In Praise of Copying is a best-selling book by American author Marcus Boon .


The book was published in 2010 by Harvard University Press and is licensed under the Creative Commons license by-nc-sa (Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike).


Boon has dealt with the issue of copies, imitations and the concept of the original. Starting from the observation that copying is a universally popular, but often criminal practice, he developed a point of view which holds the distinction between copy and original is for practical purposes only. Boon argues in the book that for everything in the universe there is a copy, as much as everything is original. Therefore, it is impossible under conditions to ban the copy, since it is impossible not to copy. The distinction between originality and copy creates an artificial boundary which in truth does not exist. Copies are the principles on which the universe rests, even at the molecular level all the things are made by copying. Learning itself can not occur without copying from others.

The distinction between (legitimate) original and (illegitimate) copy developed in Western Europe. It goes back to philosophical concepts that Plato and Aristotle created. In particular, Boon sees at work the nominalism of Plato dubious – discuss ] , which introduced the idea of ​​an unchanging and unattainable original in Western philosophy. The distinction between original and copy is in its modern incarnation represented by copyright but is actually a consequence of industrial capitalism . This distinction is threatening to undermine the culture of the world and thus to marginalize other systems of reproduction.


The book has received positive reviews.

  • The book has been praised by the New Yorker . [1]
  • It has also received praise from New Republic . [2]
  • The book has received accolades from the University of Chicago . [3]
  • The book has received great reviews from Goodreads . [4]
  • The book has also received praise from the American E-Journal. [5]
  • The book has been favorably reviewed by UK’s The Wire magazine. [6]
  • The book has received glowing reviews from Pop Matters and Rorotoko. [7] [8]


  1. Jump up^ Hendrix, Jenny. “Ideas We Like: Books Without Walls” . The New Yorker . Retrieved 2014-01-06 .
  2. Jump up^ Row, Jess (2011-05-23). “Jess Row Reviews Marcus Boon’s” In Praise of Copying ” ” . New Republic . Retrieved 2014-01-06 .
  3. Jump up^ “Marcus Boon, In Praise of Copying | The University of Chicago Library News” . 2011-05-23 . Retrieved 2014-01-06 .
  4. Jump up^ Marcus Boon. “In Praise of Copying by Marcus Boon – Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists” . . Retrieved 2014-01-06 .
  5. Jump up^ E-Journal of American Studies in Hungary. “AMERICANA:” Still This Book: A Review of Marcus Boon’s _In Praise of Copying_ “by Péter Kristóf Makai . . Retrieved 2014-01-06 .
  6. Jump up^ Marcus Boon. “Collateral Damage: Marcus Boon” . The Wire . Retrieved 2014-01-06 .
  7. Jump up^ Williams, James. “So Fake It’s Beyond Real: ‘In Praise of Copying ‘ ” . PopMatters . Retrieved 2014-01-06 .
  8. Jump up^ “Marcus Boon On his book In Praise of Copying: Cutting-Edge Intellectual Interviews” . Rorotoko. 2010-11-10 . Retrieved 2014-01-06 .

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