Commentary on Copyright Amendment Act 1842

Ronan Deazley, Lionel Bently (Editor), Martin Kretschmer (Editor)

Research output: Other contribution


The Act providing authors with the first post-mortem term of copyright protection. The term of copyright was to last either for the life of the author plus seven years after his or her death, or for forty-two years from the first publication of the same (whichever was longer). The commentary briefly discusses Thomas Noon Talfourd's repeated attempts to secure such legislation between 1837 and 1841, the opposition he experienced thereto (including Thomas Babington Macaulay's famous speech in the House of Commons on 5 February 1841 against extending the copyright term), and the success which Lord Mahon had in finally securing the Act in 1842.
Original languageEnglish
TypeScholarly Commentary
Media of outputOnline
PublisherUniversity of Cambridge
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Please cite as: Deazley, R. (2008) ‘Commentary on Copyright Amendment Act 1842', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,


  • copyright history


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