A provocatively titled op-ed recently published by the New York Times, “Internet Pirates Will Always Win,” urges content providers to give up the legal fight against online copyright infringement as an exercise in futility, as new technologies make illegal downloading and streaming ever “harder to trace and to stop.”   The piece has prompted predictable responses from representatives of copyright industries, with arguments moral and economic.  May I add a little history, drawn from my book, Unfair to Genius, to the mix? (more…)



I should, and will, be posting on Google’s mounting antitrust problems and on the status of its attempt to corner the book search market, but today I am utterly transfixed by the functional Moog Synthesizer that Google has placed on its home page, in honor of what would have been Robert Moog’s 78th birthday.  (What’s so special about round numbers anyway?)



Like many aging baby boomers who still like their music to come in “albums” and literature in “books,” I am often overwhelmed by the pace of technological change. But I remain determined not to become as dated as my grandparents and parents seemed when they reached the other side of middle age, still referring in the present tense to  the “Victrola.”  Sometimes I wish I had a personal assistant who could guide me through the shoals of rapdily changing trends and memes, keeping me focused on those that indeed will matter.  Fortunately, I have found a reasonable, if contrarian, proxy in New York Times columnist Tom Friedman.  His most emphatic exhortations to pay attention have proven to be an almost infallible guide to what can safely be ignored.


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  • Unfair to Genius

    Unfair to Genius is an enlightening and entertaining romp through 60 tumultuous years of legal, artistic, and economic change in the American popular music industry, as seen through the lens of one of its most prolific copyright litigants and legendary outsiders, Ira B. Arnstein. "I suppose we have to take the bad with the good in our system which gives everyone their day in court," Irving Berlin once said, but "Arnstein is stretching his day into a lifetime."

    "Rosen paints a fascinating portrait of one of history's most fertile creative eras--the rise of Tin Pan Alley, or the 'Age of the Songwriter' as Rosen calls it--and the book brims with history relevant to today's disruptive technology climate."

    -Publishers Weekly

    "There's fun to be found in 'Unfair to Genius' as it leavens legal history with showbiz anecdote, and insight with amusement."

    -The Wall Street Journal

    “Superbly researched and written . . . Rosen deftly plots the rise of the music industry in America."


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  • Gary A. Rosen

    Gary A. Rosen, a lawyer, has litigated copyright, patent, and other intellectual property cases for more than 25 years, and is a Lecturer in Legal Studies at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Before entering private practice, he served as a law clerk to federal appellate judge and award-winning legal historian A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. He holds a degree in physics from Haverford College and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. He and his wife Lisa, a physician, and their two children live outside Philadelphia.
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