Commentary on the Royal Commission's Report on Copyright (1878)

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

Research output: Other contribution


The first major governmental review of the national, colonial, and international copyright regime. The commentary explores the background to the Royal Commission and in particular the efforts of the Association for the Protection of the Rights of Authors in lobbying for law reform. The commentary also explores the extent to which debates about free trade and monopoly commended the attention of the Commissioners and provided a challenge to the dominant conception of copyright - that is, copyright as a property right. The Report affirmed that copyright should continue to be regarded as a property right, and acknowledged the need for reform and consolidating legislation. Beyond that, however, the Commissioners were in considerable disagreement as to copyright's purpose and proper scope, with few of the Report's major recommendations receiving the unanimous support of the same.
Original languageEnglish
TypeScholarly Commentary
Media of outputOnline
PublisherUniversity of Cambridge
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Please cite as: Deazley, R. (2008) ‘Commentary on the Royal Commission's Report on Copyright (1878)', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,


  • copyright history

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