Three Hundred Years Since the Statute of Anne, from 1709 to Cyberspace
Edited by Lionel Bently, Uma Suthersanen and Paul Torremans
Chapter 3: What’s New About the Statute of Anne? Or Six Observations in Search of an Act
Ronan Deazley* INTRODUCTION 1 When I was invited to present at the ALAI Congress 2009, the broad focus of my paper had been predetermined. One of the conference organisers wrote to me asking ‘whether [I] would talk about the impact of [the] Statute of Anne, and in particular whether there is anything “new” in the sense of the lessons that the Statute teaches us’ in relation to contemporary copyright law. In short, my brief was to consider the following question: ‘What’s new about the Statute of Anne?’ As the time approached for writing this paper, and while conscious of remaining within my prescribed brief, I decided to grant myself the indulgence of a subtitle: Six Observations in Search of an Act. That subtitle, of course, is taken from Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, nor am I the first within the copyright community to draw upon Pirandello. David Nimmer, in his lengthy article on ‘Copyright in the Dead Sea Scrolls’, presented ‘Six Case Studies in Search of an Author’.1 More recently, Jane Ginsburg, in her comparative analysis of the concept of authorship in copyright law, elaborated ‘Six Principles in Search of an Author’, while at the same time alerting us to the fact that ‘[r]eferences in copyright scholarship to Pirandello risk becoming trite’.2 While heedful of Prof Ginsburg’s warning, I would nevertheless like to play out the use of Pirandello one more time. Indeed, I would tentatively offer a number of substantive synergies between this...
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