Essential Guide to Intellectual Property
(Yale Press, 2019)
This engaging and accessible study looks at the origins, evolution, purpose, and limitations of intellectual property. Detailing how intellectual property affects industry, politics, cultural expression, and medical research, Aram Sinnreich takes a multidisciplinary approach to uncover what’s behind the current debates and what the future holds for copyrights, patents, and trademarks.
Based on the notion that intellectual property law is not merely a property right but also a mechanism of cultural and economic regulation with significant consequences for democratic institutions, global businesses, arts, and the sciences, Sinnreich draws on media studies, communications, law, economics, and cultural studies as he provides a blueprint for understanding intellectual property rights and underlines the important and pervasive role that they play in everyone’s lives.
Sinnreich’s guide to intellectual property is, well, essential
Aram Sinnreich’s Essential Guide to Intellectual Property provides an engaging analysis of the role of copyright, patents, and trademarks in shaping and regulating industry, politics, and cultural expression.
This engaging introductory book is suitable for undergraduates in the arts, humanities, business, sciences, and social sciences.
One of the best copyright books of all time.
The Piracy Crusade
(UMass Press, 2013)
In the decade and a half since Napster first emerged, forever changing the face of digital culture, the claim that "internet pirates killed the music industry" has become so ubiquitous that it is treated as common knowledge. Piracy is a scourge on legitimate businesses and hard-working artists, we are told, a "cybercrime" similar to identity fraud or even terrorism.
In The Piracy Crusade, I critique the notion of "piracy" as a myth perpetuated by today's cultural cartels -- the handful of companies that dominate the film, software, and especially music industries. As digital networks have permeated our social environment, they have offered vast numbers of people the opportunity to experiment with innovative cultural and entrepreneurial ideas predicated on the belief that information should be shared widely. This has left the media cartels, whose power has historically resided in their ability to restrict the flow of cultural information, with difficult choices: adapt to this new environment, fight the changes tooth and nail, or accept obsolescence. Their decision to fight has resulted in ever stronger copyright laws and the aggressive pursuit of accused infringers.
Yet the most dangerous legacy of this "piracy crusade" is not the damage inflicted on promising start-ups or on well-intentioned civilians caught in the crosshairs of file-sharing litigation. Far more troubling, Sinnreich argues, are the broader implications of copyright laws and global treaties that sacrifice free speech and privacy in the name of combating the phantom of piracy -- policies that threaten to undermine the foundations of democratic society.
(UMass Press, 2010)
Mashed Up chronicles the rise of "configurability," an emerging musical and cultural moment rooted in today's global, networked communications infrastructure. Based on interviews with dozens of prominent DJs, attorneys, and music industry executives, the book argues that today's battles over sampling, file sharing, and the marketability of new styles such as "mash-ups" and "techno" presage social change on a far broader scale.
Music has always been regulated in societies around the globe. Institutional authorities ranging from dynastic China's "Office to Harmonize Sounds" to today's copyright collecting societies like BMI and ASCAP leverage the rule of law and the power of the market to make sure that some musical forms and practices are allowed and others are prohibited.
Yet, despite the efforts of these powerful regulators, musical cultures consistently devise new and innovative ways to work around institutional regulations. These workarounds often generate new styles and traditions in turn, with effects far beyond the cultural sphere.
This book suggests some new twists in this age-old story: the emergence of a new ethic of configurable collectivism; an economic reunion of labor; a renegotiation of the line between public and private; a shift from linear to recursive logic; and a new "DJ consciousness," in which the margins are becoming the new mainstream. Whether these changes are sudden or gradual, violent or peaceful, will depend on whether we heed the lessons of configurability, or continue to police and punish the growing ranks of the mashed up.
I frequently contribute articles and opinion pieces to popular news outlets. Below is a list of some recently published pieces:
I have been publishing peer-reviewed scholarly research, public interest research, and market research since the 1990s. Common subjects include digital media industries, intellectual property, musical and sound cultures, privacy and surveillance, critical data studies, and internet governance. Below is a list of publications, in APA format, categorized by type. Links are provided where the research is publicly available. You may find additional information about my scholarly work, as well as downloadable copies of articles, on public repositories including SSRN, ResearchGate, Academia.edu, and Archive.org.
Sinnreich, A. & Brooks, L. J. A. (Eds.). (2016). Imagining Futuretypes (Forum). International Journal of Communication, 10.
