Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Book Review: International Copyright–African Relevance

imageAfro-Leo, in a less furry and (unfortunately) nsima/ugali-free alter-ego, posted a book review of the Second Edition of Paul Goldstein and Bernt Hugenholtz’s International Copyright on the copyright-specific The 1709 Blog.  Now, back in furry form, Afro-Leo would like to focus on the specifically African aspects of the book.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of this book is not its mentions of Africa, but the references to which it points.  Only one small section on “Other Regional Agreements” specifically covers ARIPO and OAPI, but the footnotes in the section point to a number of authoritative works written by top IP experts from Africa.  Seeing that made Afro-Leo very happy.

Although that is the only section that particularly mentions Africa, the book still includes a lot of information that is relevant for African practitioners and scholars.  There’s the obvious bit, the parts that are relevant simply because so many countries in Africa have copyright laws inherited from European countries.  There’s also the information on Berne, the UCC, TRIPs and the WCT, agreements to which many African countries belong.  (Every country but Western Sahara, Congo DRC, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea belongs to at least one.)  See the 1709 post for more about the book’s coverage of these things.

The real bonus in the book comes with coverage of certain topics often at issue in many African countries: boarder control measures, piracy, and the intersection of copyright and human rights, to name a few.  This is one book you’ll enjoy more than the termites. (So keep it away from them.)

Book details:
Title: International Copyright: Principles, Law and Practice
Authors: Paul Goldstein (Stanford University) and Bernt Hugenholtz (University of Amsterdam)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages: 407 (book-book), 565 (with appendix and index), 592 (with preface and everything)
Color: very pretty medium green
Sturdy, heavy-weight paper-back cover
List Price: $95.00

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