Global Copyright
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Global Copyright

Three Hundred Years Since the Statute of Anne, from 1709 to Cyberspace

Edited by Lionel Bently, Uma Suthersanen and Paul Torremans

This innovative book celebrates the tri-centenary of modern copyright, which began with the enactment of the Statute of Anne by the British Parliament in 1709, and was soon followed by other copyright legislation abroad. The Statute of Anne is traditionally claimed to be the world’s first copyright statute, and is thus viewed as the origin of a system of national laws that today exists in virtually all countries of the world. However, this book illustrates that while there is some truth in this claim, it is also important to treat it with caution.
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Closing Speech

Victor Nabhan


Victor Nabhan* Ladies and Gentlemen, We have now reached the end of a three-day journey. It has been an exceptional journey, which started off with the Statute of Anne and ended up with global world copyright in the digital age, let alone cosmic copyright, if one follows the path of Professor Sterling, a man of great vision. A few days ago, I received a book sent to me by Professor Paul Torremans. It had a note attached to it which read as follows: Dear Victor You will find that reading this book is very useful and instructive before attending our Congress in London. Yours Truly, Paul The title of the book: ‘The Aliens Guide to Britain and the British’. I went through the book and found it quite an eye opener! I learned, among other things, that ‘the English appear as one thing, and are actually another. They say one thing, and mean something else’. So much so that ‘Brits never say what they mean; often it is the exact opposite, even and particularly when they are being serious’. I find this quite troubling. In light of this quote, and if I were to behave as a Brit, which in all likelihood is what Professor Torremans expects me to do by sending me the book, I would have to come up with devastating conclusions along the following lines: ‘this is one of the worst ALAI Congresses I have ever attended. If not the worst ever. It was terribly organized. The...

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