Monday, 25 February 2019, 1215 – 1330

Venue: Room 253, Gilbert Scott Building

The Effect of Copyright on Book Markets in South Africa (with application to other life-plus regimes)

Professor Paul Heald, University of Illinois

Research on the effect of copyright term extension in the United States has demonstrated the negative effect of legal protection on the availability of new bound editions and audiobook editions of older works. Among the most popular bound volume and audiobook titles, copyright protection also is associated strongly with higher prices in the US. Another recent study demonstrates the negative effect of copyright term extension on titles available for e-lending in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The present study demonstrates the negative effect of copyright on the availability of bound volumes and e-books available in South Africa, a jurisdiction currently under pressure to extend its term of copyright beyond the current life-plus-fifty. Monopoly pricing effects in e-book markets in South Africa, and therefore other life-plus-fifty jurisdictions, are also shown. Finally, the paper explores the potential for the Google Books Project and author’s rights reversion to improve the availability of books in South Africa.


Following the talk, sandwich lunch will be provided
Time: 1330-1415
Venue: Committee Room 251, Gilbert Scott Building

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