All About ©

These days, film makers, photographers, videographers, writers, visual artists, songwriters and other creatives all have one thing in common: they're forced to navigate a veritable mine field of copyright law.

It seems that every writers' conference I attend features at least one session devoted to "the copyright culture." As a testament to my naiveté, I always sign up in hopes that this time I'll actually learn something useful. And I'm always disappointed when the speakers manage to avoid presenting any helpful information. What they do present is a persuasive case for scheduling a consultation.

But before you check in with a copyright attorney, you might want to check out Duke University's graphic novel/textbook, Bound by Law: Tales from the Public Domain. In 70+ pages, the book touches on everything from trademark infringement to fair use--in a thoroughly entertaining and utterly painless way. Although the main character is a film maker, anyone engaged in a creative enterprise can benefit from the content.

 For a free downloadable version, visit


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