Book Piracy
in 19th-Century Anglophonia
The advent of International
Copyright Law
By Marissa Christman
LIS522, Instructor: Dr. Lorna Peterson
Statement of Purpose
ANALYZE…
Copyright law chronology
UNDERSTAND…
nuances of international copyright law
ANALYZE…
Anglophone publishing industry topics
CONTEXTUALIZE…
today’s international Anglophone
publishing industry
Content and Method
- Setting the scene
- Master Timeline
- The Timeline Speaks
- Analysis
- So what?
- Reference List
British events will appear in green.
American events will appear in red.
Canadian events will appear in blue.
Important ideas will appear in purple.
When a timeline event is being explained, it will
be emphasized on the timeline. The rest of the
timeline events will appear for your reference but
be grayed out to de-emphasize them.
Setting the Scene
1763
Great Britain acquires all Canadian
territories
1769
1770
The British begin settling New Zealand
Great Britain claims Australia
1776
British colonies in America
declare independence
1789
The French Revolution
1800
Great Britain extends its
empire,
creating
new
Anglophone markets for its
English-language publishing
industry.
There are now two nations and three
territories in Anglophonia. The Englishlanguage publishing industry is suddenly
international.
The French revolutionary ideals of liberté,
égalité and fraternité elicit widespread
discomfort with the regulation of
intellectual property.
From this point through much of the 19th century, imperial Great Britain
recognizes the U.S. as the “Barbary coast of literature” and its citizens as
the “buccaneers of books.” England’s pursuit of international copyright
regulations can be traced to the American publishing industry’s growth at
its expense.
1823
Philadelphia firm Carey & Lea pirate
Lord Byron’s Don Juan at record speed
1835
1837
1838
Brits grant foreigners limited copyright
International Copyright Movement
in the U.S.
Victoria’s 1 & 2 c. 59
1842
1847
Imperial Copyright Act
1867
Parton’s Atlantic Monthly Letters
Canadian Confederation
1876
Belford piracy of Mark Twain’s
Tom Sawyer in Toronto
Berne Convention
Canada’s Copyright Act of 1889
Chace Act
U.S. joins International Copyright Union
1886
1889
1891
1896
Foreign Reprints Act
1900
c. 1850-1891
c. 1800-1842
Canadian piracy of U.S. publications Canada imports U.S.-pirated books
U.S. piracy of Sir Walter Scott’s novels
c. 1800-1895
Mass U.S. piracy of British publications
1814
1800
U.S. piracy of Sir Walter Scott’s novels
1823
1835
1837
1838
Philadelphia firm Carey & Lea pirate
Lord Byron’s Don Juan at record speed
Brits grant foreigners limited copyright
International Copyright Movement
in the U.S.
Victoria’s 1 & 2 c. 59
1842
1847
Imperial Copyright Act
1867
1876
1886
1889
1891
1896
Foreign Reprints Act
Parton’s Atlantic Monthly Letters
Canadian Confederation
Belford piracy of Mark Twain’s
Tom Sawyer in Toronto
Berne Convention
Canada’s Copyright Act of 1889
Chace Act
U.S. joins International Copyright Union
1900
c. 1850-1891
c. 1800-1842
Canadian piracy of U.S. publications Canada imports U.S.-pirated books
1814
c. 1800-1895
Mass U.S. piracy of British publications
1800
American Piracy: The Ascent
Scott, a popular poet, began writing
novels in 1814. They were instant
bestsellers.
Until this point, U.S. publishers had
been too weak to satiate the
American
appetite
for
British
literature. American book piracy,
though a nuisance, failed to be a
serious threat.
The unauthorized reproduction of
Scott’s
novels
by
American
publishers demonstrated, for the
first time, the damage they could
inflict on British publishers and
authors.
American Piracy: The Game
A portion of Lord Byron’s Don
Juan landed at the firm Carey &
Lea.
Within 36 hours, their edition
appeared on sales floors. Keep in
mind: this is at a time when the
composition of print items was
done by hand.
This incident typifies American
book piracy at this time. The most
profitable pirates were both quick
(i.e. the first to get an edition on
the shelves) and cheap. Americans
were willing to sacrifice aesthetics
if
the
publications
were
inexpensive.
