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.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Copyright and competition
De Spiegel discusses work by Wolfgang Menzel that suggests that an absence of copy right in Germany was responsible for a flourishing of ideas. In contrast to England, where copyright laws kept monopoly power over ideas and prevented competition, in Germany there was an outpouring of non-fiction publishing. German publishers reacted to their inability to enforce their rights by using price discrimination to cover the market.