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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