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Center for theStudy of the Public Domain's Intellectual Property treatise

Center for the Study of the Public Domain’s Intellectual Property treatise

Mike Masnick, an editor at one of our favorite sites, TechDirt, recently reported on an incredible IP resource published by Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain.  The ‘open coursebook’, Intellectual Property: Law & Information Society Cases and Materials can be downloaded for free, subject to a Creative Commons license. The book is about 800 pages, so just a heads up if you plan on printing it out in its entirety. You can also purchase a paperback copy at Amazon for about $29.

To download the book, go to the Center For the Study of the Public Domain’s page, and follow the download link. If you plan on doing anything with the book, remember to read the applicable Creative Commons License terms.

The book was written by James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins and it’s intended as an introductory text. James Boyle is a law professor at Duke Law School and the former Chairman of the Creative Commons. Although Mr. Boyle has written many great books, our favorite title by far is Shamans, Software and Spleens: Law and the Construction of the Information Society.

Cover of "Bound By Law" by James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins.

Cover of “Bound By Law” by James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins.

Jennifer Boyle is a Senior Lecturing Fellow, also at Duke Law School, and serves as Director of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain. Also an author of books on intellectual property law and the ‘digital age’, Ms. Boyle co-authored Bound by Law with James Boyle and Keith Aoki.  Bound by Law is a one-of-a-kind book; a comic book format primer for those needing a quick crash course in intellectual property principles. The book’s illustrations are by Keith Aoki, who the authors note, is “too talented to be a law professor.”  Brandt Goldstein at the Wall Street Journal Online commented that:

Bound by Law translates law into plain English and abstract ideas into ‘visual metaphors.’ So the comic’s heroine, Akiko, brandishes a laser gun as she fends off a cyclopean ‘Rights Monster’ – all the while learning copyright law basics, including the line between fair use and copyright infringement.


If you’re interested in following Akiko’s adventures you can find out more about the book, here– it also is offered as a free download and includes Portuguese, French and Italian translations.  Hard copies are available at Amazon for about $5.

Let us know if you’ve read Bound by Law or Intellectual Property: Law & Information Society Cases and Materials. Did you find them useful?