NEW INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND THE AUTHOR
Technology always seems to outpace contracts and the law. Every major information storage medium developed in the last hundred years has brought with it conflict over legal definition and rights. The phonograph record created issues over monopoly control and jukebox play. The audiotape wasn't exactly a phonorecord, so people argued about whether phonorecord legal provisions applied. The videotape recorder allowed rapid, convenient off-the-air copying of copyright-protected movies. The scanner allows almost any film or printed material to be copied quickly and cheaply. The computer program that produced a screen display was appropriated by some who claimed that, since it couldn't be read by the unaided human eye, copyright didn't apply and they could use it without compensating the developer. And now the Internet, struggling to find commercially exploitable markets, makes available to the world copyrighted content on a scale previously unimagined.
Publishing contracts haven't kept pace.
In 1990 Jack Mingo, author of eleven books including The Couch Potato Handbook and How the Cadillac Got Its Fins, published The Whole Pop Catalog. It was a 608-page compendium of the icons, objects, personalities,