A new twist in the copyright tale and the question of rights was raised in Germany’s Der Spiegel today. A German historian argues that Germany’s rapid industrial expansion in the 19th century can in fact be attributed to an absence of copyright law.

Economic historian Eckhard Höffner argues that England had pretty stringent laws, whilst reading and production of materials was massive in Germany. In a single year (1843), 14,000 works were produced. England, by comparison, produced 1000. As you can imagine, the industry is up in arms. Interesting stuff…