Books off the Shelf & the Problem of Copyright Term Extension: An Empirical Analysis of Books Written by Nobel Prize Authors in Literature
37 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2019
Date Written: October 12, 2019
The main argument that supports copyright extension in the United States and elsewhere has been that bad things happen once copyrighted works enter the public domain, where, more copyright extension means more distribution of copyright material. However, Paul Heald’s empirical legal research suggests that extending copyrights means fewer books available on the shelves. What seems to be going on is that publishers stop printing books that they don’t sell, and once copyrights enter the public domain, they are more likely published. This paper extends the discussion by analyzing the effects of copyright term extension in works written by Literature Nobel Prize Winners in the United States. Works written by literature Nobel Prize laureates would provide a higher standard to the findings that suggest that copyright extension has disappeared works from the printing at a certain point.
Keywords: Copyright, Copyright extension, tragedy of the public domain, books out of the shelf
JEL Classification: K3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation