What People Are Saying

"Wonderful, funny… clever. I keep a copy in my desk." - DavisGuggenheim, Oscar-winning director of the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth"

"An indispensable guide for the perplexed (ain't we all!) in this postmodern information age – and all in easy-to-read comics format, a stunt far more difficult than you'd think!" - Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize-winning comic book artist

"If you're a comic-book fan and want to learn more about the very confusing topic of copyright law, you should check out this comic produced by the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law....The comic makes a case for the preservation of the fair use doctrine, which is a potential subject on Capitol Hill as some major voices have called for limits on fair use, to the detriment of Internet media." - Matthew Bandyk, Capital Commerce columnist, US News & World Report

"[I]n a year when media leviathans tried to buy up and privatise the internet's public-access archives such as YouTube, many people will be drawn to Bound By Law? (Duke Law School), a graphic-novel-format introduction to some of the most important tenets of 'free culture' and 'public domain' theory." - Sukhdev Sandhu, New Statesman, 2007 Books

"Bound By Law stars Akiko, a curvaceous, muscular filmmaker (think Tomb Raider's Lara Croft with spiky hair) planning to shoot a documentary about a day in the life of New York City...[It] 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

"Cornel West broke new ground for academics when he made a rap album while teaching at Harvard. Now three law professors have cranked out a comic book, in an effort to explain copyright law to young filmmakers and other creative types." Daniel Lyons, Forbes Magazine

"Documentary filmmakers should read a new comic book called Bound By Law that tackles the legal pitfalls of copyright. Why? Because history hangs in the balance." - Fiona Morgan, Wired NewsQ&A with the authorsGallery of images

"Will a spiky-haired, camera-toting super-heroine... restore decency and common sense to the world of creative endeavor?... Bound By Law exercises the fair-use doctrine in a romp through popular culture." - Paul Bonner, The Herald-Sun

 "This is a fantastic approach for introducing students to copyright law, even at the middle-school level, and a must for professional development. " - Esther Sinofsky, Booklist

"By using the comic book form, [the authors] hope to bring the problem [of the "permissions culture"] to the attention of citizens and policy makers and enrich public debate on the subject. Sometimes funny, sometimes clever, the comic makes a very complex issue simple....Highly recommended." - P.J. Galie, CHOICE (Current Reviews for Academic Libraries)

James Boyle interviewed on NPR about the comic! (File takes a minute to download.)

"Bound By Law riffs expertly on classic comic styles, from the Crypt Keeper to Mad Magazine, superheros to Understanding Comics, and lays out a sparkling, witty, moving and informative story about how the eroded public domain has made documentary filmmaking into a minefield." - Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.net

"Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's Akiko, the fair-use freedom fighter! Akiko is heroine of a new comic book...created by three law profs who worry that a growing 'permissions culture' is hurting creativity by overprotecting it." - William Triplett, Variety Weekly

"Bound By Law presents a unique experience for anyone even slightly interested in the modern applications of copyright and trademark law. Though it is only 72 pages long and reads as easily as a cartoon strip, it conveys complex, nebulous intellectual property principals in an effective and straightforward way." – Devon Sparrow, The Journal of High Technology Law

"Although unusual, the comic book format may be the exact recipe for introducing copyright law to students and other perplexed individuals who worry about how creativity will flourish in a world where every snippet and fragment is owned and controlled." – John F. Barber, Leonardo

"If you're an artist, or if you're simply interested, you can't really do without this book . . . . . The 'firm' of Aoki, Boyle & Jenkins have such a skill with the sentence, as well as an intuitive understanding of visual metaphor and artistic sequence, that it's a good comic even if you'd rather eat your own hands than read about copyright law." – The Informant

"Particularly delightful is the cramming full of almost every panel with easily recognisable copyrighted cultural references such as an image of Mickey Mouse, a reference to Woodstock or McDonalds, myriad cartoon and film figures and literary characters . . . . This is a tale of danger and hope for creative types." – Andrew F., M/C Reviews

"The bewildering field of intellectual property is cleared nicely in this book, which includes boiled-down accounts of how some very rich companies took people to court to prove they were having their logos stolen." – Richard von Busack, Silicon Valley Metro

"Unlike a traditionally written text book about copyright law, Tales from the Public Domain: Bound By Law, being written in comic book style presents the information in an easy to read and understand format, without the reader feeling that they are being patronized or 'spoken down to.'" – Kate Pullen, suite101

"The comic book not only illustrates but makes a point far better than a traditional written work . . . . Not only does it show the firsthand impact of the problems, it also educates about a variety of relevant court decisions. It is also a commentary on trying to make intellectual property law a benefit rather than a hindrance to modern creative work." – Law textbooks reviews

"Bound by Law brings these complex issues across in a simple, enjoyable style. Not only does it show the firsthand impact of the issues, it also educates about a variety of relevant court decisions. It is also a commentary on trying to make intellectual property law a benefit rather than a hindrance to modern creative work…the goal is to educate artists and the public about current issues and provide commentary by those who believe copyright law must be fixed to remain a useful tool in a digital world." - Tim Gebhart, Blogcritics.org

"Bound by Law has been selected as the Electronic Book of the Month for March." - Science Resources, University at Albany, SUNY