Commentary on International Copyright Act 1852

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

Research output: Other contribution


Legislation introducing the concept of translation rights within British copyright law. The document contains the following associated material: Hansard: 119 (1852): 498-502 (uk_1852a); 121 (1852): 4 (uk_1852b); Anglo-French Copyright Treaty (uk_1851).
Introduced to implement the obligations of the Anglo-French Copyright Convention, agreed in November 1851, this Act provided that the British monarch could, by Order in Council, provide foreign authors with the right to prevent the reproduction and performance of their literary and dramatic works in translation. The Act also introduces the first statutorily defined permitted acts within the UK, and is indicative of the increasing influence that international standards and obligations began to exert upon the content and substance of domestic copyright law.
The commentary locates the Act within the context of the two previous International Copyright Acts (see: uk_1838; uk_1844) and the Anglo-French Convention, highlighting the selective manner in which the British legislature implemented its obligations under the 1851 Convention, in particular in drawing a distinction between the reproduction of political and non-political material, as well as the difficulty that foreign authors experienced in complying with the provisions of the legislation.
Original languageEnglish
TypeScholarly Commentary
Media of outputOnline
PublisherUniversity of Cambridge
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Please cite as: Deazley, R. (2008) ‘Commentary on International Copyright Act 1852', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,


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