Commentary on Millar v. Taylor (1769)

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

Research output: Other contribution


Decision of the Court of King's Bench providing that, regardless of the provisions of the Statute of Anne 1710 (uk_1710), an author enjoyed the exclusive right of publishing his work in perpetuity.
Lord Mansfield, leading a majority decision of the court, provides a robust and influential justification as to the existence of an author's rights in literary property at common law. Yates, J., focussing upon the potential detriment to the public that would flow from the existence of a perpetual right, provides the dissenting opinion. The commentary explores the background to the litigation, in particular the nature of the threat which the Scottish reprint industry posed to the London book trade, relevant case-law leading up to the decision, as well as the substance of the judicial opinions.
Original languageEnglish
TypeScholarly Commentary
Media of outputOnline
PublisherUniversity of Cambridge
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Please cite as: Deazley, R. (2008) ‘Commentary on Millar v. Taylor (1769)', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,


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