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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Appendix 1: The Statute of Anne 1709-1710


Appendix 1 The Statute of Anne 1709–1710* An Act for the encouragement of learning, by vesting the copies of printed books in the authors or purchaser or purchasers of such copies, during the times therein mentioned Whereas printers, booksellers and other persons have of late frequently taken the liberty of printing, reprinting and publishing, or causing to be printed, reprinted and published, books and other writings, without the consent of the authors or proprietors of such books and writings to their very great detriment and too often to the ruin of them and their families: For preventing therefore such practices for the future, and for the encouragement of learned men to compose and write useful books, may it please Your Majesty that it may be enacted and be it enacted by the Queens Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the authority of the same, s. 1 That from and after the tenth day of April One thousand seven hundred and ten the author of any book or books already printed who hath not transferred to any other the copy or copies of such book or books share or shares thereof, or the bookseller or booksellers, printer or printers, or other person or persons who hath or have purchased or acquired the copy or copies of any book or books in order to print or reprint the same, shall have the...

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