As of January 1st, 2019, a large swath of copyrighted works lost their protected status and entered the public domain - marking the first time in two decades that this has happened. The New York Times reports that many legal scholars argue that American copyright law is much too complex and has for too long favored companies and the heirs of writers and artists at the expense of the public. The Times references the research of Professor Paul Heald, which demonstrates that extending copyright can actually have a negative impact on the sales and availability of books. A few years ago, Heald used software that randomly sampled books available on Amazon, and discovered that there were more new editions of books published in the 1910s than from titles published in the 2000s.
Luckily for readers and book buyers, public sentiment has become increasingly opposed to extending copyright protections, and legal experts predict that Congress is unlikely to pass another extension in the near future.
Read the full article at nytimes.com.