Copyright Renewal of U.S. Books Published in 1932: Re-analyzing Ringer's Study to Determine a More Accurate Renewal Rate for Books

Jamie Carlstone, Ayla Stein, Michael Norman, John Wilkin


In 1961, Barbara Ringer published “Study No. 31: Renewal of Copyright,” where she
determined the renewal rate for fiscal year 1932 U.S. publications. In that study, she concludes that the renewal rate for Class A works for FY1932 was 7%. This paper seeks to reassess Ringer’s study by analyzing the copyright registrations for 1932 and their renewals published in the Catalogue of Copyright Entries. This was done to determine a renewal rate specifically for books rather than Class A as a whole, which includes other materials. The analysis determines that the copyright renewal rate for books is actually 26-33%, significantly higher than 7% claimed by Ringer.

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Copyright Jamie Carlstone, Ayla Stein, Michael Norman, John Wilkin

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