A random sample of new books for sale on Amazon.com shows three times more books initially published in the 1850’s are for sale than new books from the 1950’s. Why? Professor Paul J. Heald, of the University of Illinois College of Law, and visiting professor at the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM) at Britain’s Bournemouth University conducted a study. The study presents new data on How Copyright Make Books and Music Disappear, (and How Secondary Liability Rules Help Resurrect Old Songs).
Heald took “a random sample of 2300 new books for sale on Amazon.com,” also performing a similar analysis on music. He concluded that “Copyright status correlates highly with absence from the Amazon shelf,” “Together with publishing business models, copyright law seems to stifle distribution and access.”