I'm trying to rediscover a book about copyright I once read. The book's cover was the iconic copyright C and a vertical strip motive. It is/was freely distributed as a digital edition.

The book discusses:

  • the flaws with the current copyright system by drawing a graph where 4 different pressures on the law have forced it to become untenable.

  • It elaborates on this by showing similarly untenable cases in the past where farmers where suing airplane companies because they caused their livestock to die and they owned the airspace above their land.

    The law of land ownership assumed the right stretched down to the core forever and towards the sky forever.

    even though they are holding dead chickens in their hands and it's clearly the planes, there was nothing they could do. The public good was more important than a few farmers
    paraphrased quote from the book

  • It also elaborates on modern practices like piracy and software.

  • "What is the title called?" is a pleonastic error. The title is called a title - the title is "Free Culture", or the book is called "Free Culture".
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 24 '18 at 14:21

Is it Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture ? This online version has the farmer and chicken story:

In 1945, these questions became a federal case. When North Carolina farmers Thomas 21 Lee and Tinie Causby started losing chickens because of low-flying military aircraft (the terrified chickens apparently flew into the barn walls and died), the Causbys filed a lawsuit saying that the government was trespassing on their land.


Or at least, this is how things happen when there's no one powerful on the other side of the change. The Causbys were just farmers. And though there were no doubt many like them who were upset by the growing traffic in the air (though one hopes not many chickens flew themselves into walls), the Causbys of the world would find it very hard to unite and stop the idea, and the technology, that the Wright brothers had birthed. The Wright brothers spat airplanes into the technological meme pool; the idea then spread like a virus in a chicken coop; farmers like the Causbys found themselves surrounded by “what seemed reasonable” given the technology that the Wrights had produced. They could stand on their farms, dead chickens in hand, and shake their fists at these newfangled technologies all they wanted. They could call their representatives or even file a lawsuit. But in the end, the force of what seems “obvious” to everyone else - the power of “common sense” - would prevail. Their “private interest” would not be allowed to defeat an obvious public

The book has this diagram showing the flaws of the current copyright system

Perhaps a better site is this .

The cover art has a horizontal motif, however!


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