Authors and Owners: The Invention of Copyright by Mark Rose

By Mark Rose

The idea of the writer because the author and as a result the 1st proprietor of a piece is deeply rooted either in our economic climate and in our thought of the person. yet this idea of authorship is sleek. Mark Rose lines the formation of copyright in eighteenth-century Britain--and within the approach highlights nonetheless present problems with highbrow estate. Authors and proprietors is straight away a desirable examine a tremendous episode in felony background and an important contribution to literary and cultural historical past.

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Sample text

The lapse of the Licensing Act left this question hanging. many who opposed monopoly but In the decade that followed the lapse of the Licensing Act, the stationers, who were concerned about their properties, collaborated who favored censorship on ideological grounds in repeated restore the old system of press regulation (Feather, was Politics"). It zealous High Church party attempts to "Book Trade in one such attempt pressed by the in the context of in 1704 that Daniel Defoe, from pillorying and imprisonment Dissenters, published his Essay on with those newly released for his satiric Shortest Way with the the Regulation of the Press.

Muret's friends challenged the legality of this grant in the Parlement of Paris, arguing that the king's privilege could not take prece- dence over the author's wishes. By a common instinct so their argument went men recognize that each person is the lord of what he has made, invented, and composed, even because it is God the lord of the universe is his creation: In the same way, the author of a such he can under as freely do with it book what he is wills; wholly its master, and as even keep it permanently he might a slave; or emancipate it by that freedom either purely and freedom; granting giving without back or else imposing some limits, simply, anything, holding a kind of of so that no one but he will have the by right patronage, his private control as it common right to print it 6 except after a certain time.

In House of Lords a group of eleven peers dissented from the decision renew the act at all. Sounding very much like Milton in Areopagitica, the to 1 group protested that the act in its present form "subjects all Learning and true Information to the arbitrary Will and Pleasure of a this mercenary, and perhaps ignorant, Licenser; destroys the Properties of Authors in their Copies; and sets up many Monopolies" (LJ 15:280). It is impossible to say whether in speaking of the "properties of authors" the lords were thinking control over the property in more in terms of propriety form and content of an economic sense.

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