Gillespie, T., Aufderheide, P., Carmi, E., Gerrard, Y., Gorwa, R., Matamoros-Fernández, A., Roberts, S. T., Sinnreich, A. & Myers West, S. (2020). Expanding the debate about content moderation: Scholarly research agendas for the coming policy debates. Internet Policy Review, 9(4). DOI: 10.14763/2020.4.1512
Davis, D. & Sinnreich, A. (2020). Beyond fact-checking: Lexical patterns as lie detectors in Donald Trump’s tweets. International Journal of Communication, 14, 5237–5260.
Sinnreich, A., Aufderheide, P., Clifford, M., & Shahin, S. (2020). Access shrugged: The decline of the copyleft and the rise of utilitarian openness. New Media & Society. DOI: 10.1177/1461444820957304
Sinnreich, A., Aufderheide, P. & Newman, D. (2020). Creative action under two copyright regimes: Filmmaking and visual arts in Australia and the U.S. Communication, Culture & Critique. https://doi.org/10.1093/ccc/tcaa003
Sinnreich, A. & Gilbert, J. (2019). The carrier wave principle. International Journal of Communication, 13, 5816–5840.
Brøvig-Hanssen, R. & Sinnreich, A. (2019). Do You Wanna Build a Wall? Remix Tactics in the Age of Trump. Popular Music & Society, 43(5).
Sinnreich, A. & Carmi, E. (2019). Sonic Publics: Introduction and Audio Transcript. International Journal of Communication, 13, 359-382.
Sinnreich, A. (2019). Music, Copyright, and Technology: A Dialectic in Five Moments. International Journal of Communication, 13, 422-439.
Aufderheide, P., Sinnreich, A., & Silvernail, C., (2019). Norms-shifting on copyright and fair use in the visual arts community. Visual Arts Research, 45(2), 91-108.
Sinnreich, A. (2018). Four Crises in Algorithmic Governance. Annual Review of Law and Ethics.
Aufderheide, P., Sinnreich, A., & Graf, J. (2018). The Limits of the Limits of the Law: How Useable are DMCA Anti-Circumvention Exceptions? International Journal of Communication, 12, Feature 4353-4372.
Sinnreich, A., Forelle, M. & Aufderheide, P. (2018). Copyright givers and takers: Mutuality, altruism and instrumentalism in open licensing. Communication Law & Policy, 23(3).
Sinnreich, A. & Brooks, L. J. A. (2016). A seat at the nerd table — Introduction. International Journal of Communication, 10, Forum 5664-5668.
Sinnreich, A., Lingel, J., Lichfield, G. & Rottinghaus, A. R. (2016). Everybody and nobody: Visions of individualism and collectivity in the age of AI. International Journal of Communication, 10, Forum 5669–5683.
Lingel, J., Sutko, D., Lichfield, G. & Sinnreich, A. (2016). Black holes as metaphysical silence. International Journal of Communication, 10, Forum 5684–5692.
Pluretti, R., Lingel, J. & Sinnreich, A. (2016). Towards an “other” dimension: An essay on transcendence of gender and sexuality. International Journal of Communication, 10, Forum 5732–5739.
Brooks, L. J. A., Sutko, D., Sinnreich, A. & Wallace, R. (2016). Afro-futuretyping generation starships and new Earths 05015 C.E. International Journal of Communication, 10, Forum 5749–5762.
Lingel, J. & Sinnreich, A. (2016). Incoded counter-conduct: What the incarcerated can teach us about resisting mass surveillance. First Monday, 21(5). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v21i5.6172
Sinnreich, A. (2015). Sharing in spirit: Kopimism and the digital Eucharist. Information, Communication and Society, 19(4), 504-517.
Aufderheide, P. & Sinnreich, A. (2015). Documentarians, fair use and free expression: Changes in copyright attitudes and actions with access to best practices. Information, Communication & Society, 19(2), 178-187.
Sinnreich, A. & Aufderheide, P. (2015). Communication scholars and fair use: The case for discipline-wide education and institutional reform. International Journal of Communication, 9; 818-828.
Sinnreich, A. & Latonero, M. (2014). Tracking configurable culture from the margins to the mainstream. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(4); 798-823.
