The Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish

Rebecca J. Rosen, Jul 31, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Data reinforcing what we all suspected was true: "Copyright correlates significantly with the disappearance of works rather than with their availability," Heald writes. "Shortly after works are created and proprietized, they tend to disappear from public view only to reappear in significantly increased numbers when they fall into the public domain and lose their owners." The disappearance is substantial, with all but a tiny remnant of books published in the 1930, 40s and 50s available today.

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