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For the past five years Harriet Pilpel's stimulating and informative articles on the perils besetting writers and publishers, ""But Can You Do That?"" have appeared monthly in The Publishers' Weekly: here, in expanded book form and subtitled ""A Handbook of Literary and Entertainment Law"" they are made available to a less specialized reading public. Writing for ""creative persons"", owners of ""intellectual property"" rather than real estate, the authors divide their book into nine sections with subdivisions, such as Libel and Slander, once distinct, now, thanks to radio, TV and motion pictures, falling over each other and also over Right of Fair Comment; Privacy, ""the right to be let alone ... the right most valued by civilized men"", now daily threatened by advertisers, cameras and eager-beaver journalists; Copyright, that complicated matter, and Rights under Copyright, and its sister-subject, Protection of Ideas, which in theory cannot under law be protected, but sometimes is. Other sections deal with Taxes, heartbreaking in this country, which treats writers as second-class citizens; Contracts; Unfair Competition; and Censorship; regrettably Plagiarism is not given a section to itself, although it is dealt with, not too broadly, in other sections. Necessarily limited in appeal and making no effort to be the last word in a subject in which there can be no last word, this authoritative, witty and readable book will interest writers, publishers, producers, advertising executives and similar harassed souls who, fearful of falling into unknown legal traps, will welcome advice as to how to avoid unforeseen lawsuits. Literary agents should also profit by it.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1960
Publisher: Dutton