Copyright arose in 18C London to regulate the book trade. It now covers almost all creative activities, from visual arts to music, movies, computer code, video games and business methods. How and why did it spread so far, and for whose benefit? Is it the right framework for a large part of modern economies, or is it time for a rethink? This course studies the history of copyright and its philosophical and social justification from Diderot and Dickens to Google and Meta. It returns at each stage to ask how the arts were supported, and how they should be supported now in a world dominated by copyright corporations.