Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, George Orwell, etc.?


Books by these authors and many others are in the public domain in many countries but not in the U.S., given the many extensions to the Copyright Act that have been passed over the years.

So, while one can find and download more than 17,000 transcribed books (this link leads to a 3 MB file of every title on the site; it will probably crash your web browser) from Penn’s Online Books Page (this link will not crash your browser; bookmark it), similarly accessing To the Lighthouse, Finnegan’s Wake, or Down and Out in Paris and London is illegal (unless one is reading this from outside the U.S., in which case go ahead and click those italicized links with impunity).

This is why Eldred v. Ashcroft (AKA, Sonny v. Share) is important and matters to students at all levels of education. Whatever happens, Lawrence Lessig has done the best that he can, and it’s in God’s hands now (or something like that).