How to Fix Copyright: the video

Here's a video of Google's head copyright lawyer Bill Patry (one of America's foremost copyright scholars) discussing his brilliant latest book How to Fix Copyright with copyfighting record exec Jim Griffin.

Social Music Summit 2012 - How to Fix Copyright (Thanks, Joly!)


  1. Title & description are misleading.  Biography of Bill would be more accurate.  They actually discussed the book, or copyright, very little.

    1. Autark is right: The title is not mine. Rambling and unscripted, Stephen? Neither: Timeline is clear, choronological review of author’s life, well-researched in advance, but not “pre-prepared” such that his responses are more candid.

      Nonetheless, it is revealing throughout on the title issue because the author’s own creative underpinnings and motivations are metaphor for the larger issue of copyright. He reveals his full creativity, much greater than his two mass market books. He is also a musician, collects musical instruments, is raising musical children. He has written another 6,000 pages in a treatise on copyright that is not at all mass market and for which he receives little compensation. He himself does not hire an attorney to represent him in his own copyright negotiations. And so on.

      Most importantly, he creates because it is how he learns and grows.

      The assignment was a fireside chat with the author, not a copyright lecture or debate. I find Bill Patry an interesting guy; Judging from the mail I’ve received the audience did, too. A half hour of video is nowhere near enough to get deeply into the topic, but if you find the author interesting then you will like the books even more. As he observes in the video, they’re available instantly via torrent or $10 on a popular e-reader.

      1.  Copyright hasn’t helped anyone but the rich because only they can afford the lawyers to enforce it. And it doesn’t help the little guy since the rich will only pay what they have to to get your copyright and then you can’t use anything you created unless you want to see it to them for even less. Why would you want to keep it?

  2.  25 minutes of talking about something other than the topic and 5 minutes of the glittering generalities. Yep, that about sums up the state of copyright.

  3. I wonder if a scan of this book (by Google’s head copyright lawyer) is available at Google Books?  

  4. What I can say is that, after this talk, I went and bought the book, and it’s an excellent read. Very accessible. And reads even better knowing as much about the author as I learnt from the chat.

  5. Asking a Google lawyer on how to fix copyright seems to me as reasonable as on how to ask a Goldman-Sachs lawyer on how to fix the financial market. 

  6. I’m sure he’s very smart about copyright, but I wouldn’t trust this guy to make a cup of coffee. Not appreciating his dismissive remarks about Texas. 

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