Trammell, A. & Sinnreich, A. (2014). Visualizing game studies: Materiality and sociality from chessboard to circuit board. Journal of Games Criticism, 1(1). Published online: http://gamescriticism.org/articles/trammellsinnreich-1-1/
Latonero, M. & Sinnreich, A. (2014). The hidden demography of new media ethics. Information, Communication & Society, 17(5); 572-593
Bossewitch, J. & Sinnreich, A. (2013). The end of forgetting: Strategic agency beyond the Panopticon. New Media & Society, 15(2); 224-242.
Sinnreich, A., Graham, N. & Trammell, A. (2011). Weaving a New 'Net: A Mesh- Based Solution for Democratizing Networked Communications. The Information Society, 27(5); 336-345.
Sinnreich, A., Latonero, M., & Gluck, M. (2009). Ethics Reconfigured: How Today's Media Consumers Evaluate the Role of Creative Reappropriation. Information, Communication & Society, 12(8); 1242-1260.
Sinnreich, A., Chib, A., & Gilbert, J. (2008). Modeling information equality: Social and media latency effects on information diffusion. International Journal of Communication, 2(1); 1-20.
Sinnreich, A. & Dols, S. (forthcoming). Chopping Neoliberalism, Screwing the Industry: DJ Screw, the Dirty South, and the Temporal Politics of Resistance. In R. Christopher (Ed.), Hip-Hop Theory: Time, Technology, and the 21st Century. University of Minnesota Press.
Rosa, F. R., Clifford, M., & Sinnreich, A. (2021). The more things change: Who gets left behind as remix goes mainstream? In E. Navas, O. Gallagher, and x. burrough (Eds.), The handbook of remix studies and digital humanities. New York: Routledge.
Sinnreich, A. (2020). Configurable culture in small and large media markets: A comparative cross-national perspective. In J. Macek, P. Stepan, P. Szczepanik, and P. Zahrádka (Eds.), Digital peripheries: Online circulation of audiovisual content from the small market perspective. New York: Springer.
Sinnreich, A. (2019). Music, Copyright, and Technology: A Historical Dance in Five Moments. In D. Diederichsen (Ed.), 100 jahre copyright. Berlin: Matthes & Seitz; 102–124.
Davis, D. H. & Sinnreich, A. (2018). Tweet the Press: Effects of Donald Trump’s “Fake News!” Epithet on Civics and Popular Culture. In M. Lockhart (Ed.), President Donald Trump and his political discourse: Ramifications of rhetoric via Twitter. New York: Routledge; 195–223.
Sinnreich, A. (2018). The ‘thing’ about music: Hearing power at the nexus of technology, property and culture. In P. Messaris & D. Park (Eds.), The inclusive vision: Essays in honor of Larry Gross. New York: Peter Lang; 127–140.
Sinnreich, A. (2017). Remarks on design and copyright in the age of silicon. In S. Owens (Ed.), Design unfolds: Contemporary creative strategies from appropriation to collaboration. Zurich: Zurich University of the Arts.
Sinnreich, A. (2017). Collaborative. In E. Navas, O. Gallagher, and x. burrough (Eds.), Keywords in remix studies. New York: Routledge; 56–66.
Figueres, P., Liao, C., Gunkel, D., Kanai, A., Harrison, N., Gallagher, O., Miller, P. D., burrough, x., Nunes, M., Vallier, J., Keifer-Boyd, K., Coppa, F., Jenkins, H., Tushnet, R., Wille, J., Sinnreich, A., Navas, E., Janneke, A., Spooky, DJ, et al. (2017). Appropriation. In E. Navas, O. Gallagher, and x. burrough (Eds.), Keywords in Remix Studies. New York: Routledge.
Sinnreich, A. (2016). Ethics, evolved: An international perspective on copying in the networked age. In D. H. Hick and R. Schmücker, The Aesthetics and Ethics of Copying. London: Bloomsbury; 315-334.
Sinnreich, A. (2016). Slicing the Pie: The Search for an Equitable Recorded Music Economy. In P. Wikström and R. DeFillippi (Eds.), Business Innovation and Disruption in the Music Industry. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar; 153-174.
Sinnreich, A. (2015). Music cartels and the dematerialization of power. In A. Bennett and S. Waksman (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Popular Music. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 611-626.
Sinnreich, A. (2014). The emerging ethics of networked culture. In E. Navas, O. Gallagher, and x. burrough (Eds.), The Remix Studies Reader. New York: Routledge; 227-245.
