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April 10, 2010 11:18 AM   Subscribe

Copyright turns 300: An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or purchasers of such Copies, also known as the Statute of Anne, became law on April 10, 1710.
posted by Horace Rumpole (19 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I know a song that is often appropriate on birthdays, I would sing it for you, but I cannot afford the license fee charged by the copyright holders.
posted by idiopath at 11:23 AM on April 10, 2010 [10 favorites]

Oh, and:
posted by idiopath at 11:30 AM on April 10, 2010

Mr. or Mrs. idiopath:
    Be advised that referring to said song may be interpreted as 
incitement to copyright infringement.  Please immediately 
submit to a brain scan to detect mental storage of copyrighted 

posted by Salvor Hardin at 11:30 AM on April 10, 2010 [3 favorites]

Aren't you off by eleven days or something due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar?
posted by XMLicious at 11:37 AM on April 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.
posted by empath at 11:46 AM on April 10, 2010 [5 favorites]

For some reason, I had remembered that the US copyright to "Happy Birthday" expired in 2010. But Wikipedia says it's 2030. When did that happen?
posted by madcaptenor at 12:08 PM on April 10, 2010

Fourteen and 14 seems a fair term.
posted by klangklangston at 12:09 PM on April 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

madcaptenor: the way I remember hearing it, US copyright is traditionally extended in duration every time Mickey Mouse nears entry into the public domain.
posted by idiopath at 12:11 PM on April 10, 2010

Not to be confused with the very popular, at least among old school Catholics, Statue of Anne.
posted by Toekneesan at 12:18 PM on April 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Unauthorized duplication or public performance?

THIS! IS! SPARTA! *kick*
posted by indubitable at 12:30 PM on April 10, 2010

empath: Meet your friend the Patent and/or the Trademark.
posted by CarlRossi at 12:42 PM on April 10, 2010

For anyone who's even remotely interested in copyright and/or Romanticism, I highly recommend William St. Clair's The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period. It's the best book of history I've read in years, and despite being a highly detailed and rigorous work it also ends up being a powerful polemic against restrictive copyrights. I cannot recommend it enough.
posted by nasreddin at 2:06 PM on April 10, 2010 [5 favorites]

Copyright history in comparative, international perspective.

I also strongly recommend this book on the Act of Anne and the struggle over common-law copyright that followed it.
posted by GeorgeBickham at 2:47 PM on April 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:01 PM on April 10, 2010

I just got back from the second day of this Symposium of copyright scholars and practitioners looking back to the Statute of Anne and looking forward to what might be next. Although I can't find any links on the website, one of the moderators said something about "if you're listening on the podcast," so I think they may be planning to post one eventually. If anyone's interested, I can post a link here when they make it available.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 6:30 PM on April 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Please do, c_h_t. The symposium sounds really interesting.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:47 PM on April 10, 2010


Keep us posted.

posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:05 PM on April 10, 2010

When Copyright Goes Bad
posted by homunculus at 11:54 AM on April 21, 2010

Baseline shifting property and the statutory license. (I kinda meant to make that more into an FPP, but it'll fit here.
posted by klangklangston at 12:19 PM on April 21, 2010

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