This volume discusses how proprietary notions increasingly dominated copyright legal principles, with consequences for information dissemination in modern times. It covers the period to 1850, and begins with extracts from Roman law and early Christian and medieval teaching on ownership. The volume traces philosophical arguments about copyright law, reproducing writings of John Milton and John Locke on freedom of expression, and copyright justifications supplied by the idealist philosophers Johann Fichte and Immanuel Kant. Readings explain how the developments that created the social and political systems of modern Britain and the United States also produced the beginnings of the modern system of copyright regulation. The volume highlights seminal works of leading US copyright scholars Lyman Ray Patterson, Benjamin Kaplan and Mark Rose, and includes correspondence of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison on copyright policy.
Contents: Introduction: the origins of copyright law; Part I The Origins of Copyright: (i) Possession and Exclusion: States ideal and real: community of property, Plato; The ownership of property, Aristotle; The law of things, Rudolph Sohm; Method followed in this work. Idea of a revolution, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. (ii) Obligation-Based Societies and Attitudes to Information: Don't stop thinking about…yesterday: why there was no indigenous counterpart to intellectual property law in imperial China, William Alford; John Bulun Bulun & Anor v R&T Textiles Pty Ltd; The cardinal virtues and the deadly sins, Bhagavad Gita. (iii) Against Entitlement: Aquinas' theory of property, A. Parel. (iv) The Stationers' Monopoly: Stationers Company Charter granted by Philip and Mary and confirmed by Elizabeth I (1557); Aereopagitica, John Milton, (1644); Appendix: documents relating to the termination of the Licensing Act, John Locke, 1695. Part II Emergence of Statutory Copyright: (v) The Statute of Anne: The Statute of Anne, April 10, 1710; Making copyright, Mark Rose. (vi) Perpetual Copyright: The publishers and the pirates: British copyright law in theory and practice, John Feather, 1710-1775. (vii) The Copyright Act 1790 (United States): Correspondence and Legislation: Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson; Copyright Act of 1790. (viii) Idealism: Relinquishment of property, Georg W.F. Hegel. (ix) United States Law and Foreigners' Copyright: 1831 Copyright Act: an Act to amend the several Acts respecting copyrights, 3 February 1831 revision; A portion of Dickens' letter to his friend John Forster on the subject of international copyright, 17 February 1842, Charles Dickens. (x) Fair Use: Folsom v Marsh, 1841; Free speech, copyright and fair use, L. Ray Patterson. (xi) Macaulay and Copyright Term: A speech delivered in the House of Commons on 5th February 1841, Thomas Babington Macaulay. (xii) Final Reflections: The first 350 years, Benjamin Kaplan; Pirates of the information infr