Did that headline get you attention? Trust me… you want to check this out.

The folks at Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain has produced a comic book that explains copyright in both a clear and interesting way. Learn about the delicate balance between intellectual property and the public domain – the realm of material that is free to use without permission or payment.

Get this free comic book (yes, a comic) Free digital versions

Bound by Law translates law into plain English and abstract ideas into visual metaphors. So the comic’s heroine, Akiko, brandishes a laser gun as she fends off a cyclopean ‘Rights Monster’ – all the while learning copyright law basics, including the line between fair use and copyright infringement. -Brandt Goldstein, The Wall Street Journal online

Story Summary

A documentary is being filmed. A cell phone rings, playing the Rocky theme song. The filmmaker is told she must pay $10,000 to clear the rights to the song. Can this be true? Eyes on the Prize, the great civil rights documentary, was pulled from circulation because the filmmakers rights to music and footage had expired. Whats going on here? Its the collision of documentary filmmaking and intellectual property law, and its the inspiration for this new comic book. Follow its heroine Akiko as she films her documentary, and navigates the twists and turns of intellectual property. Why do we have copyrights? Whats fair use? Bound By Law reaches beyond documentary film to provide a commentary on the most pressing issues facing law, art, property and an increasingly digital world of remixed culture.

Free digital versions