Reddit reviews: The best intellectual property law books

We found 45 Reddit comments discussing the best intellectual property law books. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 27 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top Reddit comments about Intellectual Property Law:

u/G3aR · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

Hurray! I spent a summer reading extensively about this subject and I think I can point you in the right direction!

I have four books I would like to recommend to get you started. These four will give you a great historical perspective and all the vocabulary you'll need to do further research should you be so inclined. Without further adieu:

[Copyright in Historical Perspective]

Get ready to learn old english! It is difficult at first, but if you try to read phonetically rather than literally it's not too bad. This book starts way before copyright was even a word and continues up to around the turn of the 20th century. I would strongly recommend reading through this book twice before moving on for two reasons. One, reading old english is really hard at first. Two, the amount of information in this book is staggering to say the least. It is by far the best book I've read to give a reader the greatest overview and understanding of how the concept of intellectual property came to be. A fair warning, this book was written in the 1960s and as such the writing is a bit dry. Which brings me to my next suggestion.

Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates

This book was written much more recently and has a much more conversational tone to it. It doesn't have quite as much old english to it and when it does the author was nice enough modernize it for you. It has a lot of the same information as the previous book, but I strongly recommend this book as Adrian Johns has some great insights towards the end when he starts to get to the later half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st.

The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind

In this book, James Boyle gives a great overview of the current fight being waged in the courtroom over intellectual property. He certainly has an agenda with this book but I'll let you do the reading and make up your own mind.

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World

No list of books about copyright and intellectual property can go without Lawrence Lessig. Read this book and you'll understand why I've included it.

I would really encourage you to read these 4 in this order as well. I did so by happenstance and the flow from one book to the next was better than I could have possibly planned. Good luck!

u/Alrik · 6 pointsr/cyberlaws

Hey, those are literally my specialties! (I'm a lawyer / registered patent attorney / former media law professor.)

If you're just getting into these areas, the In a Nutshell books are actually a pretty decent place to start.



Cyber/internet law is kind of a nebulous concept, because it's primarily regular law, applied to the internet. It's one of those things that non-lawyers like to argue about, because everyone has ideas about how things should work, and so there's a lot of popular media written for a lay audience. For thought leaders when it comes to internet law, I'd recommend Lawrence Lessig, Ryan Calo, Jonathan Zittrain, Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu. There are also groups, like the EFF and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, that have a lot of good resources.

Patent law is different -- it's incredibly complex, which is why it has its own additional exam that attorneys need to pass in order to prosecute patents (not to litigate them, though). Laypeople still have their own ideas about patent law, but generally those ideas boil down to "patent trolls are bad, mmmmkay?" Due to the complexity of the field, there's not much written for non-lawyers.

A lot of laypeople tend to conflate patent law with copyright law, and the fact that you didn't mention it here suggests that you may be doing the same. To quickly disambiguate them, patents prevent you from synthesizing a patented pharmaceutical, whereas copyrights prevent you from pirating movies.

Copyright law is pretty hotly contested amongst the laity, and more than a few lawyers think that the field needs a bit of reform. However, whereas non-lawyers tend to think that copyright law needs reform because of some misguided notion about how the internet makes sharing information easy, so we shouldn't have copyrights, the legal community tends to think copyright reform should focus on things like reducing the term of copyright protection to a more reasonable number of decades.

When you look for thought leaders about copyright, despite it being a pretty popular topic on the internet, you're not going to find as much (although, you'll see a lot of the same people who talk about internet law also writing about copyright). The reason for this is that the whole internet piracy/copyright debate basically went nowhere way back in the late 90s/early 2000s, and it's reached a pretty stable, logical place in the law. There are pro-piracy websites written by non-lawyers (e.g., Torrent Freak) that are kind of the holocaust-deniers of copyright law (and thus get the appropriate adoration from like-minded folks), but I'm having a hard time coming up with many academic writers of note that supports that position. Charles Nesson (who actually founded the Berkman Center, if I'm remembering right) could probably be called sympathetic, but I'm not very familiar with his work.

u/Jasper1984 · 1 pointr/occupywallstreet

Well, banned from /r/europe after a dumb comment. Here is the motion

Afaik, as of now no economic measures in Europe, yet, of course, they still have them in Britain, right?

