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Berkman.TV Presents “Has Common Sense Flown the COOP?”

October 4th, 2007

QuickTime Video

Not too long ago, a student was escorted out of the Harvard University Bookstore (The Coop) for copying ISBNs from course materials only available at that store. The Coop claimed that the student was infringing on their “intellectual property,” because they were going to be used on the Crimson Reading website, which allows students to compare prices of course materials available online.

Clinical student Angela Kang and the Berkman Center’s John Palfrey and Wendy Seltzer joined together in noting the unfounded claims of The Coop in a recent Op-Ed published by The Harvard Crimson:

We’re not sure what “intellectual property” right the Coop has in mind, but it’s none that we recognize. Nor is it one that promotes the progress of science and useful arts, as copyright is intended to do. While intellectual property may have become the fashionable threat of late, even in the wake of the Recording Industry Association of America’s mass litigation campaign the catch-phrase—and the law—has its limits.

Now Berkman TV, the new video production channel from the Berkman Center, has an episode featuring Angela and Wendy, as they elaborate on this argument and the trends in intellectual property claims. Visit MediaBerkman for this episode of Berkman TV and the many more to come!

About is a frequently produced video segment on internet-related news and hot button issues with comments from Berkman fellows, faculty, and friends. will explore a broad spectrum of issues, including, but not limited to, the future of the internet, copyright, net neutrality, intellectual property, public radio, and more. Keep an eye out on this space for more informed commentary from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.

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Entry Filed under: Education,Intellectual Property,video

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