Copyright in Historical Perspective
Copyright in Historical Perspective. by Lyman Ray Patterson. Vanderbilt University Press, 1968.
From Lawrence Lessig of the Creative Commons:
"This is an extraordinarily important book for understanding our current copyright mess. It is not a trade book -- it was written as an academic's text. But it is beautifully and clearly written, and it shows as plainly as possible just how radically copyright law has changed. That point alone is not terribly original -- except that Patterson made the point in 1968. He is, and this book is, the founding text of a movement designed to restore rationality to the regulation of speech that we call copyright law. If you haven't read this, then shut up until you have."