James Grimmelman Joins Publishers Weekly As Contributing Editor For Legal Affairs

By Dianna Dilworth Comment

New York Law School professor of law James Grimmelman has joined Publishers Weekly as contributing editor for legal affairs.

Grimmelman, who writes about intellectual property, online privacy and Internet law, created the site The Public Index as a place for readers to learn about the Google Books settlement.

In his role as contributor for PW, Grimmelman will contribute blog posts, occasional features and columns, as well as provide the magazine with editorial guidance on legal stories.

He wrote his first piece to the publication yesterday, examining the role of content ownership in the era of digital. Responding to rumors that Bruce Willis was suing Apple (a tabloid lie that proposed that the actor was upset because he couldn’t leave his MP3 collection to his daughters when he died), Grimmelman writes:

Traditionally, a crucial part of copyright law’s bargain between author and audience was that the author owns the copyright, the audience owns their copies. This second half of the deal—that we have the right to give away our media, to lend them to friends or sell them to strangers—was enforced by the doctrine known as first sale. You buy something and it’s yours. Only the author has the right to authorize more copies, but you can do with yours as you please. Increasingly, however, the terms of service and technical restrictions that lock down digital copies are reneging on this deal.