Monthly Archives: February 2010

Q&A on intellectual property with the author of Piracy

February 4, 2010
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Q&A on intellectual property with the author of Piracy

Adrian Johns, author of Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates was recently interviewed by Serena Golden of Inside Higher Ed. In a series of questions that highlight several of the current hot-button issues in the IP debate including biotechnology patents and the Google books settlement, Golden engages Johns in a fascinating conversation that expands upon the historical account of intellectual property disputes found in Johns’s book. A sample from the interview follows, or navigate to the Inside Higher Ed website for the complete article. Q: Which of the current intellectual property debates do you see as most consequential, and why? A: I see two conflicts as especially consequential: the patent struggles in the life sciences, and the copyright furor ignited by the Google Books initiative. In the life sciences, patenting has become a huge issue in several contexts. The pharmaceuticals industry has aroused fierce controversy in the developing world because of what are perceived as inequitable restrictions, agribusiness has generated similarly intense arguments, and biotechnology involves extending IP into the domain of life and its constituents. The stakes for the future of IP here are high because the human consequences are so evident, and the political interests . . .

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Piracy and the history of intellectual property disputes

February 3, 2010
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Piracy and the history of intellectual property disputes

Offering some fascinating insights on one of the most contentious issues in publishing right now, a review of Adrian John’s Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates appeared in the January 21 edition of Abu Dhabi’s The National. Reviewer Caleb Crain writes “by making words, music and images easy to copy and share, the internet may seem to have fractured trust between producers and consumers of culture around the world in a novel way. But in fact, producers and consumers have been in conflict for centuries.” In his new book Johns offers a detailed account of this conflict, from the advent of print culture in the fifteenth century, to the reign of the Internet in the twenty-first. In his review Crain briefly summarizes the history of intellectual property disputes detailed in Johns’s book, and picks out a few details he finds most salient to current debates. From The National: When literary property was abolished in Paris after 1789, cheaply printed, timely, derivative literature flushed everything else out of the marketplace—imagine the final triumph of the Huffington Post over the New York Times. Moralistic bullying failed when 19th-century American reprinters tried to agree not to pirate one another’s piracies. . . .

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Speaking the truth and exposing the bunk

February 2, 2010
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Speaking the truth and exposing the bunk

Here’s a link to one of the more interesting blogs we’ve stumbled across lately. Rationally Speaking, a blog managed by Massimo Pigliucci, CUNY philosopher and author of Making Sense of Evolution: The Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Biology, as well as the forthcoming Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk, is a spin off Pigliucci’s work on the philosophy of science with a focus on debunking virtually everything from Google, to the idea of American democracy itself. Recently, they’ve started up a new podcast, with the inaugural episode titled “Can history be a science?” and a special Valentines’ day episode on the science and philosophy of love right around the corner. Listen and read at http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/. . . .

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The Daleys of Chicago, as told by the Biographer of Chicago

February 1, 2010
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The Daleys of Chicago, as told by the Biographer of Chicago

For most of the last half century, the city of Chicago has been ruled by a man named Daley: first, from 1955 to his death in 1977, Richard J. Daley, and currently Richard M. Daley, who has reigned since 1989. With a collective 42 years of mayorship between them, father and son have created what some would call a Daley dynasty in the city of big shoulders. Historian and city biographer Dominic Pacyga (his most recent book, Chicago: A Biography was published in October) recently presented a talk called “The Daleys of Chicago: A Study in Political Power” at the Chicago History Museum. C-SPAN was there, and the video of Pacyga’s seminar can be found here. If Pacyga’s discussion of city politics leaves you wanting more about the city on the make, make sure to check out Chicago. Pacyga traces the city’s storied past, from the explorations of Joliet and Marquette in 1673 to the new wave of urban pioneers today. The city’s great industrialists, reformers, and politicians—and, indeed, the many not-so-great and downright notorious—animate this book, from Al Capone and Jane Addams to Mayor Richard J. Daley and President Barack Obama. But what distinguishes this book from the many . . .

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The free e-book of the day!

February 1, 2010
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The free e-book of the day!

For the next 24 hours only the University of Chicago Press is pleased to offer the e-edition of Adrian John’s brand new book Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates as a free download from our website. About the book&mdash: “ traces the tensions between authorized and unauthorized producers and distributors of books, music, and other intellectual property in British and American culture from the 17th century to the present. … The shifting theoretical arguments about copyright and authorial property are presented in a cogent and accessible manner. Johns’ research stands as an important reminder that today’s intellectual property crises are not unprecedented, and offers a survey of potential approaches to a solution.” —Publishers Weekly Check back tomorrow for Johns’ previous work, The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making, (click the link for more about the book), and at the beginning of every month for more free e-books from the University of Chicago Press. Or to browse all our currently available e-books, see our complete list of e-books by subject. E-books from the University of Chicago Press are offered in Adobe Digital Editions format for Mac, PC, and a number of mobile devices such . . .

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