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Privilege and Property: Essays on the History of Copyright - PDF

Privilege and Property: Essays on the History of Copyright - PDF Ronan Deazley, Martin Kretschmer and Lionel Bently (Editors)
PDF ISBN: 978-1-906924-20-1 £0.00
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-906924-18-8 £15.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-906924-19-5 £29.95

This digital edition is available for immediate download as a pdf file. Downloading instructions will be sent by e-mail on completion of payment.

What can and can’t be copied is a matter of law, but also of aesthetics, culture, and economics. The act of copying, and the creation and transaction of rights relating to it, evokes fundamental notions of communication and censorship, of authorship and ownership – of privilege and property.

This volume conceives a new history of copyright law that has its roots in a wide range of norms and practices. The essays reach back to the very material world of craftsmanship and mechanical inventions of Renaissance Italy where, in 1469, the German master printer Johannes of Speyer obtained a five-year exclusive privilege to print in Venice and its dominions. Along the intellectual journey that follows, we encounter John Milton who, in 1644 accused the English parliament of having been deceived by the ‘fraud of some old patentees and monopolizers in the trade of bookselling’ (i.e. the London Stationers’ Company). Later revisionary essays investigate the regulation of the printing press in the North American colonies as a provincial and somewhat crude version of European precedents, and how, in the revolutionary France of 1789, the subtle balance that the royal decrees had established between the interests of the author, the bookseller, and the public, was shattered by the abolition of the privilege system.

Contributions also address the specific evolution of rights associated with the visual and performing arts.

The volume is a companion to the digital archive Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
Privilege and Property is recommended in the Times Higher Education Textbook Guide (November, 2010).

No. of pages: 438
No. of illustrations: 11

ISBN (13): 9781906924188
ISBN (10): 190692418X

Creative Commons License
Privilege and Property. Essays on the History of Copyright edited by Ronan Deazley, Martin Kretschmer and Lionel Bently is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.