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The Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish - Morgan Dawn Livejournal:The Here And Now
The Here And Now
The Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish
This applies to both commercial and fannish works. The more control that is exerted over our culture and our fanworks, the more they are likely to disappear.

Or to paraphrase  Cory Doctorow: "That which does not get copied becomes extinct."

"A book published during the presidency of Chester A. Arthur has a greater chance of being in print today than one published during the time of Reagan.

Last year I wrote about some very interesting research being done by Paul J. Heald at the University of Illinois, based on software that crawled Amazon for a random selection of books. At the time, his results were only preliminary, but they were nevertheless startling: There were as many books available from the 1910s as there were from the 2000s. The number of books from the 1850s was double the number available from the 1950s. Why? Copyright protections (which cover titles published in 1923 and after) had squashed the market for books from the middle of the 20th century, keeping those titles off shelves and out of the hands of the reading public.....

.....This is not a gently sloping downward curve! Publishers seem unwilling to sell their books on Amazon for more than a few years after their initial publication. The data suggest that publishing business models make books disappear fairly shortly after their publication and long before they are scheduled to fall into the public domain. Copyright law then deters their reappearance as long as they are owned."

Read the article here. [A Dreamwidth post with comment count unavailable comments | Post or read on Dreamwidth| How to use OpenID]

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catalenamara From: catalenamara Date: September 26th, 2013 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
A tragedy very few are paying any attention to.
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