Bill Patry’s How To Fix Copyright Released!

Just in time for hol­i­day gift-giving, Bill Patry’s great new book, “How to Fix Copy­right” is now avail­able for pur­chase.  This book is a follow-up of sorts to his prior work, “Moral Pan­ics and the Copy­right Wars.”

I have just bought my copy and will post my thoughts after I have had time to read and digest, but I had the oppor­tu­nity to review ear­lier drafts of a cou­ple of chap­ters and based on that I am really look­ing for­ward to read­ing the entire book.  Bill knows more about the his­tory and work­ings of copy­right law than any other liv­ing per­son.  His writ­ing is highly engag­ing and his ideas are always thought-provoking.

Highly rec­om­mended!!!!


  1. Your pal Bill knows more about the history…of copy­right law than any other liv­ing per­son, you claim. Then why does he write n this book “Copy­right laws arose out of eighteenth-century mar­kets and tech­nolo­gies”? They arose many years ear­lier as a result of a desire by Charles II to clamp down on print­ers in 1662 dis­trib­ut­ing what was deemed at the time to be sedi­tious and libelous.
    Sloppy. Or Ameri­cen­tric. Take your pick.

    • Yes, he does. I am pretty sure he is refer­ring in this quote to the Statute of Anne, which was enacted in the 18th cen­tury and is widely con­sid­ered by copy­right schol­ars to be the first statu­tory copy­right law, in the way we under­stand copy­right law today (i.e. statu­tory restric­tions enforced by courts rather than a pri­vate guild like the Sta­tion­ers’ Company).

      If you think that Bill doesn’t know about the ear­lier, very dif­fer­ent, copy restric­tions you are talk­ing about (which as you your­self point out was less about pro­tect­ing authors or pub­lish­ers and more about cen­sor­ship), you are delu­sional. He has writ­ten exten­sively about the entire his­tory of copy­right law, includ­ing pre-copyright regimes. In any event, even the pre-copyright restric­tions you are cit­ing were less than 40 years before the 18th cen­tury. So this is the best you can do? I think your are try­ing way too hard to find fault here. But that is your right, of course.

      In any event, he was nei­ther sloppy nor Ameri­cen­tric in what he wrote. He was exactly right.

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