Global Copyright: Three Hundred Years Since the Statute of by Paul Torremans, Lionel Bently, Uma Suthersanen

By Paul Torremans, Lionel Bently, Uma Suthersanen

This leading edge publication celebrates the tri-centenary of recent copyright, which started with the enactment of the Statute of Anne via the British Parliament in 1709, and used to be quickly by means of different copyright laws in a foreign country. The Statute of Anne is generally claimed to be the world's first copyright statute, and is hence considered because the foundation of a approach of nationwide legislation that at the present time exists in nearly all nations of the realm. even if, this publication illustrates that whereas there's a few fact during this declare, it's also very important to regard it with warning. Written by means of prime specialists from around the globe, this accomplished (historical) research breaks new floor on smooth copyright matters resembling electronic libraries, unlawful downloading and distribution, foreign exhaustion and 'new formalities'. The specialist individuals think about what classes will be learnt from the achievements made over the last three hundred years, and whether or not they can be utilized to beat the hot demanding situations dealing with copyright. This in-depth clinical research of the legacy of the Statute of Anne three hundred years on from its origins will offer copyright practitioners, lecturers, coverage makers and postgraduate scholars with a special and engaging learn.

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Beckett (1774). 19, s. 1. 6 Ibid, s. 11. What’s new about the Statute of Anne? 29 Bench, led by Lord Mansfield, concluded that copyright was a creature of the common law and as such lasted in perpetuity. 7 That is, the prospect of perpetual copyright protection for published work was laid to rest (at least for a while). Opinions differ as to the impact which the decision had upon the book trade. 11 James Raven, on the other hand, downplays the significance of Donaldson. 12 While not dismissing 7 The exact nature of the decision in Donaldson still remains a matter of some controversy.

The Statute of Anne 1709–10: its historical setting 23 Company to operate a licensing system of the old, by then defunct, type. The new formula concerning duration operated for each book separately and set a legal pattern which would be imitated in a great many countries as they introduced copyright systems. In the Statute of Anne, for ‘old’ books already published by 1710, the period was 21 years from publication; for ‘new’ books, it was 14 years (s. 1). However, the term for new books would be extended by another 14 years if the author was alive at the end of the first term (s.

In this regard, it is instructive to consider the impact of the decision on the production of editions of James Thomson’s The Seasons itself, the work at the centre of the Donaldson litigation. James Thomson began publishing extracts from The Seasons in 1726 (Winter, A Poem), and a collected edition of the work in its entirety was first published in 1730 by John Millan. 14 If we regard the publication of the 1744 edition of The Seasons as a new work – as I believe we should – then, as Thomson died in 1748, under the 1710 Act, the copyright in that work would have expired by the 13 Ibid, p.

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