Title: “Brand Name Bullies″
Author: Peter Bollier
My rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Release date: Jan. 1, 2005
For the past few years, intellectual property law has been the playground of lawyers, geeks and scholars. Now comes David Bollier to explain why this seemingly arcane field should matter to the rest of us.
In “Brand Name Bullies: The Quest to Own and Control Culture (Wiley & Sons),″ released this month on Amazon, the author of Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth is back with a painfully comic look at how big corporations are bullying the little guy and locking down culture with the backing of one-sided copyright, patent and trademark laws.
Bollier, a co-founder of the public interest group Public Knowledge, has written a darkly funny, accessible account of horror stories and outrages both large and small. A few years back, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers send out letters to 288 camps in the American Camping Association, demanding that Brownies and Girl Scouts stop singing copyrighted songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” or “Row, Row, Row” unless the camping groups ponied over thousands of dollars in licensing fees.