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Copyright in Historical Perspective

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0826513731
ISBN-10: 0826513735
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  • Copyright in Historical Perspective
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  • Authors and Owners: The Invention of Copyright
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  • The Construction of Authorship: Textual Appropriation in Law and Literature (Post-Contemporary Interventions)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press (December 19, 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826513735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826513731
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This is an extraordinarily important book for understanding our current copyright mess. It is not a trade book -- it was written as an academic's text. But it is beautifully and clearly written, and it shows as plainly as possible just how radically copyright law has changed. That point alone is not terribly original -- except that Patterson made the point in 1968. He is, and this book is, the founding text of a movement designed to restore rationality to the regulation of speech that we call copyright law. If you haven't read this, then shut up until you have.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone not trained in the discipline of History, I found this book's accessibility and general clarity to be delightfully surprising. Sections of the early history (e.g., the Stationer's copyright and the statute of Anne) could have been described and explained more clearly, but overall the book conveys a wealth of information in an efficient manner. My only real complaint is that the first half of the history of copyright gets about 80-90% of the weight in the book, while the changes since 1800 and especially since 1900 receive relatively little attention. So you may want to search for other treatments of recent developments. But I agree with the other reviewer that this is a must-read if you want to contribute to the conversation on copyright.
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Copyright in Historical Perspective
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