Emphasis mine:

> A. whereas the EU has committed to guiding its actions on the international scene in compliance with principles such as democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as media freedom, access to information, freedom of expression and media pluralism, the last of which can, nevertheless, be limited to a certain extent as stipulated in international law, including in the European Convention on Human Rights; whereas third-party actors aiming to discredit the Union do not share the same values

Unfortunately, i suspect media pluralism is about avoiding media concentration. The opposite, of "limiting" it. (i.e. this, or this)

> H. whereas the propaganda war and the intrusion of Russian media is particularly strong and often unmatched in the countries of the Eastern neighbourhood; whereas national media in these countries are often weak and not able to cope with the strength and the power of Russian media;

Keep in mind that the RT/Sputnik and others we see might not be the same as those over there. They state it as "tailored to match EU Member States’ profiles".

> 25. Requests that the competent EU institutions and authorities closely monitor the sources of financing of anti-European propaganda;

> 26. Emphasises that more funding is necessary to support freedom of the media in the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) countries within the scope of EU democracy instruments; calls on the Commission in this respect to ensure the full exploitation of existing instruments such as the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), the ENP, the Eastern Partnership Media Freedom Watch and the EED with regard to the protection of media freedom and pluralism; [...]

> 56. Condemns the regular crackdowns on the independent media, journalists and civil society activists in Russia and occupied territories, including Crimea since its illegal annexation; stresses that since 1999, dozens of journalists have been killed, disappeared without trace or have been imprisoned in Russia; calls on the Commission and Member States to reinforce the protection of journalists in Russia and in the EU’s Neighbourhood and to support Russian civil society and invest in people-to-people contacts; calls for the immediate release of journalists; notes that the EU is strengthening relations with its Eastern partners and other neighbours, and is also keeping the lines of communication with Russia open; recognises that the biggest obstacle to Russian disinformation campaigns would be the existence of independent and free media in Russia itself; considers that achieving this should be the goal of the EU; calls for special attention and sufficient resources to be provided for media pluralism, local media, investigative journalism and foreign language media, particularly in Russian, Arabic> B. whereas Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees freedom of expression but also stipulates that this freedom may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society;

, Farsi, Turkish and Urdu as well as other languages spoken by populations vulnerable to propaganda;

And i am actually sure that is right. Russia isn't exactly free. And it should try improve itself. But we have to improve relations, and juxtaposing it with ISIS like that is not helpful.

Edit: ah minority opinion. Including the idea that there isn't propaganda in the EU. Well, NOS misses out on plenty. I also count PR and advertising, though more indirect, the amounts of propaganda from it is at unprecidented levels.

Also notice "OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education (23.6.2016)"

> B. whereas Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees freedom of expression but also stipulates that this freedom may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society;

But that is a catchall, and taking away RT or sputnik is certainly not necessary. (it is an and in there)

Btw, i am actually pro EU, it is very fixer-upper.

Edit: this happened too

u/4lg2lb · 3 pointsr/law

The basic concepts of patent law are easy to understand. The U.S. patent law Wikipedia page explains the broad ideas such as what things can be patented and what the pre-requisites are for obtaining a patent. Beyond that you’ll have to get more specific about what you're interested in.

If you want to know why a company would choose trade secret protection over patent protection, or the difference between trademarks and copyrights you’ll need a broader understanding of IP. In law school you would take an IP class and read a hundred cases explaining the nuances of each area of law. The law student shortcut is to read the “nutshell” or the E&E. Both references highlight the black letter law (the concrete legal rules) while the E&E also includes questions and answers that expose some of the subtleties within the law. This is probably what you’re looking for.

If you’d rather know the nitty-gritty about patent prosecution—how you obtain a patent—then you’ll need to understand the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure. Assuming you don’t care about things like how many months you have to file a response to an examiner’s first office action, I’d focus on chapter 2100, which deals with the statutory requirements for obtaining a patent (as a bonus, chapter 2400 deals entirely with issues surrounding biotechnology).

If your background has you interested in pharmaceuticals then you’ll probably also want to consider how the Hatch-Waxman Act affects the patenting process. Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with Hatch-Waxman so I don’t feel comfortable suggesting a source. Beyond these basics there’s also patent litigation, licensing, and all the policy considerations that go into intellectual property law. But these sources should give you a good starting point.

u/michaelmclees · 3 pointsr/LifeProTips

Arguments are as follows...

1 - Suppose I create a song and put it on a CD for people to buy. They put $5.00 in the mail and send it to me, and in return, I send them a CD with my song on it. On the envelope, it says, "Don't copy or I'll sue. Opening this package is an agreement to not copy."

A guy who bought it opens it up and decides to make a copy to give to his friend as a gift.

The friend makes a torrent and releases it, seeding it until it is self sustaining.

