The Best Books We’ve Read in 2024 So Far

The Best Books We’ve Read in 2024 So Far

Virtually every song that Bruce Springsteen has ever written is now owned by Sony, which is reported to have paid five hundred and fifty million dollars for the catalogue. For Bellos, a comparative-literature professor at Princeton, and Montagu, an intellectual-property lawyer, the story of Sony’s big Springsteen buy epitomizes a troubling trend: the rights to a vast amount of created material—music, movies, books, art, games, computer software, scholarly articles, just about any cultural product people will pay to consume—are increasingly owned by a small number of large corporations and are not due to expire for a long time. The problem, they write, is that corporate control of cultural capital robs the commons. While warning against the overreach of contemporary copyright law, this lively, opinionated, and ultra-timely book also raises the alarm about the increasing dominance of artificial intelligence, a technology that threatens to bring the whole legal structure of copyright down.

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