Perspective

Toon Tome | Theft! A History of Music

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Copyright laws are complex to navigate.  This is particularly so, as there is an underlying public policy tension between protecting / rewarding creativity and freedom of information.

Comics and graphic novels are now a well known effective educational tool.  They are no longer regarded as juvenile and require deep thinking to actively decode and comprehend text / images and the interplay between them.

Theft! A History of Music is a comic which masterfully tackles the complex considerations of copyright and music.  The work is by Jennifer Jenkins and James Boyle, copyright law professors from Duke University, dedicated to “chart the line between freedom and control” and the late Keith Aoki.

The public policy tension in copyright protection is particularly and obviously pronounced in the music industry today in a culture of sampling and remixes.  However, Theft! A History of Music charts 2,000 years of musical history and shows that musicians have been extensively borrowing, consciously and unconsciously—from each other since music itself began.

The journey is epic from Ancient Greece, to “classical” music, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye to….(drum roll)…Blurred Lines.

Theft! A History of Music is essential reading for all music lovers and copyright enthusiasts.

In a very generous gesture in the spirit of free and flowing information, the entire book is available as a free Creative Commons licensed download: Theft! A History of Music – Jennifer Jenkins and James Boyle | free Creative Commons download

To convey more tangible support, Theft! A History of Music is available for purchase as a 8.5 x 11” paperback.  Theft! A History of Music -Jennifer Jenkins & James Boyle/print edition

If you buy the book, 50% percent of the royalties will go to support Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain.

Thank you (for the music).