In the most recent New Yorker magazine (October 20, 2014; also available online), staff writer Louis Menand deciphers not only the basics of American copyright law, but also some of the fundamental debates about it in “Crooner in Rights Spat.” This article is not only informative, it stands as a great potential access point to bring students and faculty up to speed on the issues.  My biggest critique of the piece is that Menand has pulled the wool from my eyes and I now feel guilty providing links.  I will, however, suppress my guilt and tell you that the article is available here:

On the heels of this, the (online) yesterday published “Taking Pictures: A Way for Photographers to Protect Their Work,” by Betsy Morais. This brief profile of photographer and photojournalist Yunghi Kim illlustrates the many ways that photographers in particular (and, one might assume, visual artists more generally) must protect their rights to their work in the age of easy digital reproduction. An excellent article to share with students who are both content producers and content consumers. See


One Response to “Good copy(right) in the New Yorker”

  1. Tim Bartik Says:

    Menand’s discussion of links makes no sense. How does providing a link to an article that the New Yorker has voluntarily decided to make free in any way violate copyright? The New Yorker is still completely in control of the content. If they decide to take the article down, the link will be broken. If they decide to start charging a fee for the article, then the link will go to a webpage that will ask the person to make a payment.

    In contrast, if a website actually copies the article to its website, then the New Yorker loses control, and that clearly violates copyright.

    There is an in-between case where the link is provided but it is framed at the original website, which I think is questionable, but Menand totally muddles this discussion.

    Furthermore, the statement that you are still “at” a website if pushing the back button brings you back to that website makes absolutely no sense in terms of how the internet actually works.