Commentary on Foreign Reprints Act 1847

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

Research output: Other contribution


Legislation enabling colonial territories to import unauthorised foreign reprints subject to the payment of an import duty, to be collected for the benefit of British publishers.
The commentary explores the background to the Foreign Reprints Act 1847, and in particular, the differences between the British and colonial markets for literary works, and the introduction of 'responsible government' in the colonies. It also considers the movement in the late 1860s and early 1870s, on the part of the British book trade, to have the legislation repealed, as well as the efforts of the Canadian legislature to replace the import scheme with a system of compulsory licensing, set against the backdrop of increasingly fractious Anglo-Canadian copyright relations. The Canadian demands for compulsory licensing scheme were by and large abandoned, and the 1847 Act remained on the statute books until the passing of the Copyright Act 1911.
Original languageEnglish
TypeScholarly Commentary
Media of outputOnline
PublisherUniversity of Cambridge
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Please cite as: Deazley, R. (2008) ‘Commentary on Foreign Reprints Act 1847', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,


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