A Short History of Copyright: The Genie of Information by Benedict Atkinson, Brian Fitzgerald

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By Benedict Atkinson, Brian Fitzgerald

This booklet tells the tale of ways, over centuries, humans, society and tradition created legislation affecting offer of knowledge. within the 21 century, uniform international copyright legislation are claimed to be essential to the luck of leisure, net and different info industries. Do copyright legislation inspire details circulate? Many say that copyright legislation restrict dissemination, harming society. within the final three hundred years, industries armed with copyrights managed output and distribution. Now the internet’s disruption of monetary styles may well notably reshape details law. info freedom, a resource of emancipation, may possibly switch the world.

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28 The decree of 1793, though remarkably short (consisting of seven provisions), proved durable, lasting through the nineteenth century. It established property in literary and artistic works. The formal elaboration of moral rights, the droit moral, would await the exhaustion of controversies in the nineteenth century, and the consensus that emerged later in that century when Victor Hugo led the movement for recognition of authors’ rights. But the idea of droit moral entered the French consciousness from an early date.

12 US Copyright Act 1831, s1. References 43 Though they spoke romantically of the author’s vocation, they pressed hard for mercenary reward. They found no difficulty in upholding their claims, even while myriad nineteenth-century social dissenters identified in the expansion and concentration of proprietary rights the primary causes of exclusion and injustice. While insisting on entitlement justified by appeal to natural rights, copyright proponents embraced the materialism of their age, and sought control and profit to the exclusion of other considerations.

Could the Statute of Anne have regulated the colonies, it would have functioned, as did imperial legislation in the nineteenth century, to secure for British publishers control over colonial trade in books. Had imperial legislation applied to eighteenth century American colonies, British trade monopoly could only have stoked revolutionary flames. It may be that in the early part of the eighteenth century, British parliamentarians were little concerned by publishing across the Atlantic. If their forebears were not greatly moved by literary matters, by the time of the Revolution, a time of pamphlets and manifestos, few Americans would have doubted the power of literature.

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