A pirating firm’s ability to
undersell legit firms was its
primary concern.
Copyrights: Restrict to Let Grow
This minor statute afforded any
foreigners, even non-residents,
the protection of the Crown if
he published first in Britain.
Great
Britain’s
publishing
industry was, by this time, wellestablished. It had many more
legitimate firms than did the
United States.
Rather than restricting profit
from piracies, the granting to
foreigners
of
copyrights
encouraged them to contribute
to the growth of the already
mature industry.
Copyrights: The root of change
English publisher Frederick Saunders
relocated to the U. S. in 1846 with plans to
foil the Americans’ mass piracy of his books.
The American firms descended upon him in
no time and pirated him in financial ruin. He
went public with his woeful tale, and
somewhat unintentionally sparked a
movement for international copyright in the
U.S.
Saunders’ multiple publicity stunts inspired
authors and intellectuals to form small
advocacy groups, though they were very few.
World’s First International Copyright Law
England’s Queen Victoria enacted the
world’s first international copyright
law to promote publication and,
consequently, increase literacy.
It extended federal protection to all
works published in Britain proper,
whether British- or alien-authored.
Foreign publications authored by
British citizens also enjoyed this
protection.
British publishers, well-established by
this time, wanted the Crown’s
protection of the copyrights they
bought from British authors.
British authors sought ownership of
their
ideas and recognition for
promulgating them.
The Imperial Copyright Act
Threatened by pirated American imports,
the British amended the 1838 act,
demanding seizure of unauthorized
publications at British borders.
The act curbed the importation of
American pirated editions into Britain
proper, making them unavailable to
Brits. It was the primary authority on
copyright in Britain until 1905.
Loopholes in the act made it ineffectual
in Britain’s colonies (namely Canada)
who continued to choose cheap pirated
editions over legitimate British ones.
The Imperial Copyright Act mandated
that a copy of all British publications be
deposited with the British Museum.
Instead of importing authorized copies from the
mother country, Canada bought unauthorized
American re-prints of British works. U.S. pirated
copies were inexpensive and quickly obtainable;
British book prices and freight charges were
exorbitant.
In 1842, Britain prohibited Canada’s importation
of U.S. piracies. Impoverished Canadian colonists
could not afford Britain’s high-priced copies so
nothing changed.
U.S. Piracies in the Canadian Colony
This act levied a customs duty on American reprints imported into Canada. This was Britain’s
attempt to offset the revenue loss they suffered
at the hands of piratical American competition.
Canadian customs agents had no incentive to
enforce this duty and consequently, only 1% of
the potential returns ever reached Great Britain.
With the passing of this act, Britain officially
acknowledged its inability to stop Canada from
importing American pirated books.
American biographer James Parton wrote a series of letters to the Boston
magazine Atlantic Monthly wherein he enumerated the disadvantages
suffered by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe.
He argued that it was time for the U.S. to embrace Europe’s progressive
attitude toward intellectual property.
The U.S. had avoided reciprocal copyright agreements with other nations
on the grounds that it would cause injury to its relatively new publishing
industry. By 1867, however, American publishing had grown into a giant,
with New York City at its heart. U.S. publishers, by now less-dependent on
piratical revenue, started to reconcile themselves to the cause.
Canada was created through the
British North America Act in 1867.
Though Canada did not gain
complete autonomy, it was now
considered its own entity and
therefore was not subject to
British foreign policy (i.e. Canada
adopted international copyright
laws 42 years after Britain did).
International Copyright Laws
This was the first international treaty on
copyright. Signers agreed to grant
unlimited copyright to all foreign authors
and foreign publications. England was
the only English-speaking signer.
International Copyright Laws
This act, passed by Ottawa but
rejected by British parliament,
sought to protect the Canadian
publishing industry by making
American publications common
property in Canada.
International Copyright Laws
This was the U.S.’s first and only
copyright act in this century. It set
near-impossible standards for
seeking protection.
Piracy and industry maturity.
“the expanding American book trade
became geared to a system of production
in which the lack of international copy-right
was an essential factor.” eaton, 101
Descargar

Slide 1