Cover of Copy This Book! by Paul J. Heald
Copy This Book!
What Data Tells Us about Copyright and the Public Good
Paul J. Heald


200 pages.
from $24.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503613959
Paperback ISBN: 9781503614307
Ebook ISBN: 9781503614314

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Excerpts and More

In Copy This Book!, Paul J. Heald draws on a vast knowledge of copyright scholarship and a deep sense of irony to explain what's gone wrong with copyright in the twenty-first century. Distilling extensive empirical data to clearly show the implications of copyright laws and doctrine for public welfare, he illustrates his findings with lighthearted references to familiar (and obscure) works and their creators (and sometimes their creators' oddball relations). Among the questions he tackles: How does copyright deter composers from writing new songs? Why are so many famous photographs unprotected orphans, and how does Getty Images get away with licensing them? What can the use of music in movies tell us about the proper length of the copyright term? How do publishers get away with claiming rights in public domain works and extracting unmerited royalties from the public? Heald translates piles of data, complex laws, and mysterious economics, equipping readers with the tools for judging past and future copyright law.

About the author

Paul J. Heald is the Albert J. Harno & Edward W. Cleary Chair in Law at the University of Illinois College of the Law. He is the author of five previous books, including four novels, most recently Raggedyland (2020).

"Heald has pioneered the use of cleverly gathered evidence to demonstrate copyright law's sometimes perverse effects on important outcomes, such as whether long ago–published books are actually available to consumers today. Both entertaining and authoritative, this wonderful book provides a leading expert's guided tour of copyright."

—Joel Waldfogel, University of Minnesota

"This should be the most important book on copyright policy in America today. Wrapped in a beautifully compelling narrative, the book will quickly become a classic, and hopefully trigger a more classical view of the role of government-backed monopoly in the creation and spread of culture and knowledge."

—Lawrence Lessig, Harvard University

"This book is so engaging and sensible. This will sound ridiculous, but I can't put it down."

—Saul Levmore, University of Chicago