Now, I might have some claim of action against the first copier, because I have an agreement with him. The problem is that I don't have any kind of relationship with everyone else, so why should they be beholden to an agreement that only the first copier made with me? I argue that if there is no agreement, they shouldn't be.

2 - The copyright holder does not own your computer, so if his claim that you cannot infringe on his ownership has any merit, so does your claim that he may not infringe on your computer.

3 - Intellectual property, for the most part, is not legitimate property. See this book to find out why. This ties in with #2.

u/mosfette · 1 pointr/LawSchool

If you PM me your email address, I can also send you my outline.

In terms of books, the most concise and easiest to read book I've found is Copyright in a Nutshell. It's around 400 pages, but it's super short and fat with big text so it's not actually 400 pages worth of reading. The digital version is only $15 on Amazon and my law school's library had it for $20.

If you need something more in depth than the nutshell, I also liked the Copyright E&E. It takes longer to get through, and I wouldn't call it "concise" but it does distill the concepts pretty damn well.

u/MusedFable · 3 pointsr/TrueReddit

I doubt you know what the original idea or intent was. Here's a hint, copyright was not created by the founding fathers and in fact none of them where alive when it all started.

If you're thinking about how it supposedly helps artists then you've been brainwashed by the constant bombardment of advertising (which started hundreds of years ago right along side copyright). Copyright is to help publishers not artists. It was never about artists. Copyright has always been about publishers and censorship (that's not hyperbole, it literally started as censorship).

If you want to learn more about copyright you could check out:

Against Intellectual Monopoly (which has an obvious bias, but factual history lessons)

Rethinking Copyright is a little less biased, but a good read.

Copyright in Historical Perspective is a fair historical work done in the late 60s. It's very informative and not biased.

I'd recommend reading any of them. The first is free on the website I linked and the others can easily be pirated if you don't like the price.

u/BigRick74 · 2 pointsr/LawSchool

This could be worthwhile, it's $10 for the kindle edition, but it is a great book on trademarks. It is a good mix of not being a casebook but also providing cases of authority.

Outside of that, try narrowing your search down into the issues of trademark law you are looking for. If you have any specifics in mind, I may be able to help further.

u/carnivorousmustang · 2 pointsr/LawSchool

I'd recommend getting a short horn book on IP in general. Here's one written by my professor, it's pricey for how tiny the book is, but I found it helpful. https://www.amazon.com/Acing-Intellectual-Property-W-Robinson/dp/1634602730


Trademarks are pretty straight-forward in general, and a lot of owners file the applications pro se. but there are a lot of caveats/maintenance proceedings that can be easily overlooked. PTO has some intro videos on the basics of TM: https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/trademark-basics

For copyright, the copyright office actually has a series of documents called "circulars" that covers a lot of the basics of copyright: https://www.copyright.gov/circs/

u/JoeThankYou · 1 pointr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

How about if in my example, I compared pirating music with using Wikipedia without ever donating money to them? That's the same then. Does the financial situation of wikipedia employees matter? Would it be worth documenting the wikipedia workers' lives? Could that be done without looking like a "donate to wikipedia!" ad?

The best comparison of music piracy is undoubtedly movie piracy; there's clearly no ethical difference. Is it worthwhile to look at how movie producers have been affected financially? Do you think that such a thing could be made without looking like it's pushing a political agenda for the MPAA?

I know that journalism without advocacy exists though, and sure, this information could be useful to people, but like I said in my original post, I just think it's writing the wrong narrative.

Lets say a Walmart moves into town, and runs the local Kmart out of business (not a comparison to music piracy, just an example of voluntarism). Is it appropriate to document the lives of those displaced Kmart workers? Should we make people feel bad about shopping at Walmart? I would say it doesn't matter because everything is completely voluntary, as long as Walmart doesn't purchase from slave owners and doesn't steal things from other people. Voluntary interactions are generally ethical and coercion is generally unethical. It's pretty easy to see what is voluntary and what is coercive when it comes to slavery vs labor, and theft vs trade of physical property. However, It's not clear that violations of intellectual property are unethical or coercive. It's wrong to steal someone's car, because if you do, they don't have a car. If you steal someone's recipe, they still have that recipe.

There are actually very strong arguments that protecting intellectual property causes a net loss for society. This is a very good book, if you're interested. This one is good too, and talks extensively about the philosophy of property rights. In short, IP protection can be very damaging to creative industries because it hampers derivative works, causes a chilling effect which stifles innovation even more, and increases barriers to enter those markets.

u/hipsterparalegal · 3 pointsr/books

I agree that digital production and distribution changes things, but I'm not convinced copyright makes no sense. People should have some kind of property right in the things they create that allows them to profit from that work.

