The Statute of Anne and the Great Abridgement Swindle

Ronan Deazley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There are many things that we know about the Statute of Anne with reasonable certitude. We know that it was prefaced by a period of sustained lobbying on the part of the book trade. We know that on January 11, 1710 a bill was introduced in the House of Commons in response to this lobbying and that, less than three months later, on April 5, 1710, the act that is now commonly referred to as the Statute of Anne was passed. And we also know that the Act that was passed differed in many significant respects from the bill as it was originally introduced to parliament.
There are, however, many things that we don't - or can't - know about the Statute of Anne. This article considers one of those things that we don't or can't know; the extent to which the Act was intended to regulate the unauthorised production of derivative versions of published work (in this case, abridgements) if, indeed, it was intended to regulate the production of such works at all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-818
JournalHouston Law Review
Volume47
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • copyright
  • copyright history
  • copyright exceptions
  • abridgements
  • book history

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