to the application of copyright law to literary works as it contains some useful summaries of current law particularly in the UK and the United States. . . If you are interested in copyright law as it applies to author such as freelancers, or just generally want to learn more about the exploitation of copyright works in the digital age I thoroughly recommend this book.’
– Clive Davies, Communications Law

‘. . . deserves the widest possible circulation. . . . much of what [D’Agostino] outlines and the solutions she suggests should be read by every freelancer, agency, editor and publishers. . . . D’Agostino’s writing is quite sprightly and she resists the temptation to be mealy-mouthed and obscure about the issues.’
– D.B. Scott, canadianmags.blogspot.com

‘Copyright, Contracts, Creators provides a new and original analysis on the relationship between owners and creators and recommendations for legislative change to re-balance the relationship. It is a must read for the intellectual property legal community and anyone interested in the promotion of creative works.’
– Marshall Rothstein, Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada

‘Dr Giuseppina D’Agostino is a protector of the arts, and her work on intellectual property is designed not only to bring law and order to our digital universe but to bring hope to the artists, poets and writers whose only hope of pursuing their artistry is to earn income for their craft. A wonderful book by one of the most wonderful and forward thinking minds in this subject area.’
– Tony Chapman, Founder and CEO, Capital C, Canada

‘Dr D’Agostino has produced an important, carefully documented and courageous study that deserves to be widely read and discussed and (dare one say?) even to have its message heeded.’
– David Vaver, Emeritus Professor of Intellectual Property & IT Law, University of Oxford, UK
Contents
Contents: Preface Foreword 1. Introduction 2. Freelancers and Copyright in the Digital Era 3. The History of Copyright in Relation to the Freelancer 4. The History of Copyright Contract in Relation to the Freelancer 5. International and Regional Copyright Legislation 6. National Copyright Contract Legislation and Judicial Principles 7. Judicial Treatment of Freelance Authors in North America 8. Judicial Treatment of Freelance Authors in Continental Europe 9. Freelancers in the UK: Pre-empting a Digital Dilemma 10. Formulating an Equilibrated Theory 11. Equilibrated Solutions 12. Final Remarks Bibliography Index
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