Happy Birthday, Miss Copyright

I missed it by a day, but still.

Statute of Anne

The Statute of Anne, short title Copyright Act 1709 8 Anne c.19; long title An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned, was the first copyright statute in the Kingdom of Great Britain (thus the United Kingdom, see Copyright law of the United Kingdom). It was enacted in 1709 and entered into force on 10 April 1710. It is generally considered to be the first fully-fledged copyright statute. It is named for Queen Anne, during whose reign it was enacted.

The Statute of Anne is now seen as the origin of copyright law.

In additional commemoration, I will reprint and combine two prior posts from The eBook Test.

He Did Not Back Down


NY Public Library Digital Gallery

Dickens’s 1842 Reading Tour: Launching the Copyright Question in Tempestuous Seas

The rowdy American press, particularly in New York, soon disabused Dickens of his utopian notions vis a vis copyright. Americans, expecting him to be grateful for their warm reception, were staggered when this young British goodwill ambassador at the beginning of 1842, at a dinner held in his honour in Boston, dared to criticize them as pirates while urging the merits of international copyright, which at that point in American history would have seen vast amounts of Yankee capital heading overseas with little reciprocation. He did not back down.

TV’s Bonanza: With Charles Dickens

Ron Hogan alerted me to Jonathan Harris portraying Charles Dickens in an episode of TV’s Bonanza. A quick search later and some info:

136.) A Passion For Justice
September 29, 1963
Written by: Peter Packer
Directed by: Murray Golden

Charles Dickens visits Virginia City and is appalled to discover his work being reprinted without his permission by the local paper.

And this wonderful clip:

“I’ve poured my life into my work. And I have to fight for it.”

“They fail to realize how much a writer gives of himself. How much of his soul is locked into every word.”

There are two other clips: One, Two.

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