'Two books in one, the first half of this manifesto offers a contrarian account of 18th- and 19th-century English copyright history; the second contributes to the burgeoning rhetoric of the public domain in contemporary copyright scholarship. Deazley contends that, contrary to the common wisdom, common law copyright never existed in the 18th-century, but was a concerted creation of 19th-century treatise writers. He may not convince us that common law copyright was a myth, but he does compellingly demonstrate that, like the mythical giant Antaeus, whenever common law copyright seemed beaten down to the ground, it rose again with renewed force. He also persuades us that it may be a Herculean task to strangle the life out of the impulse, historical or otherwise, to believe that authors' labors justify the contemporary default setting of the positive law in favor of proprietary rights. The second half, calling for reconceptualization of copyright as a derogation from the "public's freedom to engage with" works of authorship will surely provoke disagreement from many readers knowledgeable about copyright, but Deazley is an apt expositor of this increasingly popular trend in the legal academy.'- Jane C. Ginsburg, Columbia University School of Law, New York, US'I have just finished reading Ronan Deazley's manuscript. It's a very enjoyable, readable book. As to content, I found it interesting, carefully researched, wide in scope, and thought-provoking - even where I didn't agree with his conclusions.'- Catherine Seville, Newnham College, Cambridge, UKThis book aims to provide the reader with a critical insight into the history and theory of copyright within contemporary legal and cultural discourse. It exposes as myth the orthodox history of the development of copyright law in 18th-century Britain and explores the way in which that myth became entrenched throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. To this historical analysis are added two theoretical approaches to copyright not otherwise found in mainstream contemporary texts. Rethinking Copyright introduces the reader to copyright through the prism of the public domain before turning to the question as to how best locate copyright within the parameters of traditional property discourse. Moreover, underpinning these various historical and theoretical strands, the book explores the constitutive power of legal writing and the place of rhetoric in framing and determining contemporary copyright policy and discourse.Ronan Deazley's book will be of interest to academics and practitioners of law and intellectual property. The work should also be of interest to those working in alternate disciplines such as literary and cultural theorists and bibliographers.