The Public Domain Cover
Title: The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind
Author: James Boyle
Pages: 333
     Direct PDF, 1.6MBytes

Boyle provides an excellent history of the beginnings of both the patent and copyright systems.  He outlines the reasoning that has brought us to our current copyright laws, and what's occured to make it such a draconian system.
     Fortunately, the book goes on to discuss how this copyright system is affected by, and affects the Internet, and what the repercussions of such a relationship entail.