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


November 2020
200 pages.
from $24.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503613959
Paperback ISBN: 9781503614307



An entertaining and lyrical journey that demystifies copyright law and its effects on everyday life.

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. Heald gathers extensive empirical data and clearly distills the implications of copyright laws and doctrine for public welfare. Along the way, 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: Why are more books in print from the 1880s than the 1980s? 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 does copyright deter the production of audio books? How do publishers get away with claiming rights in public domain works and extracting unmerited royalties from the public?

In light-hearted and energetic prose, Heald translates piles of data, complex laws, and mysterious economics, equipping readers with the tools for judging the wisdom of past and future copyright law.

About the author

Paul J. Heald is Richard W. & Marie L. Corman Research Professor at the University of Illinois College of the Law. He is the author of five previous books, including three novels.