Frank Thadeusz looks at historian Eckhard Höffner's claims that the lack of copyright law — and resulting wider dissemination of scientific discoveries — laid the foundation for Germany's industrial might. Höffner believes that it was copyright law, established early in Great Britain, in 1710, that crippled the world of knowledge in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile in Germany there was an unparalleled explosion of knowledge in the 19th century, that Höffner concludes had its origins in the fact that plagiarizers could reprint new publications and sell them cheaply to the masses without fear of punishment.