The Illustrated Story of Copyright

Excerpts from the reviews (Scroll down to see all fifteen)
Click on a name to see the complete review (where available)

             Samuels has effectively achieved the rare balance of explaining esoteric legal principles in a succinct yet meaningful and comprehensive manner. . . . The Illustrated Story of Copyright should be a mandatory companion with all copyright law casebooks. . . .
            While contextually related to the surrounding section, the sidebar information stands on its own. In fact, you will thoroughly enjoy flipping through the book reading the whimsical tales before embarking on a page to page reading. You'll find yourself smiling, shaking your head and saying, "hmmm." . . .
            Please, do yourself, your students or your clients a favor and purchase a copy of The Illustrated Story of Copyright.
               --The Journal of High Technology Law, Suffolk Law School, by Stephen R. Wilson

       Not since Benjamin Kaplan's magisterial and prophetic An Unhurried View of Copyright, published in 1967, has anyone written so lucid and entertaining a book about this nearly deadly but intrinsically fascinating subject. . . . Samuels . . .manages to convey in words and pictures all that any layman needs to know about the theory and practice of copyright.
       --The Atlantic Monthly, by Peter Davison (December 2000)
       With its sound scholarship, The Illustrated Story of Copyright succeeds brilliantly. In a mere 250 pages it makes clear and resolves seemingly disparate elements of an area of law that dominates our collective economic and cultural future. But this is not its true success. Its highest achievement is communicating in a novel manner one man's love affair with the tangible achievements of the human mind in all forms to a general audience. General practitioners will find demystification, copyright practitioners will find depth. Buy it.
       --New York Law Journal, by Raymond Dowd

               Harmonizing copyright law and copyright lore with informal humor and lively illustrations, Edward Samuels presents the history of copyright law in an easy-to-understand format.  Beginning with current controversies over digital technologies, computer software, and infringement, Samuels looks to the past, sketching his information in a historical context and transforming what often appear as rather dry facts into a spirited illustrated story.
           Libraries & Culture, byDeon Dempsey, University of Texas at Austin




       Rating: ***** stars [Outstanding, engrossing, a classic]. This book is downright fun. . . . It's laid out like a textbook, but don't picture organic chemistry, picture Psychology 101 on caffeine. . . .This is a survey course masquerading as leisure reading. . . .The book's tone is conversational, and while Samuels has lots of knowledge to impart, he doesn't lecture. . . .Samuels has succeeded wildly. He's crafted a comprehensive book on a substantial topic, and he's made the topic both accessible and enjoyable.
       --Inscriptions Magazine, by Audrey Snowden
        Copyright expert Samuels (law, New York Law Sch.) succeeds admirably in his goal of providing an easy-to-understand review of copyright for the general public. . . . Samuels is such a good writer that readers from high school level and up will understand the topic; simple and complex concepts are presented with equal clarity. . . . This first-rate, accessible introduction to a hot topic is very highly recommended for public and all levels of academic libraries.
       --Library Journal, by Patrick J. Brunet, Western Wisconsin Tech Coll., La Crosse
          [A] treasure trove of historical tidbits, photographs, and anecdotes about major cases, technologies and court decisions that have shaped copyright law. . . . [A] remarkably entertaining book. . . . [A]n interesting blend of history and doctrine much in the tradition of scholars such as Benjamin Kaplan and Paul Goldstein.
       -Michael Rustad, Bimonthly Review of Law Books (May/June 2001)
       (Click here to see Prof. Rustad's interview with the author.)
       [T]he author has created a surprisingly enjoyable, entertaining and easy to read book. The secret of Samuels’ success is his liberal use of interesting illustrations, his lightly humorous tone and a focus -- particularly in the first half of the book -- on the stories behind the making of copyright law. [A] perspective that is refreshing and illuminating. . . .
       --Book Review, Western Carolina University College of Business by Dan Clapper

       Starting from the perspective of the future of technological innovations such as computers and software, Samuels looks into the past, placing those innovations in historical context and giving life to what is generally considered an esoteric subject. . . . Readers will enjoy learning how copyright applies to pop-cultural products, from movies to musicals to computer software.
       --Booklist, Vernon Ford
       "The Illustrated Story of Copyright" traces the history of copyright law, primarily in the United States, from Thomas Jefferson to chat rooms. The book provides significant and readable insight into the evolving legal issues behind some of today's most important technology, including the dispute between Apple and Microsoft over the Windows graphical user interface, computer software and online infringement.
(including an interview with the author)

        Metallica's battle with Napster is nothing new: People have been freaking out about copyright laws ever since the player piano, notes New York Law School professor Edward Samuels in The Illustrated Story of Copyright (St. Martin's), which traces the concept of intellectual ownership from the invention of the printing press to the Internet, with stops including Abraham Zapruder and Pac-Man.
       --eCompanyNow, Shelf Space, by Heather Kenny

The next three entries are not so much reviews as pre-publication endorsements:

        Copyright is often seen--if it is considered at all--as an impediment to personal enjoyment, or as the engine of corporate greed. In this hostile environment, Professor Edward Samuels' The Illustrated Story of Copyright,written to be accessible to college and high school audiences, is a welcome corrective. . . . Professor Samuels' guided tour . . . brings to life the inventors, investors, authors and users whose sometimes competing interests shaped the often complicated contours of modern copyright law.
        --Jane C. Ginsburg, Morton L. Janklow Professor of Literary and Artistic Property Law, Columbia University School of Law
        I found Prof. Samuels' book absolutely absorbing from cover to cover. . . . The book has many strengths--an excellent introduction to copyright basics, a breezy history of copyright, and a sample of the juicy cases that helped shape the law, all enhanced with great photographs, artwork, movie stills, and cartoons. . . . Best of all, Prof. Samuels recounts many delicious anecdotes--some familiar, some new--about famous writers, composers, movie stars, and photographers in a way that makes the law come alive.
Ralph Oman, Dechert, Washington, D.C., U. S. Register of Copyrights 1985-93

       A lively and informed introduction to copyright law, The Illustrated Story of Copyright is as timely as it is readable.
       --Paul Goldstein, Stanford Law School, author of Copyright's Highway: The Law and Lore of Copyright from Gutenberg to the Celestial Jukebox (1994)

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