Synopses & Reviews
A documentary is being filmed. A cell phone rings, playing the Rocky
theme song. The filmmaker is told she must pay $10,000 to clear the rights to the song. Can this be true? Eyes on the Prize
, the great civil rights documentary, was pulled from circulation because the filmmakers’ rights to music and footage had expired. What’s going on here? It’s the collision of documentary filmmaking and intellectual property law, and it’s the inspiration for this comic book. Follow its heroine Akiko as she films her documentary and navigates the twists and turns of intellectual property. Why do we have copyrights? What’s “fair use”? Bound by Law?
reaches beyond documentary film to provide a commentary on the most pressing issues facing law, art, property, and an increasingly digital world of remixed culture.
Readers can download a pdf of the book here.
“A knockout comic book about fair use and filmmaking. Bound by Law? riffs expertly on classic comic styles, from the Crypt Keeper to Mad Magazine, superheroes to Understanding Comics, and lays out a sparkling, witty, moving and informative story about how the eroded public domain has made documentary filmmaking into a minefield.”—Cory Doctorow, co-editor of the blog BoingBoing.net
“An indispensable guide for the perplexed (ain’t we all!) in this postmodern information age.”—Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize–winning comic book artist
“This wonderful, funny, and clever comic makes a very complex issue simple. . . . I keep a copy in my desk.”—Davis Guggenheim, Oscar-winning director of the documentary An Inconvenient Truth
About the Author
Keith Aoki is a longtime cartoonist and Professor of Law of the University of California, Davis, School of Law. He is the author of Seed Wars: Controversies and Cases on Plant Genetic Resources and Intellectual Property (forthcoming).
James Boyle is the William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law at Duke University Law School, a founder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain, and the author of Shamans, Software, and Spleens: Law and the Construction of the Information Society.