Do Shakespeare's Books Still Make Him Money?

26 September 2017, 15:55

Shakespeare. Picture: LBC

His stories make millions each year, but do his heirs get any of the royalties?

Mystery hour Question

William Shakespeare is still listed as one of the best selling authors each year, but does anybody get the money from his royalties?

Phil, Sale


Unfortunately not, there’s a limit to royalties. In most countries it’s until the end of the author’s life, plus a number of years. In the UK it’s 70 years after death, so it’s well after Shakespeare’s time. It goes straight to the publisher and that’s how they can afford to bash out the classics for next to nothing.

James O'Brien

James O'Brien

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