Book review blasts author’s analysis of the state of copyright infringement in the U.S.

There may not be a more cogent airing of the issues regarding the current state of copyright infringement in the U.S. than in a reading of Professor Peter Menell’s scathing review of Professor John Tehranian’s book:  Infringement Nation: Copyright 2.0 and You.

“It is difficult to imagine how a scholar purporting to chronicle and analyze the ramifications of the Internet revolution could largely overlook the unauthorized distribution of popular songs, films, and books… Infringement Nation provides no insight into the economic determinants of content production and unauthorized distribution, which are central to promoting progress in expressive creativity. ”

The reviewer yields on one point: “some copyright owners have sought to throttle the flow of content – including works that do not or should not be seen to cross the infringement line.”  However, his dismay stems from the author’s lack of acknowledgement of the sheer volume of infringed sound and film recordings, films, TV programs and books that has seriously disrupted and undermined important creative industries.

Professor Menell cites as evidence the precipitous drop in annual revenues at recording companies and a presumed correlation between BitTorrent’s emergence and the drop in home video product sales.  He sums up his review: how can a book about copyright infringement ignore file sharing? Readers will be able to find the full analysis soon in Infringement Conflation (Stanford Law Review).