Between no copyright at all and the copyright regime we currently have, surely there's some kind of compromise in the middle that serves the needs of artists and consumers. I've heard good things about this: http://www.amazon.com/How-Fix-Copyright-William-Patry/dp/0199760098

u/PatSabre12 · 1 pointr/Entrepreneur

Make sure you ordered the latest edition, patent law has gone through some changes in the last 5 years or so. The first few chapters of Nolo's Patent it Yourself give a terrific overview of the patent system, explaining what is and isn't patentable, different types of patents and the types of protection they provided, etc. Great book.

u/DaRam4U · 140 pointsr/politics

My comment from an old posting (Ayn Rand in New Delhi)

Must read, The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand: Truth and Toleration

Ayn Rand spent her life constructing a free market utopia in which recent events (sub-prime mortgage, default swap swindles, housing bubble) could never happen. As someone wrote 'Ayn Rand capitalists don’t even need unions – they treat their workers so well that a union movement would be pointless'. No one who reads her wants to feel like a drone (wouldn't you rather be John Galt or Francisco D’Anconia?). It is important to employ critical thinking when reading such books and remember the Philosophy propounded in them is just an opinion for you to consider and not a set of unbreakable rules.

My favorite quote:

> There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs. — John Rogers

u/ehempel · 3 pointsr/technology

There is a good argument to be made against copyright as well. See Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine and Against Intellectual Property by Stephan N. Kinsella

u/CordCutter · 3 pointsr/gaming

If you'd like to learn more about intellectual property law, I might recommend reading an intro book: http://amzn.com/0314278346

These intro books are quick reads and I can't recommend them enough

u/nineteen85EAGLE · 1 pointr/Patents

You seem like an intelligent person. Don't get scared away from trying it yourself. I didn't...

I like this book. It is certainly thick enough.


u/Plutonium210 · 2 pointsr/law

Well, the proper venue for your question is probably ELI5. If you want a solid source on DMCA, this book has been a good starting source for a lot of my colleagues.

Caveat: I don't know shit about Canadian law.

u/lachlanhunt · 1 pointr/COPYRIGHT
u/staxnet · 5 pointsr/AskReddit

If you are not going into debt to pay for law school, keep at it if you enjoy it. Otherwise, consider reading this book ASAP: http://www.amazon.com/End-Lawyers-Rethinking-nature-services/dp/0199593612/ref=pd_sim_b_1

u/[deleted] · 12 pointsr/technology

See section 102(b) of the US Copyright Law:
>(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

The textbook I'm using this semester calls this the "Idea/Expression Dichotomy" and summarizes it like this:

>This principle is derived from the Supreme Court's decision in Baker v. Selden, 101 U.S. (11 Otto) 99 (1879), which held that, under copyright law, the copyright owner of a book explaining a system of accounting could prohibit others from copying the original expression containted in the book, but could not prohibit them from copying the accounting system itself. See also Mazer V. Stein, 347 U.S. 201, 217 (1954) ("Unlike a ptent, a copyright gives no exclusive right to the art disclosed; protection is given only to the expression of the idea--not the idea itself").

u/Kweeveen · 2 pointsr/IAmA

> > What are your recommendations for starting points on digital age politics and stuff like that?


u/brianearl · 2 pointsr/podcasts

I came across this book ($10 for Kindle edition): http://www.amazon.com/Podcast-Media-Producers-Legal-Survival-ebook/dp/B005C415L2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422577829&sr=8-1&keywords=podcast+legal+survival+guide

I've bought it but haven't read all the way through yet. Thought you might want to check it out.

u/mechjames42 · 1 pointr/LawSchool

Here is the one I'm referring to.

u/Malician · 4 pointsr/SRSDiscussion

Swartz was facing a max of 7 years. Additionally, when the RIAA really wanted to make an example of someone, they were able to sue for absolutely ludicrous, life ruining damages.

When the ordinary person can face a threat of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars over a few albums (and not pre-release secret material) - something is very wrong.

The responses in the CMV thread are pretty ludicrous and dodge the issue. I'd recommend William Patry's books for an overview of the problems with our current system: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/moral-panics-and-the-copyright-wars-9780195385649?cc=us&lang=en&

And "How To Fix Copyright": https://www.amazon.com/How-Fix-Copyright-William-Patry/dp/0199760098

He's one of the pre-eminent intellectual property lawyers of our time, and his thoughts on the matter are very educational.