Promises to Keep: Technology, Law, and the Future of Entertainment

Promises to Keep: Technology, Law, and the Future of Entertainment

Paperback Stanford Law Books

By (author) William W. Fisher

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  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 25mm | 476g
  • Publication date: 10 September 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Palo Alto
  • ISBN 10: 080475845X
  • ISBN 13: 9780804758451
  • Edition: 1
  • Edition statement: Revised.
  • Illustrations note: 8 tables, 12 figures
  • Sales rank: 1,035,984

Product description

During the past fifteen years, changes in technology have generated an extraordinary array of new ways in which music and movies can be produced and distributed. Both the creators and the consumers of entertainment products stand to benefit enormously from the new systems. Sadly, we have failed thus far to avail ourselves of these opportunities. Instead, much energy has been devoted to interpreting or changing legal rules in hopes of defending older business models against the threats posed by the new technologies. These efforts to plug the multiplying holes in the legal dikes are failing and the entertainment industry has fallen into crisis. This provocative book chronicles how we got into this mess and presents three alternative proposals - each involving a combination of legal reforms and new business models - for how we could get out of it.

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Author information

William W. Fisher III is Hale and Dorr Professor of Intellectual Property Law and Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.

Review quote

"Digital technologies have given society an extraordinary cultural potential. If that potential is to be made real, we must reconcile it with the legitimate and important claims of copyright. In this beautifully written and careful work, Fisher maps the choices that we might make. As Rawls did in political theory, or Milton Friedman did in economics, Fisher provides an understanding that will color policy analysis for the generations to come." - Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law School "Fisher's proposal might be the best thing that ever happened to the cultural commons: the creators would be paid, while every individual would have unlimited access to every cultural creation." - New York Times "Those who care about the future of the entertainment industry will find that time spent reading the book will be well-rewarded and - because it is so well-written - pleasurable, even if readers don't agree with the book's conclusions." - Entertainment Law Reporter"

Back cover copy

"Digital technologies have given society an extraordinary cultural potential. If that potential is to be made real, we must reconcile it with the legitimate and important claims of copyright. In this beautifully written and careful work, Fisher, more completely than anyone else, maps the choices that we might make. He argues for a choice that would produce enormous social good. And while not everyone will agree with the conclusions he draws, no one who cares seriously about creators or culture can ignore the framework that he has set. There are choices that we as a society must make. And as Rawls did in political theory, or Milton Friedman did in economics, Fisher provides an understanding that will color policy analysis for the generations to come."--Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law School "The strength of this book is Fisher's willingness to step above the political fray to solve problems. He has produced one of the most important books in media studies and law in some years. It is refreshing, bold, and provocative. We need it badly." --Siva Vaidhyanathan, Director of Communication Studies, Department of Culture and Communication, New York University

Flap copy

During the past fifteen years, changes in technology have generated an extraordinary array of new ways in which music and movies can be produced and distributed. Both the creators and the consumers of entertainment products stand to benefit enormously from the new systems. Sadly, we have failed thus far to avail ourselves of these opportunities. Instead, much energy has been devoted to interpreting or changing legal rules in hopes of defending older business models against the threats posed by the new technologies. These efforts to plug the multiplying holes in the legal dikes are failing and the entertainment industry has fallen into crisis. This provocative book chronicles how we got into this mess and presents three alternative proposals--each involving a combination of legal reforms and new business models--for how we could get out of it.