Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates
Since the rise of Napster and other file-sharing services in its wake, most of us have assumed that intellectual piracy is a product of the digital age and that it threatens creative expression as never before. The Motion Picture Association of America, for instance, claimed that in 2005 the film industry lost $2.3 billion in revenue to piracy online. But here Adrian Johns...more
Highly recommended for the committed reader and amateur historians.
In the book, Johns traces the history of piracy as a concept, touching briefly on pre-printing open-seas type stuff, before digging in to the concept of ...more
Those interested in the history of IP laws and guild/government control over production streams, dating back to Gutenberg, will have much to enjoy here. Many interesting tales of how laws and rules are used as tools for amassing wealth and preventing competition.
It's also quite stuffy and overly academic. The author's narrative is often inexplicably difficult to follow. It's a lot of work for ...more
The book is heavily UK / US orientated with only the odd mention of what was happening at the time on Continental Europe and in other parts of the world. Later on in the book, Japan and Sony are discussed at length, in ...more
I would like to read it again, for the sake of better understanding it, but I'm definitely waiting a while.
Would I recommend it? If you really want to learn about the history of piracy, sure. ...more
I don't tend to read academic books beginning to end; I've read two chapters of this and probably won't pick it up again for a while, but I wanted to write about it anyway because it has zero love ...more
Update March 2011: Moved away from the library where this was, but will pick it up again in the future.