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EARTH HUNGER AND OTHER ESSAYS

business at any time and perform it with the least doubt or delay, will always have an advantage in competition for business, if there is competition, which will enable it to advance to a monopoly. The reasons lie in the natural conditions of the business and there is, as yet, no means known for escaping it.

The gas and water supply, and apparently, also, the electric light supply of a city are natural monopolies. The reasons are chiefly those already given with regard to telegraphs; the physical conditions of the space within which the apparatus must lie make it impossible to bring competition to bear.

All literary productions are natural monopolies. A newspaper is a natural monopoly; it uses its name for a definition and limit of its monopoly; it exploits its reputation and its efforts toward success all take the form of distinguishing itself from other journals and conquering a field of influence and profit which it can maintain as exclusively as possible. The great number of journals tend more and more, as they win success, to become individualized and then the exploitation of their productive power is subject to the rules of monopoly.

Every book is a monopoly, and copyrights, perhaps, better than anything else serve to illustrate the wide range through which monopoly may act. Volumes are printed which scarcely any one will buy. The owner of the copyright has an absolute monopoly, but, there being no demand, his monopoly is worthless—from which it appears that a man cannot oppress his fellows simply because "he has a monopoly." From this supposition upward there may be all stages of demand for a book until we come to those which can be sold by the tens of thousands. The law of copyright does not create the monopoly; that lies in the unique creation of the