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Der Spiegel article: German 19th Century Economic Growth due to no copyright law?

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  • Der Spiegel article: German 19th Century Economic Growth due to no copyright law?

    Below is an interesting article from the English language edition of Der Spiegel. It reports the claims made by German economic historian Eckhard Hoeffner, that Germany's lack of a copyright law in the 19th century resulted there be much more printed manner available for people to read. This lack of a law led to publishers printing many books in a print run, so as to maximize profits before plagiarizers would put out copies of the same books. Also, publishers would print high quality editions and cheaper editions, much as is done today, with hardcover and paperback books. In Hoeffner's view, the different system in England contributed to Germany capturing up to and passing England technologically. In England, very few books would be printed in a print run, and would be sold at a high price, focusing on the wealthy. This inevitably led to less knowledge among the general population.,00.html

  • #2
    I am almost finished reading Peter Watson's The German Genius: Europe's Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century . He does mention the greater number of books and journals in Germany than in Britain, but says nothing about copyright. Watson leads one to believe that the greater number of published works was a result of the middle class in Germany participating in self-improvement (Bildung), and the fact that Germany had far more universities.


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