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Copyright Law and the Public Interest in the Nineteenth Century


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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Copyright, History, the Public I. The Public Interest: Balances and Incentives II. The Stories So Far ... III. Scope and Structure 2 Copyright before the Nineteenth Century I. Pre-history of the Statute of Anne II. The Statute Takes Shape III. Charting the Boundaries of the Statute of Anne IV. Unfinished Edges 3 Copyright, the Book Trade and the Reading Public I. Co-operation and Corporatism in the Book Trade II. The Battle over Legal Deposit III. Books Contrary to the Public Interest IV. Conclusion 4 Extension and Expansion I. Copyright in the Spoken Word II. The Copyright Act of 1842 III. Foreign Authors and the Case of Jefferys v Boosey 5 Examination and Internationalisation I. The Royal Copyright Commission of 1878 II. The Rise of Interest Groups and the Interplay of Domestic and International Copyright III. Conclusion 6 Infringement at Common Law: Drawing Copyright's Boundaries I. Infringement in the Eighteenth Century II. The Nineteenth Century III. Infringement at the Century's End 7 The Making of the 1911 Imperial Copyright Act I. The fin-de-siecle Years: Laying the Foundations II. A Musical Interlude III. The Imperial Copyright Act of 1911 8 Conclusion

About the Author

Dr Isabella Alexander is a Newton Trust Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, Beachcroft LLP Fellow in Law and Director of Studies in Law at Robinson College, Cambridge.


The book, in addition to being an essential read for the student of copyright history, also provides much food for thought to those interested in contemporary intellectual property debates. Oren Bracha Law and History Review Volume 29/2 - May 2011 Alexander's work sets out to historicise and problematise the concept of the public interest within copyright discourse, while at the same time championing its continued relevance for contemporary policy and debate. In both respects Copyright Law and Public Interest in the Nineteenth Century can be considered a success. Ronan Deazley The Modern Law Review 74 (3) 2011 Alexander's book is descriptive, narrative legal history at its most readable and enjoyable...[it] may both be read in one sitting and employed for detailed reference later by legal historians, lawyers and students. Regardless of one's perspective... this book will not disappoint. The original and secondary source materials Alexander draws upon, as well as her careful and yet entertaining distillation of meanings, indisputably makes her work a really worthwhile read. Indeed, this book could well become required reading for future counsel appearing before Australia's High Court, or elsewhere in the common law world. Louise Buckingham Copyright Reporter Volume 28, Number 4, December 2010 This book is very interesting and well-researched in what it is: an insight into the notion of public interest in British copyright law of the nineteenth century. ...this book makes a significant contribution in the area. Irini Stamatoudi The Law and Poltics Book Review February 2011 The book is, first and foremost, a much needed comprehensive survey of the development of British copyright law from the beginning of the nineteenth century until the 1911 Imperial Copyright Act. The survey aspect of the book is an extremely valuable contribution in its own right. Some of the nineteenth-century landmarks of British copyright law were covered in other works before, but none of those other works presented a systematic and comprehensive account of the kind offered by Alexander. Oren Bracha Texas Law Review Volume 89 The history of copyright law is now well-trodden ground, particularly over the last decade or so, with notable works...yet despite these contributions, Isabella Alexander is able to provide a new, exciting, and original work. Copyright Law and the Public Interest in the Nineteenth Century is not only an important contribution to scholarship in copyright history, but also in the appreciation of the role of a so-called public interest in that history. It is a book of which all copyright scholars should take note. Phillip Johnson Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice Volume 5, 2010

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