The Case for Books : past, present, and future / Robert Darnton, PublicAffairs, 2009
This very readable book discusses copyright law as seen by the chief of Harvard’s library, who negotiated with Google on their book digitization project. Hard cover, 200 pages.
Delete : the virtue of forgetting in the digital age / Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Princeton University Press, 2009
The Internet does not forget, and that can be a social problem. This book is highly recommended by Lawrence Lessig. Hardcover, 200 pages.
Digital Medicine – Health Care in the Internet Era / West, Darrell M. Brookings Institution Press, 2009
This book, written by public policy researchers at the Brookings Institute, investigates the use of the internet for medical purposes by patients, doctors, and clinical staff. Digital technology will revolutionize medical care, but there are many obstacles to overcome, and the salient ones involve public policy. Well written, hardcover, 150 pages.
Burning the Ships : intellectual property and the transformation of Microsoft / Marshall Phelps, Wiley, 2009
Here is an interesting account of how Microsoft re-thought its approach to intellectual property during the 2000’s. It is written by a Microsoft executive who previously managed IBM and helped it reverse its decline by enforcing its patents. In this book, you have to read between the lines. Hardcover, 150 pages.
The Inventor’s Bible : how to market and license your brilliant ideas / Ronald Louis Docie, Ten Speed Press, 2010
Good practical information to help you profit from your product. 300 pages.
How to Make Patent Drawings : a patent it yourself companion / by Jack Lo, Nolo, 2007
This book focuses on mechanical device patents. Large format, 200 pages.
Wired Shut : copyright and the shape of digital culture / Tarleton Gillespie, MIT Press, 2007
Here is a discussion of DRM. Copyright law has shifted from regulating copying to regulating the design of technology, with profound political and social effects. The author has a blog here.
Licensing and Managing Electronic Resources / Becky Albitz, Chandos, 2008
Here is legal help for librarians in charge of electronic resources, written by an American librarian. It is well written, 150 pages.
Infotopia : how many minds produce knowledge / Cass R. Sunstein, Oxford University Press, 2006
Much can be learned from how wikis, prediction markets and open source can generate correct information based on input from many people. “This extraordinary work synthesizes the latest in how we know, with the latest in what the web has become, to map more compellingly than any other book the promise and risk of the information society.”
Access denied : the practice and policy of global Internet filtering / edited by Ronald Deibert, MIT Press, 2008
This is an important book about freedom of internet access worldwide. The authors are academic leading lights. It reports a detailed survey of counties around the world: what do they attempt to control, how do they do it, and how effective are they. Further, when Google, Yahoo and other companies do business in controlled countries, how should they handle this issue.