Sinnreich, A. & Latonero, M. (2014). Uncommon knowledge: Testing persistent beliefs about configurable culture and society. In L. Lievrouw (Ed.), Challenging Communication Research (ICA Theme Book, 2013). Peter Lang; 123-140.
Sinnreich, A. (2013). How bad is P2P, anyway? In R. Braga and G. Caruso (Eds.), The Piracy Effect. Cinergie Books; 49-62.
Sinnreich, A. & Gluck, M. (2006). Music and fashion: the balancing act between creativity and control. In D. Bollier and L. Racine (Eds.), Ready to Share: Fashion and the Ownership of Creativity. Los Angeles: Norman Lear Center Press; 47-69.
BOOK REVIEWS & ESSAYS
Sinnreich, A. (2017). A cultural approach to Carey. [Review of the book James W. Carey and communication research: Reputation at the university's margins, by Jefferson Pooley]. International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, 13(3), 327- 330.
Sinnreich, A. (2007). Come together, right now: We know something’s happening, but we don’t know what it is. [Review of the book Convergence Culture, by Henry Jenkins]. International Journal of Communication; 1(1).
Sinnreich, A. (2005). All that jazz was: Remembering the mainstream avant-garde. American Quarterly, 57(2); 561-572.
Wang. J. & Sinnreich, A. (forthcoming, 2021). Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. In L. A. Schintler and C. L. McNeely (Eds.), The Encyclopedia of Big Data. New York: Springer.
Dunham, I. & Sinnreich, A. (2018). File sharing. In B. Warf (Ed.), The Sage Encyclopedia of the Internet. Washington, DC: Sage; 376-378.
Garlitz, J. & Sinnreich, A. (2014). Musicians and social media in politics. In K. Harvey (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics. Washington, DC: Sage; 861-866.
Sinnreich, A. (2014). How publishers can make the most of mobile advertising. (Research report). GigaOM Research.
Sinnreich, A. (2014). Legal challenges and opportunities for 3D printing. (Research report). GigaOM Research
Sinnreich, A. (2014). 3D printing: Hype, hope or threat? (Research report). GigaOM Research.
Sinnreich, A. (2013). The revolution will be targeted: RTB and the future of programmatic advertising. (Research report). GigaOM Pro.
Sinnreich, A. (2013). Frenemy mine: The pros and cons of social partnerships for online media companies. (Research report). GigaOM Pro.
Sinnreich, A. (2018). Policy Briefing Note: An International Approach to Data Privacy. Center for Media & Social Impact
Sinnreich, A. (2018). Testimony in support of net neutrality, DC Council.
That's the least of it— Old Crow Meta-Sinn Show 🗽🎶 (@aram) December 1, 2021
My new favorite toy. Not an official Spotify product; it just uses the API. Much faster and better than any music recommender I've ever used. Made by artists! https://t.co/XI5y4hGIpC— Eileen Clancy (@clancynewyork) December 1, 2021
If you don't know, now you knowhttps://t.co/xoNHOuqnJ2— Old Crow Meta-Sinn Show 🗽🎶 (@aram) December 1, 2021
I was lucky to be a music student @wesleyan_u when the great #AlvinLucier was teaching & making music there.— Old Crow Meta-Sinn Show 🗽🎶 (@aram) December 1, 2021
I play "I am sitting in a room" for my @AU_SOC students every year & to this day I don't think anyone's made a better artwork about cybernetic culture.#RestInFeedback https://t.co/3aJxN6dL67
Sorry, the proper title of the song is "Estimated Prophet." It's been a few decades since I listened to Terrapin Station.— Old Crow Meta-Sinn Show 🗽🎶 (@aram) December 1, 2021
I still remember hearing you singing "California" to yourself in your Jup cubicle at 627, and realizing "this guy is not who he seems to be"— Old Crow Meta-Sinn Show 🗽🎶 (@aram) December 1, 2021
Did... an algorithm write this? https://t.co/0CODBgmxjB— Old Crow Meta-Sinn Show 🗽🎶 (@aram) December 1, 2021
Last night a DJ saved my life, 18th Century version https://t.co/vVoIAqLxmF— Old Crow Meta-Sinn Show 🗽🎶 (@aram) December 1, 2021
There's so little pleasure in being right sometimes.— Old Crow Meta-Sinn Show 🗽🎶 (@aram) December 1, 2021