The Intellectual Property Law Society at Cardozo School of Law kicked off its annual program by inviting former faculty member William F. Patry, now Senior Copyright Counsel at Google, to give a lunchtime talk based on his new book – ‘Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars’ (Oxford University Press). Patry is one of the most prolific writers around on the copyright topic having authored the 7-volume “Patry on Copyright” – a definitive work. In the new book he argues that copyright is a utilitarian government program – not a property or moral right. As a government program, copyright must be regulated and held accountable to ensure it is effectively serving its public purpose. The talk was descriptive rather than prescriptive but served to delineate anomalous areas deserving of fixes. Patry also professed a fondness for the simpler schemas of the 1909 act. Video/audio is available below.
Educators, librarians, and other interested parties can obtain a free DVD of this hearing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – ask for DVD1666. The book can be ordered direct from Oxford University Press or Amazon.
William Patry’s blog is at http://moralpanicsandthecopyrightwars.blogspot.com/.
2 thoughts on “William Patry – Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars (video)”
Patry gave the annual Frey lecture at Duke University on Oct 21. He took the opportunity to respond to an earlier lecture by Jack Valenti.
Now also available on YouTube
William Patry’s book has several great points. I have a great deal of respect for him since he is one of the marginal who are fearless enough to answer the most basic question: why do we have copyright laws at all. He sets straight numerous myths following today’s mainstream justification about copyright that it is meant to balance the interests of authors with the interests of the people.
Because Patry’s book is based on erroneous conjectures, the big issue is, it consequently it concludes with extremely dangerous proposals. Patry thinks that copyright laws are not about giving creators the right to have power over how their works are utilized. In his view, the purpose of copyright laws is to ensure the most benefits to the public but only give authors the bare minimum to would encourage creativity.
In my article, How Not To Fix Copyright – My Response to William Patry (http://mincovlaw.com/blog-post/how_not_to_fix_copyright) , I explain the flaws in Patry’s approach and provide many specific comments to extracts from his book.