Freedom of Expression: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property

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9780816650316: Freedom of Expression: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property
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Freedom of Expression® covers the ways in which intellectual property laws have been used to privatize all forms of expression—from guitar riffs and Donald Trump’s “you’re fired” gesture to human genes and public space—and in the process stifle creative expression. Kembrew McLeod challenges the blind embrace of privatization as it clashes against our right to free speech and shared resources.

 

Kembrew McLeod is professor of communication studies at the University of Iowa, author of Owning Culture: Authorship, Ownership, and Intellectual Property Law, and coproducer of the documentary Copyright Criminals: This Is a Sampling Sport.

 

Lawrence Lessig is professor of law at Stanford Law School.

 

This book’s documentary companion will be available through Media Education Foundation.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap:

Drop that quotation/sample/collage, sir! An enlightening, amusing, and frightening look at how the growth of intellectual property law is making us all less free to say and think what we want.
In 1998 university professor and professional art prankster Kembrew McLeod trademarked the phrase "freedom of expression" as a joke, an amusing if dark way to comment on how intellectual property law is increasingly being used to fence off the culture and restrict the way we're allowed to express ideas. But what's happened in recent years to intellectual property law is no joke and has had repercussions on our culture and our everyday lives. The trend toward privatization of--melodies, genes, public space, the English language--means an inevitable clash of economic values against the value of free speech, creativity, and shared resources. Our irreplaceable cultural commons is being sectioned up and sold off to the highest bidders and the most aggressive litigators.
In "Freedom of Expression(R), Kembrew McLeod gathers topics as diverse as hip-hop music and digital sampling, the patenting of seeds and human genes, folk and blues music, visual collage art, electronic voting, the Internet and computer software. In doing so, he connects this rapidly accelerating push to pin down everything as a piece of private property to its effects on music, art and science.
In much the same way Eric Schlosser's "Fast Food Nation tied together disparate topics to paint an alarming picture of the food industry, and written in a witty style that brings to mind media pranksters like Al Franken, Ken Kesey, and Abbie Hoffman, "Freedom of Expression(R) uses intellectual property law as the focal point toshow how economic concerns are seriously eroding creativity and free speech. It's later than we know.

Review:

Praise for "Freedom of Expression(R)
"A very funny treatment of an increasingly serious problem: the use of intellectual property rights in ways that suppress instead of foster creativity."
--William Fisher, Hale and Dorr Professor of Intellectual Property Law, Harvard University
"Freedom of Expression is one of the "sharpest weapons in the culture wars being waged over the extensive protections now accorded to intellectual property. A lively read, the book brims with humor, juicy examples, and the voices of those whose creativity is threatened and endangered. If you had any doubts about the way intellectual property is shaping popular culture, Kembrew McLeod will dispel them. The privatization of culture has found its most trenchant critic."
--Rosemary Coombe, author of "The Cultural Life of Intellectual Properties
"People, this is it.... A must-read for anyone who wants to actually change the way digital culture operates."
--Paul D. Miller aka. Dj Spooky that Subliminal Kid
"The ability of creators to parlay their expressive efforts with technology falls within a battleground that accountants, lawyers, and lawmakers dictate with barbed boundaries. That's as impossible as owning the air itself, which Kembrew McLeod states and identifies clearly."
--Chuck D, Public Enemy
"Professor McLeod's book should be required reading for anyone concerned with having free speech and free press as the trademarks of Rupert Murdoch, Wall Street and the kingpins of Madison Avenue. The stakes are somewhat high -- like the future of our society."
--Robert W. McChesney, author of "The Problem of the Media
"Kembrew McLeod has written a lively and funny book aboutlife in the age of Intellectual Property Madness. In the spirit of Woody Guthrie himself, this book is your book."
--Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of "The Anarchist in the Library

Praise for "Freedom of Expression(R)"
"A very funny treatment of an increasingly serious problem: the use of intellectual property rights in ways that suppress instead of foster creativity."
--William Fisher, Hale and Dorr Professor of Intellectual Property Law, Harvard University
"Freedom of Expression is one of the "sharpest" weapons in the culture wars being waged over the extensive protections now accorded to intellectual property. A lively read, the book brims with humor, juicy examples, and the voices of those whose creativity is threatened and endangered. If you had any doubts about the way intellectual property is shaping popular culture, Kembrew McLeod will dispel them. The privatization of culture has found its most trenchant critic."
--Rosemary Coombe, author of "The Cultural Life of Intellectual Properties"
"People, this is it.... A must-read for anyone who wants to actually change the way digital culture operates."
--Paul D. Miller aka. Dj Spooky that Subliminal Kid
"The ability of creators to parlay their expressive efforts with technology falls within a battleground that accountants, lawyers, and lawmakers dictate with barbed boundaries. That's as impossible as owning the air itself, which Kembrew McLeod states and identifies clearly."
--Chuck D, Public Enemy
"Professor McLeod's book should be required reading for anyone concerned with having free speech and free press as the trademarks of Rupert Murdoch, Wall Street and the kingpins of Madison Avenue. The stakes are somewhat high -- like the future of our society."
--Robert W. McChesney, author of "The Problem of the Media"
"Kembrew McLeod has written a lively and funny bookabout life in the age of Intellectual Property Madness. In the spirit of Woody Guthrie himself, this book is your book."
--Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of "The Anarchist in the Library"

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