Did Germany experience rapid industrial expansion in the 19th century due to an absence of copyright law? A German historian argues that the massive proliferation of books, and thus knowledge, laid the foundation for the country’s industrial might.
In Germany during the same period, publishers had plagiarizers — who could reprint each new publication and sell it cheaply without fear of punishment — breathing down their necks. Successful publishers were the ones who took a sophisticated approach in reaction to these copycats and devised a form of publication still common today, issuing fancy editions for their wealthy customers and low-priced paperbacks for the masses.
The prospect of a wide readership motivated scientists in particular to publish the results of their research.
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